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Merrill's Marauders (1962)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, War | 14 June 1962 (West Germany)
During WW2, a 3000-strong American unit, known as Merrill's Marauders, battles the Japanese forces in Burma.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writers:

Milton Sperling (screenplay), Samuel Fuller (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeff Chandler ... Brig. Gen. Frank D. Merrill
Ty Hardin ... 2nd Lt. Lee Stockton
Peter Brown ... Bullseye
Andrew Duggan ... Capt. Abraham Lewis Kolodny, MD
Will Hutchins ... Chowhound
Claude Akins ... Sgt. Kolowicz
Luz Valdez ... Burmese girl
John Hoyt ... Gen. Joseph Stilwell
Charlie Briggs Charlie Briggs ... Muley (as Charles Briggs)
Chuck Roberson ... Officer
Chuck Hayward ... Officer
Jack C. Williams Jack C. Williams ... Doctor
Chuck Hicks ... Cpl. Doskis
Vaughan Wilson Vaughan Wilson ... Bannister
Pancho Magalona Pancho Magalona ... Taggy
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Storyline

Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill leads the 3,000 American volunteers of his 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), aka "Merrill's Marauders", behind Japanese lines across Burma to Myitkyina, pushing beyond their limits and fighting pitched battles at every strong-point. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

american | army | japanese | crying | bowl | See All (99) »

Taglines:

How they fought those last 500 miles will remain forever in your memory! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Durchbruch auf Befehl See more »

Filming Locations:

Pampanga, Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (archive footage)| Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released in 1962. At the end of the movie there is a parade review that features the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. See more »

Goofs

General Stilwell tells Merrill that he is concerned about the Japanese linking up with the Germans in India. This was a fear in 1942, when the Germans had conquered a vast expanse of Soviet territory, and it looked like they would reach the Caspian Sea and then Persia. But the German advance was turned back at Stalingrad in February 1943. At the time of the conversation in the movie, in early 1944, the Germans were being pushed out of Ukraine. They had no chance of linking up with the Japanese any more. See more »

Quotes

Bannister: Do you know what I'm going to do after the war? I'm going to get married and have six kids. Then I'm going to line them up and tell them what Burma was like. And if they don't cry, I'll beat the hell out of them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: JANUARY 1942 See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hateful Eight (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jeff Chandler's Sad Farewell
9 September 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Just as Clark Gable died from the strain of doing those roping scenes with wild horses in The Misfits, Jeff Chandler died because of the work required in the Phillipines location for Merrill's Marauders. What a terrible tragedy and a terrible waste at the same time.

The story of Jeff Chandler's death could almost be the subject of a black comedy. He was injured while participating in a pick up baseball game among the cast and crew. According to Marilyn Kirk's biography of him, while playing first base he stretched for a throw to his position and pulled his back out.

With about six weeks of shooting left and not wanting to either run up the cost while on hiatus or having the film shelved altogether, Chandler continued in pain as his back got worse and worse. When the film wrapped he went for a needed operation and that was botched.

Chandler had just finally got free of his Universal contract and had signed a multi-picture deal with Warner Brothers of which Merrill's Marauders was to be the first. It was an important film to him. Maybe under other circumstances, he might have tended to health issues first.

Too bad he didn't live to see it because as Brigadier General Frank Merrill he gives one of his best screen performances. In fact in a crazy way the pain he was enduring in real life probably helped his performance because Chandler in the film is supposed to be under a physical and mental strain.

Merrill's Marauders was a picked group of GIs from the Pacific Theater who were on a volunteer mission to be a part of the retaking of Burma. The bulk of the fighting done in the China-Burma-India Theater was done by British and Commonwealth forces. The Commander of the Theater was Lord Louis Mountbatten, but the military genius over all was a very unsung British hero named General William Slim. Joseph Stilwell, the American General in China, is played here by John Hoyt. Stilwell may have been Merrill's commander, but Slim was running the show.

Warner Brothers provided a trio of their TV cowboys, Ty Hardin, Peter Brown and Will Hutchins in support of Chandler. And he got good support from Claude Akins and Andrew Duggan as well.

Merrill's Marauders is a fine film, but I'm not sure it was worth Jeff Chandler's life.


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