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Women of Valor (1986)

Story of a group of U.S. Army nurses in the Philippines during World War II who are captured and imprisoned by Japanese troops during the invasion of the Philippines.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Col. Margaret Ann Jessup
T.J. Nolan
Lt. Helen Prescott
Lt. Katherine R. Grace
Suzanne Lederer ...
Lt. Gail Polson
Patrick Bishop ...
Capt. Matome Nakayama
Maj. Tom Patterson
Lady Judith Eason
Capt. Rader
Paraplegic soldier
Capt. Chris Wyatt
Marilyn Redfield ...
Mrs. Carstairs
Gô Awazu ...
Sgt. Takijiro Kodama (as Go Awazu)
Rey Malonzo ...
Sgt. Ramos
Ken Metcalfe ...
Col. Sidell


Col. Jessup (Susan Sarandon), an American military nurse, presents a case for a bronze medal with Valor to a military hearing. She tells her story of being taken prisoner in the Phillipines by the Japanese during WWII. Having survived a death march from Bataan Col. Jessup is put into a POW camp run by the enemy. She and her fellow prisoners struggle for survival, working 14 hour days with limited food and no medical supplies. After almost three years the prisoners are liberated by American forces. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the Phillipines, 1942, a group of American Army nurses survived the horrors of war. The real battle was the terror and abuse of enemy captivity. This is a story of their courage and triumph.


Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Women of Valour  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Just before the TV movie aired, a group of women who were actually held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II claimed the movie was unrealistic and did not portray what they endured. See more »


God Bless America
Written by Irving Berlin
Courtesy of Irving Berlin Music Corporation
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User Reviews

Fine TV movie about some valiant nurses cruelly prisoned in Japanese POW camp
1 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

An intense and haunting television movie set in Philippines about of the horrors of war during WWII . The film is dedicated to the one hundred and four Army and Navy nurses who were incarcerated by the Japanese during WWII . Although it is a work of fiction , this movie is representative of the collective courage and the experiences of the American Forces who served in the Philippines. It starts in 1941 at Luzon island , some nurses stationed in Philippines are captured by the Japanese and struggle to survive in brutal POW camp in the Far East. This is a true story, exterior scenes were photographed wherever possible in Philippines in the exact locales associated with the event as related by the nurses . The happenings throw the whole group into Bataan towards Corregidor, but later are imprisoned hard concentration camp . Their confinement is recounted in unsparing and harrowing detail , as the British nurses find themselves interned for the long duration . As orders from Nipponese Army Administration are strict as men and women will be imprisoned separately , to avoid punishments and beatings , the ladies should presume themselves to endeavor , with passive behavior not negative . Meanwhile, the starring starred by Susan Sarandon suffering a surreal and brutal experience ; however , she attempts to lift the spirits of the brutalized women. Some of them are cruelly attacked , mistreated and raped. Finally , General McArthur disembarks at Leyte and carries out his known promise.

Interesting and strong drama based on autobiographical deeds starred by the brave nurses . No weakest in the cast and few in the movie , which presents the women's Japanese captors as human and inhuman at the same time with clashing cultures included and also laudable for a fairly event-handed portrayal of the enemy captors . Clearly there's much longer plot in this, but director Buzz Kulik concentrates on the passionate acting of Sarandon and other nurses . It's a taut psychological drama about physical and emotional survival focusing on the tensions between Susan Sarandon , soldiers and the camp commander as cultured officer. Crammed with emotive moments , the picture has a string of committed performances from Sarandon , Kristy McNichol , Valerie McChaffey, Suzanne Lederer , Terry O'Quinn , among others . Familiar ground is trod in this prisoner-of-war saga , but the thought-provoking story and magnificent acting help sustain interest. Musical score by the maestro French George Delerue is genuinely moving and stirring .This superior though overlooked drama , is also laudable for a fairly portrayal of the enemy captors and being professionally directed by Buzz Kulik. Rating : 6,5 ,better than average , worthwhile watching .

Other films about women on concentration camps mistreated by Japanese military during WWII are the following : the classic titled ¨Three came home¨(1950) by Jean Negulesco with Claudette Cobert and Patric Knowles and ¨Paradise road¨(1997) by Bruce Beresford with Glenn Close , Julianna Margulies and Frances McDormand , set in Singapur

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