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The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 4 July 1944 (USA)
When the U.S. forces withdraw from Java, ahead of the Japanese invasion, U.S. Navy doctor Corydon M. Wassell coordinates the remaining wounded servicemen and leads them to safety towards the last Allied evacuation points.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Alan Le May (screenplay) (as Alan LeMay), Charles Bennett (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Dr. Corydon M. Wassell
Laraine Day ... Madeleine
Signe Hasso ... Bettina
Dennis O'Keefe ... Benjamin 'Hoppy' Hopkins
Carol Thurston ... Tremartini (Three Martini)
Carl Esmond ... Lt. Dirk Van Daal
Paul Kelly ... Murdock
Elliott Reid ... William 'Andy' Anderson
Stanley Ridges ... Cmdr. William B. 'Bill' Goggins
Renny McEvoy ... Johnny Leeweather
Oliver Thorndike Oliver Thorndike ... Alabam
Philip Ahn ... Ping
Barbara Britton ... Ruth
Learn more

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Storyline

As the Japanese sweep through the East Indies during World War II, Dr. Wassell is determined to escape from Java with some crewmen of the cruiser Marblehead. Based on a true story of how Dr. Wassell saved a dozen or so wounded sailors who were left behind when able bodied men were evacuated to Australia. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Drama of Loyalty and Love! The Story the Whole World Has Heard About!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Goofs

During the evacuation convoy, the trucks are alternately shown on paved and dirt roads between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Corydon M. Wassell: Only those who are able to walk can go. All stretcher cases must stay here.
Cmdr. William B. 'Bill' Goggins: Let me see that, Cory. Well, that dry docks me, doesn't it?
Dr. Corydon M. Wassell: Bill...
Dutch Army Captain: You must choose the men you are taking, Doctor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing Paramount logo Cecil B. DeMille addresses the audience over a blank screen: "Ladies and gentlemen just a moment please. Since the completion of The Story of Dr. Wassell, we have heard that Hoppy is alive. A prisoner of war of the Japanese. Thank you." See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

User Reviews

 
DeMille, Technicolor, Cooper and Laraine Day...nice combo...
14 December 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

GARY COOPER is a dedicated Naval doctor during World War II tending to the wounded in Java where a shipload of men are wounded and expecting an attack by the Japanese. LARAINE DAY is the lovely woman he loves and who stands by him when the going gets rough.

The Technicolor photography is a big asset in making the war scenes more realistic and the men really look like damaged goods in their bandages and splints--two of whom are played by PAUL KELLY and DENNIS O'KEEFE. O'Keefe shares a wobbly, artificial sub-plot romance with a nurse (CAROL THURSTON) who looks after him. Ditto for SIGNE HASSO and ELLIOT REID. However, all of the scenes in the infirmary have an authentic look, thanks to DeMille's eye for detail.

The wounded men are full of high spirits and hi-jinks but Cooper is told that 60,000 Japs have landed in Java nearby and none of the wounded would have a chance to escape. It's up to him to devise a plan where he can help some of the wounded escape.

The action scenes are fine but there's too many lulls in between with clumsy use of flashbacks involving Wassell's romance with Laraine Day and some tediously repetitious scenes of wounded men suffering further wounds when the men try to make an escape with the aid of British troops.

Certainly not a typical Cecil B. DeMille vehicle, but Cooper gives a decent performance.

The running time is too long because the flabby screenplay is sidetracked by poorly handled flashback segments. The sub-plot with Dennis O'Keefe's character just doesn't work and the whole story takes too long to tell.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. DeMille's The Story of Dr. Wassell See more »

Filming Locations:

Metapa, Chiapas, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,720,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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