In 1942, a group of young men join the Marines, leaving loved ones behind. Primed for battle, they are frustrated by many non-combat assignments, as we follow their wartime romances, especially Andy Hookens' involvement with Pat, a New Zealand widow. Andy and Pat have just decided that war requires them to 'live for the moment' when, in 1944, our team finally goes into a real battle... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The transport the green Marines boarding to take them to Guadalcanal is the USS Talladega (APA-208) an attack transport. See more »
The attack transport USS Pickaway (APA-222) shown at dock side after Pat and Andy's wedding; and just before the battle of Tarawa; wasn't commissioned until Dec 12 1944. This ship wasn't yet built for Tarawa. See more »
Produced out of Warner Brothers in CinemaScope, Battle Cry is directed by Raoul Walsh and stars Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, James Whitmore, Tab Hunter, Anne Francis, Dorothy Malone, Raymond Massey, and Mona Freeman. Leon Uris adapts the screenplay from his own novel of the same name, Sidney Hickox is the cinematographer and Max Steiner scores the music; for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
Battle Cry is something of a misleading title since this two and half hour movie barely sees any battle action at all: well until the expected big surge in the last quarter that is Battles of the heart would probably have been more appropriate since the film is concerned with affairs of the heart. The story follows a group of U.S. Marines during World War II, a collection of individuals who are all very different yet driving towards the same destiny that is laid out for them. From training to emotional strife, and from rocky beginnings to the ultimate battle, Battle Cry is big on characterisations. Walsh, for the first half, spins all the character arcs together, carefully focusing on the psychological aspects of soldiering, but it's just too talky; and in truth the second half drags at a snails pace until the flame throwers start to light up the sky. By then it's too late to save the film and our now numb derrières's.
Competently directed and acted, the film should be applauded for trying to tell a human interest story over boom boom explosive histrionics. But after being asked to accept a roll call of army stereotypes in the first place, the audience are then made to twiddle their thumbs waiting for something of interest to lurch from the screen. It never happens. Not even Whitmore throwing punches or Heflin doing grizzle can save this from being below average. 4/10
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