Uneducated and poor, Libby lives a sheltered life in a broken down shack with her unloving parents. When a work crew of San Quentin convicts arrives to put in a new road, she takes an ... See full summary »
In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
The Army nurses on Bataan need help badly, but when it arrives, it sure isn't what they expected. A motley crew, including a Southern belle, a waitress, and a stripper, show up. Many conflicts arise among these women who are thrown together in what is a desperate and ultimately hopeless situation.Written by
Cry Havoc was based on a play by Allan Kenward which the Shuberts produced on Broadway and ran for a grand total of 11 performances over the Christmas/New Year's days of 1942-43. But what flops on Broadway can sometimes be a great success on screen and vice versa.
In this case the subject matter had already been thoroughly covered in the Paramount film So Proudly We Hail and Cry Havoc runs a distinct second to that film. Like the Paramount film, Cry Havoc deals with nurses in the Phillipines after Pearl Harbor and their experiences during the Japanese attack.
Margaret Sullavan was fulfilling the terms of an MGM contract with this movie. Afterwards she would concentrate on the stage and would only do one more film years later, No Sad Songs For Me. She plays the no nonsense army nurse with several new charges rushed up to the Bataan front among them Joan Blondell and Ann Sothern. Fay Bainter played Sullavan's superior and she also was winding up her MGM contract as well.
There are no substantial male roles in this film, they're seen briefly in fighting roles and of course as casualties. If you don't blink you'll see Robert Mitchum utter a couple of words and then die. Sullavan and Sothern have a rivalry going over an unseen army lieutenant.
In fact on the set they had a rivalry going as well. According to a recent biography of Margaret Sullavan, she and Sothern did not get along so their scenes together had some real bite. Sullavan felt that Sothern was slipping into her popular Maisie character for which she was doing a B picture series for MGM.
Cry Havoc should be seen because anything that has Margaret Sullavan should be seen as she left us way too few films for posterity. But this really is quite inferior to So Proudly We Hail.
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