|Index||3 reviews in total|
This is a typical b-grade film from the era, however, there seems to be a
lot of effort to create the feel of being in the Phillipines during the
dreadful Japanese occupation. The thing that this film does deliver on,
showing how the Filipino resistance was so passionate about being in the
game, taking sides with the Americans where it was possible, and working
guerillas against the Japanese occupation.
Interestingly, women are presented as guerilla leaders and fighters in this 1961 piece. The version I saw had terrible audio sync, and was obviously taken from a brittle celluloid print, so there were some missing moments, but overall, a worthy effort on an obviously small budget
This movie was actor George Montgomery's directorial debut, and he also
co-wrote the script. It starts off very promising, with scenes that
look like serious time was spent to set up, as well as a brisk pace.
Unfortunately, after the first twenty or so minutes pass, the movie quickly falls apart. Much of the movie is a long slog through jungle terrain, which gets boring pretty fast. The action sequences (the few that there are) show no flair or effort to try and make them exciting. And even though the lead character is missing a hand, practically NOTHING is done with this. With almost no rewriting, the movie could be played with a character with two hands.
There are a few unintended laughs, like how Montgomery's character is made to be supposedly irresistible to women, but overall this is a movie you can safely miss, even if you're a George Montgomery fan. However, if you must watch it, make an effort to find the best print possible. The movie is now in the public domain, and the PD print I watched had unbelievably poor sound quality.
George Montgomery who starred in Huk which was the story of the
Communist Hukbalahap rebels uprising a few years earlier returns to the
Phillipines and not only stars, but directs The Steel Claw a story from
the very early days in the Pacific War. The location shooting aided
somewhat, but this is a really bad film technically with terrible
audio. I doubt we'll see a restoration of this either any time soon.
The character Montgomery plays is a Marine captain and wouldn't you know it he's lost his right hand right before the attack on the Phillipines. He's spent a lot of time in the Corps between the World Wars and managed not to see action, not Nicaragua, not Haiti, not China, apparently he was never sent where there was any fighting. We're not sure how he lost his arm, but it wasn't a purple heart injury.
So Montgomery's going home by way of a PT Boat which has to pick up an army general who's been captured and they want to rescue lest he gives any military secrets. When the first plan doesn't work and the boat captain is killed, Montgomery says he's expendable and he goes off in the jungle looking for a Filipino resistance leader and former bandit to help.
All of this is for Montgomery to prove something to himself. He accomplishes his mission. As for the general, well he's something else.
Not likely to see a restoration or a remake.
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