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Objective, Burma! (1945)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 17 February 1945 (USA)
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2:15 | Trailer

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A platoon of special ops are tasked to parachute into the remote Burmese jungle and destroy a strategic Japanese radar station, but getting out isn't as easy.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Ranald MacDougall (screenplay), Lester Cole (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Errol Flynn ... Capt. Nelson
James Brown ... SSgt. Treacy
William Prince ... Lt. Sid Jacobs
George Tobias ... Cpl. Gabby Gordon
Henry Hull ... Mark Williams
Warner Anderson ... Col. J. Carter
John Alvin ... Hogan
Mark Stevens ... Lt. Barker (as Stephen Richards)
Richard Erdman ... Pvt. Nebraska Hooper (as Dick Erdman)
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Storyline

A group of men parachute into Japanese-occupied Burma with a dangerous and important mission: to locate and blow up a radar station. They accomplish this well enough, but when they try to rendezvous at an old air-strip to be taken back to their base, they find Japanese waiting for them, and they must make a long, difficult walk back through enemy-occupied jungle. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Doorway to Japan !

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

17 February 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Objective Burma See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Springs, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to William Prince, the only direction given by Raoul Walsh was, "All right, boys, no 'Hamlets' in the jungle." See more »

Goofs

When Errol Flynn is signaling the plane with shiny metal plate, from the airplane shot you can see the mirror location moving rapidly across the ground. Flynn, of course, was stationary. See more »

Quotes

Cpl. Gabby Gordon: [about Nelson to the other men] C'm'on! I'll follow him down the barrel of a cannon!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: This story has a conclusion but not an end- It will end only when the evil forces of Japan are totally destroyed. This film is gratefully dedicated to the men of the American, British, Chinese and Indian Armies, without whose heroic efforts Burma would still be in the hands of the Japanese. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints of "Objective Burma!" have been cut to 127 minutes. Also shown in computer-coloured version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Example of the Genre
26 January 2005 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

A good example of a Warner Brothers war drama, it's full of clichés appropriate to the times. The Japanese are "moral idiots," "savages," and "monkeys" (three times). Men shout and wave at a search plane two or three miles away (three times). The men are the usual congeries of ethnicity -- "Gabby" Gordon hollers "Mazeltov" at the departing Sweeney. (Hold on a moment. I'll have to think that one over. I'll also have to figure out how Lt. Sidney Jacobs acquired a Catholic dog tag.) Franz Waxman's music is just catchy enough, without being in the least distinguished. The jungle looks like a dressed-up Santa Anita with eucalyptus trees instead of ebony. The dialogue tends to run along lines like -- "Here we are in the muck and mire." "Hi, Muck!" "Hi, Mire!" Just at the end, when the remaining handful of paratroopers are in despair, the cavalry comes riding to the rescue.

I guess that gets the time-trapped stuff out of the way. This is far from an insulting cartoon of a movie. At its best, it captures the kind of utter physical exhaustion that Norman Mailer caught in his novel, "The Naked and the Dead." It's essentially a "journey" movie. Flynn, who is not bad, and his men are parachuted into Burma to destroy a radar station. Mission accomplished without casualties, they find their pick-up airfield swarming with enemy soldiers and must slog their way out through swamps and over mountains, the trip punctuated by bloody encounters with the Japanese.

Not that the battles are literally bloody. I don't think a drop of blood is spilled in the entire movie despite multiple opportunities. "Saving Private Ryan" is one way to tell a horrifying story -- very explicitly -- but the suggestion that is used in this film is equally effective, as hard as that may be to believe. Maybe the most jarring and moving moment in the film is when Flynn's group finds their friends tortured and killed by the Japanese. Flynn's friend, Jacobs, is barely alive. We see only his legs as Flynn kneels over him and identifies himself. The viewer can only imagine what Jacob's face -- and his eyes -- must look like as he whispers, "Nelson? Is that you, Nelson? Will you do me a favor, Nelson? Kill me?" The movie is a long one but it really needs to be long or we wouldn't so readily feel the agony and the desperation of these dying men. It's long enough for us to get to know the men as more than just anonymous soldiers too.

And the dialogue has its redeeming moments. When the middle-aged journalist is found dead near his foxhole, a supporting player, James Brown, stands over the body and says sincerely but not overdramatically, "Gee, I'm sorry, Mister Williams. Awfully sorry." And when Flynn leads his pitiful group of survivors finally into the base, his commanding officer shakes his hand, gives him a light, and tells him, "You don't know how important it was for you to take that radar station." Flynn says simply, "Here's what it cost," and hands him a fistful of identity tags.

It's an example not of art but of Hollywood craftsmanship. Engaging, and nicely done.


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