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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>
Old blue eyes directs and co-stars in this pacific WW2 film with an emphasised anti-war message, where a unit of American soldiers are stranded along with a small contingent of Japanese soldiers on a small island, reluctantly agreeing to co-operate under a temporary truce to overcome challenges they collectively face. Big Clint Walker is the leader, with the tough exterior and soft centre of an egg, who despite a willingness to adapt to the unique circumstances, never loses sight of the overall picture, unlike Sinatra, who is flagrantly defiant in his pacifism.
Three reasons to invest the hour and forty in this film are it's battle scenes, bloody and generally well staged, an unexpected shark attack, and of course, if worship Sinatra, then you get two for the price of one as he co-stars and directs. The scenery is reminiscent of other films of the ilk and era, most notably "PT109", although there's more hand to hand combat present in this picture.
Unfortunately the key aspect of the picture that didn't work for me was the jingoist attempt at pathos, and its predictable conclusion. The sentiment was over-the-top at times, in point of fact, the film's closing line "nobody ever wins" seemed a laboured self-indulgent political commentary that didn't need to be so obvious. Better than John Wayne's "The Green Berets" which espoused similar anti-war themes, but not what I'd consider to be among the better movies depicting war in the pacific (e.g. "Beach Red").
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