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Sammy Davis Jr.
American and Japanese soldiers, stranded on a tiny Pacific island during World War II, must make a temporary truce and cooperate to survive various tribulations. Told through the eyes of the American and Japanese unit commanders, who must deal with an atmosphere of growing distrust and tension between their men. Written by
Martin Booda <email@example.com>
There's a clumsiness to 1965's "None But The Brave" that you really shouldn't let get in your way of the film. The clumsiness is due to Frank Sinatra's direction -- he was a far, far better actor than a director, and wisely chose never to direct another film -- and it exposes itself most prominently in the film's heavy-handed "flashback" sequences.
Having gotten that out of the way, let's consider the film itself. World War II, a small island in the Pacific: a group of marooned GIs find themselves sharing space with an equally marooned group of Japanese soldiers. Reluctantly, a truce evolves; each side has something the other needs. During that truce, enemies develop -- if not a true friendship -- at least an understanding, an empathy, and a respect for, each other. This truce, of course, cannot endure. The outside world -- and the war -- must impose itself, and each side reacts according to its own sense of honor and duty. Rightly so.
Some reviewers have chosen to label this an 'anti-war' film. Perhaps it is. Myself, I prefer to think of it, rather, as a 'pro-humanity' film, one which recognizes that man will pit himself against man time and time again, and for reasons that may or may not be the best, but that -- in the end -- we can, each of us, even in the midst of the most horrific conflict imaginable, step away, even if only for the briefest of moments (or truces), and deal with each other as human beings.
That's what happens in "None But The Brave."
And if the ending is less than satisfactory, maybe it serves to makes us each wish for a better one . . . and a better world!
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