A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to ... See full summary »
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A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal. Written by
Chris Stone <email@example.com>
Rear Admirals Scott and Callaghan were both killed in action in the naval battle of Guadalcanal. Admiral Halsey, who received a promotion, asked that his stars be given to the widows of the two men because, he said, their actions earned him that promotion. Halsey could not have known it at the time, but Admiral Scott was killed in a friendly fire incident aboard the USS Atlanta when it was accidentally fired upon by the USS San Francisco. See more »
When Admiral Halsey visits with Marines on Guadalcanal, they wear camouflage covers on their helmets. In fact, those covers were not in use on Guadalcanal, and Marines there wore bare M1 helmets. A few may have worn burlap as a helmet cover, a practice picked up from Marine Raiders. But camouflage covers of the kind used in the movie were not present on Guadalcanal. (Reference: United States Marine Corps Uniforms, Insignia and Personal Items of World War II by Harlan Glenn) See more »
A war film without action makes this picture almost unique. The message is that wars are fought with character as much as gun fire. Cagney's performance is subtle and deeply felt. One scene in particular in the final half hour should be watched carefully: a 45-second shot of Cagney sitting at his desk with a cup of coffee as the consequences of his decision run through his mind in the form of off-screen battle sounds. The camera patiently draws in on his face, as his expression grown more grim. Cagney's expression and eyes have a power that burns through the screen like a magnificent still life summing up the enormous responsibility of command. Also, the choral music throughout adds a great weight and sense of secular reverence to the tone of the film. In a way, "Gallant Hours" is comparable to "Command Decision," in that it takes us, as one other viewer put it, behind the scenes of battle.
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