During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?
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During World War II, a shot-down American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain find themselves stranded on the same small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. Following war logic, each time the crafty Japanese devises something useful, he guards it to deny its use to the Yank, who then steals it, its proceeds or the idea and/or ruins it. Yet each gets his chance to kill and/or capture the other, but neither pushes this to the end. After a while of this pointless pestering, they end up joining forces to build and man a raft... Written by
Both Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune actually served in the Pacific during World War II, of course on opposing sides. Marvin's a US Marine. He was wounded during the war and received the Purple Heart during the Battle of Saipan in 1943. Mifune served in the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service. See more »
Not only is this film a fascinating account of survival against odds, its a reflection of cultural differences within a crucial historical timeframe. Its narrative may be flawed, a little too stylized, but it features two of the greatest faces of 60s cinema history: Marvin and Mifune. Looking back on the second world war, it seems ironic that the Japanese believed their culture was superior in warfare, and the Americans believed theirs was superior for peace. In the end it will turn out to be the other way around. This film touches on that subject, highlighting Marvins aggressive, loud, and brutal behavior, and Mifunes quieter, more methodical survival methods. But in their battle to survive, the two men become almost indistinguishable. The most touching scene in the film: Both men collapsed in their sinking raft, dejected, exhausted, dehydrated, totally at their mercy of nature, a symbolic scene for human life. The DVD i saw contained both endings, the original, never seen in TV prints, much more believable and satisfying.
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