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A tribute to the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team, formed in 1943 by Presidential permission with Japanese-American volunteers. We follow the training of a platoon under the rueful command of Lt. Mike Grayson who shares common prejudices of the time. The 442nd serve in Italy, then France, distinguishing themselves in skirmishes and battles; gradually and naturally, Grayson's prejudices evaporate with dawning realization that his men are better soldiers than he is. Not preachy. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Towards the end of the film, reference is made to a Piper Cub aircraft being used for spotting/reconnaissance. The original Piper Cub was manufactured from 1938-1947. In military configuration, from 1943-1946, it was officially known as the L-4 "Grasshopper" (since it was painted Army Olive drab), but most soldiers still called them "Cubs." There were actually over 5,400 produced for the US military during that time. See more »
Lt Grayson salutes his company commander while they are on the front lines in Italy. In reality, troops do not salute while at the front, since this identifies officers and makes them likely targets for the enemy. See more »
Kanakas. The ones from Hawaii. You know what they call us mainlanders? Kotonks. The way they tell it if you rap on our heads it's like hitting a coconut. Hollow heads, you know? Kotonk, kotonk, kotonk.
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Robert Pirosh wrote his own picture and did a wonderful job of directing it, and 'Go for Broke!', his tribute to Japanese-American volunteers fighting in World War II, is deftly executed with a nice blend of pulse-quickening action and more thought-provoking interludes where white Lieutenant Grayson (Van Johnson), originally prejudiced against the people he is assigned to command, gradually learns to come to terms with the fact that bravery and patriotism are irrelevant to your race or the color of your skin.
That could all be a little too rhetorical for its own good, but Pirosh never over-stresses his point, and his picture is never holier-than-thou. "You see, Sir, I'm from Texas", Grayson says to his superior, but Pirosh lets it go at that and doesn't lash out against Southern bigotry. I really liked the gentle irony of Pirosh' contrasting the idyllic, outdated guidebooks to Italy and France that Grayson reads with the prosaic reality of war-torn countries.
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