Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from rebuilding it.Written by
The NAACP gave MGM two awards for presenting an African-American in an intelligent and sympathetic manner. Dore Schary deliberately did not tell writer Robert Hardy Andrews he was planning to cast an African-American as one of the soldiers, in order to avoid any racial speeches in the script. See more »
When Sgt Dane fires his 45 automatic pistol, the slide does not recoil to eject the spent cartridge case and reload the next round. See more »
Corp. Barney Todd:
You're right, Sailor. You're dead right. That's what we oughta do. Those poor civilians are havin' a tough time... havin' to give up their gas and tires and sugar... and havin' to buy bonds. We gotta keep up their morale.
Sergeant Bill Dane:
Thanks for giving us your views on the subject, Corporal.
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Closing credits epilogue: So fought the heroes of Bataan. Their sacrifice made possible our victories in the Coral and Bismark Seas, at Midway, on New Guinea and Guadalcanal. Their spirit will lead us back to Bataan! See more »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
Robert Taylor gives a gritty performance as the leader of a thrown together unit fighting a delaying action during the fall of the Philipines. Lloyd Nolan does a good job as a professional soldier with a past, Thomas Mitchell is good as the older career soldier, perhaps a bit out of shape from years of peace time duty. Robert Walkers portrayal of a young homesick sailor is a good start on his career. This 1943 movie features some of the best hand to hand combat scenes to come out of any war movie, regardless of era. The exhaustion afterwards is strikingly realistic. This movie, dialogue included, is patriotic. At the time of Bataan, there wasn't much good news as the US had suffered some devastating defeats. The characters, regardless of race or creed, are treated equally which is a real plus for that time. I first saw this movie in a theatre when I was 9, (and yes, after the movie was over, the house lights came on and the ushers passed thru the audience selling War Stamps). I liked the movie then, and like it even more now. I give it a 9.
NOTE: A previous persons comment stated that they were not even wearing American helmets. In fact, the helmets worn in the movie ARE correct for the American Army in the early 1940's.
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