6.8/10
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Too Late the Hero (1970)

A reluctant hero, American Lieutenant Sam Lawson, is secunded to a motley British unit tasked with destroying a Japanese radio on a Philippine island.

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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lt. Sam Lawson
...
Pvt. Jock Thornton
...
...
Pvt. Campbell
...
Lance Percival ...
Cpl. McLean
...
Sgt. Johnstone
Patrick Jordan ...
Sergeant Major
Sam Kydd ...
Colour-Sergeant
...
Pvt. Currie
Martin Horsey ...
Pvt. Griffiths
...
Signalman Scott
...
Pvt. Connolly
Roger Newman ...
Pvt. Riddle
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Storyline

A WWII film set on a Pacific island. Japanese and allied forces occupy different parts of the island. When a group of British soldiers are sent on a mission behind enemy lines, things don't go exactly to plan. This film differs in that some of the 'heros' are very reluctant, but they come good when they are pursued by the Japanese who are determined to prevent them returning to base. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

War. It's A Dying Business.

Genres:

Action | War | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1970 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Suicide Run  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video compilation) | (TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Percy Herbert was a prisoner of the Japanese Army in World War II. See more »

Goofs

The British Vickers machine gun had an effective range of 810 yds (740m), but could be used for indirect fire at distances up to 4500 yards (4100m). The British 2-inch mortar had a range of 500 yards (457m). Given that the mortars can reach the edge of the jungle, that gives the width of the open field as around that distance (500 yds). The Japanese Arisaka rifle had an effective range of 400m (360 yds), which would put the British troops out of range. However, the Japanese infantry are seen using a Type 99 Light Machine Gun. This had a range of up to 1600 yds (1500m), though its effective range was more likely considerably less. This means that the British soldiers would not be out of range of this weapon when they stood behind their weapons pits, though it is unlikely the Japanese would try to hit them at that distance. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Tosh Hearne: [to Lawson] Getting ourselves killed is not going to make any difference to anyone except us.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rainbow Bridge (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Teddy Bear's Picnic
Written by John W. Bratton
Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
Sung by the patrol as it leaves the base
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Time. Another Place
21 August 2001 | by (Isle of Bute, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Film Makers in Hollywood weren`t allowed to make anti-vietnam war films in the late 60`s , early 70`s so they decided to make allegories instead. Famous examples are MASH and SOLDIER BLUE. What strikes me is that no one ever refers to this great war film as the definitive Hollywood proxy Nam statement.

The story is simple : Soldiers carry out dangerous mission. But these soldiers are badly led and totally reluctant to carry out their duty. They`d rather " frag " their commander and go home than earn medals . And war isn`t shown as a glorious thing , it`s brutal , dehumanising and most of all terrifying. Also watch out for the very humane portrayal of the enemy officer. Is it sympathy for the Japanese or the Vietnamese that he`s shown this way ?

I could point out all the things I love about this film but it`d take too long. The only two things I disliked about TOO LATE THE HERO was a couple of plot holes. First one`s the fact that the Japanese are good at stopping the enemy from escaping the jungle but are totally hopeless at letting them enter it in the first place ! A major strategic mistake I`d have thought. Secondly Lawson decides he wants to carry out his mission after all which turns him into a bit of a cliche. But don`t let that put you off. TOO LATE THE HERO is compelling , bloody and intelligent.


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