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This is only the second Audie Murphy movie set in WWII after his autobiographical "To Hell and Back." Here Murphy steps out of his usual kid-Western role to play a civilian working for the Navy helping supply guerilla insurgents in the Philippines. His sole motive is not politics nor bravery, but to find his bride from whom he was separated during the Japanese invasion two years before. Written by
Battle at Bloody Beach was one of Audie Murphy's attempts to get away from the western casting where he did so well and should have stayed in his career. It bears some resemblance to John Wayne's Back to Bataan and Tyrone Power's An American Guerrilla in the Phillipines in subject matter.
But the latter had the advantage of great color cinematography and was shot in the actual scenes of the Phillipines. This particular cheapie was done on Catalina, it looks like it was done over a couple of long weekends.
The plot as it were has Murphy as an American running supplies to the Filipino insurrectionists and discovering his wife, Dolores Michaels believing he was dead, having taken up with Filipino guerrilla Alejandro Rey both politically and personally. That leads to some tense moments as Murphy leads some refugees away from the oncoming Japanese.
The battle itself is the climax as Murphy with Gary Crosby and assorted help mows down row after row of charging Japanese. Now why the Japanese commander didn't size up the situation and wait for some artillery before getting all his troops slaughtered in a charge is a mystery to me.
I'll be willing to bet that somewhere in the financing of this film was Gary's father who was always doing things like that for his sons. Good thing Bing had the sense to keep his name off the credits if he did.
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