Too Late the Hero (1970)

GP  |   |  Action, War, Drama  |  3 September 1970 (Italy)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,476 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 18 critic

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



(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Play Dirty (1969)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Dirty Dozen meet the Stiff Upper Lip. A British Petroleum executive (Michael Caine) is assigned to work with the British Army in North Africa handling port duties for incoming fuels. ... See full summary »

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Green
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle vs. the Nazi Germany Air Force for control of British air space to prevent a Nazi invasion of Britain.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

People in a small German village in the last valley to remain untouched by the devastating Thirty Years' War try to exist in peace with a group of soldiers occupying the valley.

Director: James Clavell
Stars: Michael Caine, Omar Sharif, Florinda Bolkan
633 Squadron (1964)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway. The factory supplies fuel for the Nazi effort to launch rockets on England during D-Day.

Director: Walter Grauman
Stars: Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris, Maria Perschy
Junior Bonner (1972)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ace Bonner returns to Arizona several years after he abandoned his family, Junior Bonner is a wild young man. Against the typical rodeo championship, family drama erupts.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino
Murphy's War (1971)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Murphy is the sole survivor of his crew, that has been massacred by a German U-Boat in the closing days of World War II. He lands on the shore somewhere on the river Orinoco delta and ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Siân Phillips, Philippe Noiret
Cross of Iron (1977)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A true WW2 story: the British Navy must find and destroy a powerful German warship.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Ian Hunter
Gold (1974)
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Rod Slater is the newly appointed general manager of the Sonderditch gold mine, but he stumbles across an ingenious plot to flood the mine, by drilling into an underground lake, so the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter R. Hunt
Stars: Roger Moore, Susannah York, Ray Milland
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the 1948 British film... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Kim Darby, Scott Wilson, Tony Musante
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WW2, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer
Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan


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 ...
William Beckley ...
Pvt. Currie
Pvt. Griffiths
Harvey Jason ...
Signalman Scott
Pvt. Connolly
Roger Newman ...
Pvt. Riddle


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


War. It's A Dying Business.


Action | War | Drama


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 September 1970 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Suicide Run  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(video compilation) | (TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


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


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Hate saved their skins, friendship made them heroes...
19 July 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

What do you know about psychological warfare? Not much I guess.

Well, this is a war movie with a major twist. It's much less about shelling the enemy or just drill some holes in him, but more about "really" to outsmart him.

An American officer, an Interpreter in Japanese, who's a real artist when it comes to avoid the battlefield, is about to get a long awaited leave when he suddenly is tasked to help a bunch of British raiders in their endeavor to capture and destroy a forward listening Japanese outpost.

Through thick and through thin (literally), men who hate each other as well as hating the American officer (played by Cliff Robertson) have to face a common enemy who masterfully hides in the Jungle.

One by one they get hunted down by the Japanese. Nevertheless, the mission succeeds, but now the remaining force has to return to base. Not an easy task, considering that the Japanese made prisoners and are using them as bait while they communicate with the only two remaining raiders (Robertson and Michael Caine). Through a microphone and various loudspeakers scattered throughout the Jungle and by performing a highly skillful and mind-shattering blackmail, they try to lure the two to surrender.

A well timed war drama, masterfully played by all the actors involved figuring Ian Bannen ("The Hill", "The Outrage" etc.), Harry Andrews ("The Hill", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Battle of Britain"), Denholm Elliot ("Raiders of the Lost Ark", "A Room with a View"), Ronald Fraser ("The Hill", "The Wild Geese") and Ken Takakura ("The Yakuza", "Antarctica", "Black Rain").

If you like two movies into one: a War Movie and a Suspense Thriller, then the price is really low.

The DVD edition is as one may expect from Anchor Bay. No extras included, except for the trailer, but the movie alone is, in my view, a tiny masterpiece and well worth the effort.

By the way, if you're looking for a similar movie, forget it. It's the only one in its genre. Think about it.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This has to be the worst war movie Ever! Rocket71288883
A great war movie featuring the BRITS matwsussx
Theme music kurt_student
Fate of the American Convoy? Glucojel
free in the mail on sunday today(uk) jinks420
1970 WWII Movie - Too Late The Hero l884196
Discuss Too Late the Hero (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: