6.8/10
2,593
41 user 20 critic

Too Late the Hero (1970)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (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
William Beckley ...
Pvt. Currie
Martin Horsey ...
Pvt. Griffiths
Harvey Jason ...
Signalman Scott
...
Pvt. Connolly
Roger Newman ...
Pvt. Riddle
Edit

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  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Robert Aldrich refused Cliff Robertson's request to attend the 1969 Academy Awards ceremony, as a flight from the Philippines to Los Angeles and back would be too time-consuming. Robertson won the Oscar - for Charly (1968) - and the crew presented him with a mock statuette made out of wood. According to Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, after the Philippine location shooting was over, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences President Gregory Peck greeted the cast as it disembarked at Los Angeles International Airport. Robertson was holding his fake Oscar when he got off the plane. As he was approached by Peck with the real statuette, Robertson threw the wood "Oscar" over his shoulder. The fake Oscar hit Michael Caine in the forehead, and caused him to bleed profusely. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Lawson confers with Col. Thompson in the HQ, the Union Flag on the wall behind Col. Thompson is upside down. In another shot, it is up the right way. During the shoot at Cubi Point in he Philippines, someone stole the flag sometime during the night. They had to send to Hong Kong for another one and the new one was replaced the right way up. See more »

Quotes

Capt. John G. Nolan: [Sarcastically referring to Lawson whom he secunded to the British] They're gonna love him!
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

 
A commando in Pacific Ocean is sent beyond enemy lines for a suicidal mission against Japanese
18 February 2009 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

This taut war film is set during spring 1942 WWII, a superior officer(Henry Fonda) assigns a reluctant American lieutenant (Clift Robertson) a dangerous mission in island of New Hebridas . At the island of Pacific , British military rule over the South region, while Japanese govern the North part . The goal of US Navy turns out to be the occupying the Japanese zone . For getting the objective is necessary destroying a radio station from Japanese . The lieutenant goes to the regiment commanded by a colonel (Harry Andrews) joining forces for participate the suicidal mission . It's formed a commando under orders a captain (Denholm Elliott) and a motley gang of soldiers released after fall of Singapur , as a tough sergeant (Percy Herbert who was actually a prisoner of the Japanese Army in The Second World War) , a mad soldier (Ian Bannen), a despicable private (Ronald Frazer) , among them.

This exciting war movie contains thrills , noisy action , rousing adventure , tension , lots of violence and twists and turns . Well made plot is based on a story by Robert Sherman and the same director Robert Aldrich . The powerful Aldrich camera crams in as much shock impact as possible . The picture kept afloat by the skills of their all-star cast formed by largely British actors . Michael Caine as a cynical soldier sustains and compels interest by careful concentration on his acting with cockney accent . Clift Robertson as lieutenant avoiding patriotism , gives a good performance , as always . There're strong portrayals by Ronald Fraser as a rogue private and Ken Takakura as Japanese officer . Thrilling and suspenseful musical score by musician Gerard Fried, Stanley Kubrik's usual . Nice cinematography by Joseph Biroc reflecting appropriately the lush jungle . Tense and brilliant direction by Robert Aldrich , a warlike (Dirty Dozen,Attack) and Western (Ulzana's raid , Apache , Veracruz) expert . It's a must see and a standout in its genre .


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