Set during the Pacific War against the Japanese, this WW2 drama discerns between achieving one's mission at any cost versus preserving the lives under one's command and enforcing discipline through fear as opposed to mutual respect.
Gilliat,a fisherman/smuggler is in jail, and is offered a pardon, if he undertakes a mission to sail to France to rescue Douchette, an English agent, whose cover has been blown,and who has now been jailed. Gilliat accepts the challenge.
Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot ... See full summary »
In the Pacific during World War 2, the officers live a comfortable life with good food, good drink and good quarters. To them, war is a game which they know they will win and the common soldiers are the pawns on the board. When the campaign slows down, the Commander sends a squad to the top of a mountain behind enemy lines to report on the Japanese troop movements. The squad is commanded by a tough cynical Sergeant who takes no prisoners and even takes the gold from the teeth of the enemy dead. Before the mission starts, the lieutenant, who has had a cushy job due to a life of wealth and privilege, criticizes the Commander over his attitude towards the common soldier and is re-assigned to lead the squad. The veteran Sergeant wants to complete this mission as ordered, and he will do everything he can do to see that it is successful. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
This film was originally to be released by RKO Radio Pictures, but by the time it was ready for release, that studio had closed down and the film was distributed by Warner Bros. It may be the only instance where the logos of both companies appear on the same film See more »
In the film, General Cummings is shown to be a Brigadier (one star) General. In the Norman Mailer novel on which the film is based, General Cummings is a Major General (two stars), the normal rank an Army division commander holds. See more »
It's 1943. A group of men set off for a Pacific island in a campaign headed by General Cummings (Raymond Massey). He's dictatorial and wants his men to fear him more than the enemy. His aide Lt Hearn (Cliff Robertson) is an idealist living under the shadow of his legendary father. Cummings sends Sgt Croft (Aldo Ray) and his men into the jungle on a seemingly pointless mission to test a mountain pass that should be easily defended by the Japanese. Croft is a hard-nosed leader who kills prisoners and has his men dig gold from the dead's teeth. After a dispute with Cummings, Hearn is also sent on the mission. Cummings goes off to headquarters to argue for more troops to stage a big attack. However the small pointless mission may actually hold the key to the island.
This is based on Norman Mailer's novel which he infuses with some of his war experiences. First off, I don't like the start in Honolulu and the flashbacks. They take the audience out of the war experience. It feels melodramatic and old school like a bad 50s war movie. At its best, the movie has a feel of Malick's film 'The Thin Red Line'. The wide field of grass and shots that come out of nowhere give the movie a feeling of foreboding. The cast of characters get scattered in the mission. There is a message being delivered but it's a bit muddled. The movie needs to narrow the focus.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this