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They Were Expendable ()


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The PT boat unit Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three defends the Philippines from Japanese invasion during World War II.

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Cast verified as complete

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Lt. John Brickley (as Robert Montgomery Comdr. U.S.N.R.)
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Lt. (J.G.) 'Rusty' Ryan
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Lt. Sandy Davyss
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General Martin
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'Boats' Mulcahey C.B.M.
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Ens. 'Snake' Gardner
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Ens. 'Andy' Andrews
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Major James Morton
Arthur Walsh ...
Seaman Jones
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Lt. (J.G.) 'Shorty' Long / Radio Announcer
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Ens. George Cross
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Ens. Tony Aiken
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'Slug' Mahan T.M. 1c
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'Squarehead' Larsen SC 2c
Jack Pennick ...
'Doc'
Alex Havier ...
'Benny' Lecoco ST 3c
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Admiral Blackwell
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The General
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Elder Tompkins M.M. 2c
Tim Murdock ...
Ens. Brant
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'Ohio'
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'Dad' Knowland
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Army Doctor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Priest (scenesDeleted)
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Army Orderly (uncredited)
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Naval Officer (uncredited)
Bill Barnum ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
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Officer's Wife (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
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Lieutenant Colonel (uncredited)
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Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Charles Calhoun ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
James Carlisle ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
John Carlyle ...
Lt. James (uncredited)
Jack Carrington ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Bruce Carruthers ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Tony Carson ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Commander (uncredited)
Fred Coby ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Roger Cole ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Jane Crowley ...
Officer's Wife (uncredited)
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Sailor (uncredited)
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Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Marjorie Davies ...
Nurse (uncredited)
Patrick Davis ...
Pilot (uncredited)
Gary Delmar ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Larry Dods ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Ernest Dominguez ...
Filipino Boy (uncredited)
Frank Donahue ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
William 'Red' Donahue ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
George Economides ...
Bartender's Child (uncredited)
Michael Economides ...
Bartender's Child (uncredited)
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Boat Crewman (uncredited)
Frank Eldredge ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
John Epper ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
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(uncredited)
Charles Ferguson ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Leonard Fisher ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Lee Tung Foo ...
Asian Bartender (uncredited)
Art Foster ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
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Officer's Wife (uncredited)
Mary Jane French ...
Lost Nurse (uncredited)
Jon Gilbreath ...
Submarine Commander (uncredited)
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Sailor (uncredited)
Duke Green ...
PT-41 Boat Starboard Torpedoman (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ...
Marine Major (uncredited)
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Bar Patron (uncredited)
Del Hill ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
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Bartender at Manila Hotel (uncredited)
Vincent Isla ...
Filipino Schoolteacher (uncredited)
Dick Karl ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Michael Kirby ...
Boat Crewman (uncredited)
Michael Kostrick ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Stubby Kruger ...
Boat Crewman (uncredited)
Jack Lee ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Donald S. Lewis ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Jack Lorenz ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Officer's Wife (uncredited)
Trina Lowe ...
Gardner's Girlfriend (uncredited)
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Naval Air Captain (uncredited)
Ted Lundigan ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
James Magill ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Eve March ...
Nurse (uncredited)
Maurice Marks ...
Soldier (uncredited)
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Airport Officer (uncredited)
Merrill McCormick ...
Wounded Officer at Airport (uncredited)
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'Slim' - Bearded CPO (uncredited)
Leonard Mellin ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Minor Role (uncredited)
Karl Miller ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Henry Mirelez ...
Filipino Boy (uncredited)
Margaret Morton ...
Bartender's Wife (uncredited)
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Officer (uncredited)
Charles Murray Jr. ...
Jeep Driver (uncredited)
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Navy Captain (uncredited)
Bill Neff ...
Submarine Skipper / Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Bill Nind ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
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Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Silver Dollar Bartender (uncredited)
Max Ong ...
Mayor of Cebu (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ...
Naval Officer (uncredited)
Frank Pershing ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Nino Pipitone Jr. ...
Bartender's Child (uncredited)
Dan Quigg ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Robert Shelby Randall ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Clifford Rathjen ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Joey Ray ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
William McKeever Riley ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Jack Ross ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
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Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Harold Schlickenmayer ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ...
Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Ernest Seftig ...
Naval Officer (uncredited)
Jack Semple ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Brent Shugar ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Sam Simone ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Reginald Simpson ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Leslie Sketchley ...
Marine Orderly (uncredited)
Ralph Soncuya ...
Filipino Orderly (uncredited)
Les Stanford ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Sammy - Boat Crewman (uncredited)
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Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
Robert Strong ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
Bob Thom ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Roy Thomas ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Richard Thorne ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
Pacita Tod-Tod ...
Nightclub Singer (uncredited)
Brad Towne ...
Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
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Officer at Airport (uncredited)
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Captain at Airport (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ...
Naval Doctor (uncredited)
Eleanore Vogel ...
Officer's Wife (uncredited)
Hansel Warner ...
Officer at Airport (uncredited)
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Sgt. Smith (uncredited)
Roque Ybarra Jr. ...
Bartender's Child (uncredited)

Directed by

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John Ford ... (as John Ford Captain U.S.N.R.)
Robert Montgomery ... (uncredited)

Written by

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William L. White ... (book)
 
Frank Wead ... (screenplay) (as Frank Wead Comdr. U.S.N. {Ret})
 
Norman Corwin ... () (uncredited)
 
George Froeschel ... () (uncredited)
 
Jan Lustig ... (screenplay) (uncredited)

Produced by

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John Ford ... producer
Cliff Reid ... associate producer

Music by

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Herbert Stothart ... (musical score)

Cinematography by

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Joseph H. August ... director of photography (as Joseph H. August Lt. Comdr. U.S.N.R.)

Film Editing by

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Douglass Biggs
Frank E. Hull

Art Direction by

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Malcolm Brown
Cedric Gibbons

Set Decoration by

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Edwin B. Willis ... (set decorations)

Costume Design by

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Yvonne Wood ... (uncredited)

Makeup Department

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Jack Dawn ... makeup creator
Sam Palo ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

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Gilbert Kurland ... unit manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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James Curtis Havens ... second units director (as James C. Havens Captain U.S.M.C.R.)
Edward O'Fearna ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

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Ralph S. Hurst ... associate set decorator
Neil Wheeler ... props (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Douglas Shearer ... recording director
James Z. Flaster ... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)
Lowell Kinsall ... unit mixer (uncredited)
Robert Shirley ... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)
Newell Sparks ... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)
William Steinkamp ... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)
Michael Steinore ... sound effects (uncredited)
John A. Williams ... re-recording and effects mixer (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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A. Arnold Gillespie ... special effects
Donald Jahraus ... special effects (uncredited)
R.A. MacDonald ... special effects (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Mark Davis ... matte paintings camera (uncredited)
Donald Jahraus ... miniatures assistant (uncredited)
Warren Newcombe ... matte paintings (uncredited)

Stunts

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Duke Green ... stunts (uncredited)
George Magrill ... stunts (uncredited)
Maurice Marks ... stunts (uncredited)
Kermit Maynard ... stunts (uncredited)
Frank McGrath ... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Emillo Calori ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Herbert Fischer ... second camera operator (uncredited)
Vic Jones ... gaffer (uncredited)
Harrold Weinberger ... first assistant camera (uncredited)

Music Department

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Harold Byrns ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alberto Colombo ... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Murray Cutter ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Wally Heglin ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Frederick Herbert ... music mixer (uncredited)
M.J. McLaughlin ... music mixer (uncredited)
Eric Zeisl ... composer: stock music (uncredited)

Other crew

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John Banse ... script clerk (uncredited)
Robert Montgomery ... director: rear projection plates (uncredited)
Gladys Norvell ... assistant research director (uncredited)
George Richelavie ... research director (uncredited)
Ernest Seftig ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

In the wake of Pearl Harbor's surprise attack, World War II hero, Lt. John Brickley's experimental squadron of agile fast-attack Patrol Torpedo boats is sent to warm and humid Manila to avert a potentially imminent Japanese invasion. As he and his second-in-command, Lieutenant "Rusty" Ryan, desperately try to prove the newly-founded naval unit's worth, the enemy launches a devastating all-out attack--and despite the PT boat flotilla's undeniable success--the considerably outnumbered and outgunned American soldiers are fighting a losing battle. Little by little, the Philippine campaign is doomed to cave in, as comrades-in-arms perish in the sea. Is there glory in defeat? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Keywords
Taglines A Spine-Tingling Thundering Saga Of The Sea! See more »
Genres
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Les sacrifiés (France)
  • Schnellboote vor Bataan (Germany)
  • No eran imprescindibles (Spain)
  • Nosotros fuimos los sacrificados (Spain)
  • Ci, których spisano na straty (Poland)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 135 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Did You Know?

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Trivia During production, John Ford had put John Wayne down every chance he got, because Wayne had not enlisted to fight in World War II. Ford commanded a naval photographic unit during the war, rising to the rank of captain and thought Wayne a coward for staying behind. After months of Ford heaping insults on Wayne's head, co-star Robert Montgomery finally approached the director and told him that if he was putting Wayne down for Montgomery's benefit (Montgomery had also served as a naval officer in the war), then he needed to stop immediately. This brought the tough-as-nails director to tears and he stopped abusing Wayne. See more »
Goofs Both American aircraft shown in the film (a Piper J5A observation plane and a Douglas C-47 transport) carry the national insignia markings of a white star in a blue roundel, which was authorized on August 18, 1942. This is incorrect for the period depicted in the film (early December 1941 through late April 1942), when U.S. insignia was a white star inside a blue roundel with a red ball in the middle of the white star. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Malaya (1949). See more »
Soundtracks The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga See more »
Crazy Credits Closing quote: "We Shall Return" Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army See more »
Quotes Ens. 'Snake' Gardner: [tasting liquid from a tureen] Holy smokes, Cookie, you call that soup?
'Squarehead' Larsen SC 2c: No, sir. That's dishwater.
Ens. 'Snake' Gardner: [stunned, places the ladle back in the pot] Well, uh... right, carry on.
[exits]
'Doc': Yes, sir.
'Squarehead' Larsen SC 2c: Ensigns!
See more »

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