James Cagney is Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Usn in “The Gallant Hours,” available on Blu-ray for the first time by Kino Lorber. Affectionately known as “Bull” Halsey, the movie is a biography of Halsey told in a semi-documentary style with most of the narration provided by Robert Montgomery, who introduces people, locations and explains the action occurring off stage. Montgomery, a distinguished Us Naval officer in WWII, also happens to be the director of the movie and this is his final effort on film.
The movie opens at Halsey’s retirement ceremony, incorrectly stated as 22 November 1945 (Halsey retired from active duty in March 1947). Reflecting in his cabin with his steward, retiring Chief Petty Officer Manuel Salvador Jesus Maravilla (Leon Lontoc), the movie flashes back to the Battle of Guadalcanal as Halsey takes command of American forces in the South Pacific on 16 October 1942. Once he arrives on board his flag ship,