In the spring of 1942, following the blockade run that took General Douglas MacArthur and his staff from the Philippines to the safety of Australia, the survivors of a bombed and sunk PT boat make their way to shore. The skipper tells his men they have top priority passes if they can make their way to Del Monte airfield two hundred miles away, and advises them to split up into pairs. Ensign Chuck Palmer and crewman Jim Mitchell finally reach Tacloban on the island of Leyte. In an American mission school, Palmer meets Jeanne Martinez, who is urgently trying to see the officer in charge with a request for help for a relative, and he also learns that the Japanese have captured the airfield. Palmer tries to make Australia by a boat that sinks in a tropical storm, and has to swim for shore. All through 1942, Palmer and the other survivors dodge enemy patrols while living off the land.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the book, which was based on a true story, Jeanne Martinez was not French, but a Filipina. See more »
In several scenes, but especially the firefight in the church, many of the Japanese soldiers are carrying .30 caliber Springfield 1903 and M1917 Enfields - both standard U.S. Army issue in WWI and the early days of WWII. While it could be that the Japanese were using captured equipment, it would not make logistical sense to carry rifles with a different caliber then their standard issue 6.5 mm Arisaka Type 38 rifles. See more »
It's not really about what I thought of the film - I note military and naval experts have commented on various inaccuracies. This is more a comment on an aspect of the film, which I saw many years ago in b/w, and got a greater insight into when seeing the Canadian commentator Elwy Yost's programmes on cinema history in the 1970's. How many viewers realise that the reason the heroine (the Filipino hero's wife) is cast as a Frenchwoman? This is not to make the story more romantic, or as a tribute to 'our gallant wartime allies' or even because the actress might be French, but because in those days to comply with the Hayes Code, the heroine, if she gets the white hero in the end (or vice versa!) has to be white!
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