During the Cold War, a scientific team refits a Japanese submarine and hires an ex-Navy officer to find a secret Chinese atomic island base and prevent a Communist plot against America that could trigger WW3.
A young American serviceman, stationed in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich, jeopardises his position with the Marshall Plan relief effort by breaking the non-fraternisatiom rule ... See full summary »
The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.
A rock star-turned-bum, his vocal chords severed at the height of his career for the love of a woman, reclaims his forgotten past after viewing a music video and seeks revenge against the mobster who maimed him.
When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
The role played by the Chinese Nationalist Army in the campaign is completely absent. In reality, troops from the 42nd and 150th Chinese Infantry Regiments of the X Force were a major part of the fighting; indeed the final victory at Myitkyina was only possible after Chinese reinforcements were flown in.
The role of Japanese-American translators who served with the 5307th is also ignored. See more »
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 »
A Movie that Shows Us What Real Heroes are All About
The best way to understand a man's emotions are to look into his eyes. What does the look on his face tell you about his mood? Sam Fuller knows that. This is a movie about the faces of ordinary men in battle. What brings them joy, what makes them angry, what fatigues them. Fuller, a former soldier himself, knows how to convey these emotions in a way few filmmakers ever have been able to.
In 1944, "Merrill's Marauders", a group of American volunteers, trekked across Burma to destroy several key Japanese bases. There was a legitimate fear that the Japanese would trek through Burma to India and link up with Hitler's forces in Europe. The Marauders played an important part in stopping this link-up, at great cost to their own lives.
The movie makes us understand what it must have been like to be a soldier in World War II. It's important to realize that the Marauders were expecting a reprieve very early on the campaign, and were pushed far beyond normal physical and mental limitations to complete their mission. Merrill (brilliantly portrayed by Jeff Chandler) has a heart condition himself, but keeps it a secret from his men, who come to loathe him until he collapses from a stroke, and they realize he has been pushing himself just as hard, if not harder than, his own troops.
Just what causes the stress they endure? First, the death of their friends. Lt. Stockton (Ty Hardin, in one of his best performances) expresses frustration at having to write letters home to the families of the dead in his platoon. Gradually, the number of families he must write to increases. The men left under his command are trudging through several hundred miles of swamp, fearing detection by the enemy at any given moment. They are without sufficient food, infected with malaria and typhus, and lack enough medical supplies. Then have to fight off or meticulously avoid every enemy unit they encounter. By the end of the film, every man we saw at the start with a clean shirt and freshly shaven face is either dead, or wearing tattered clothes, unkempt hair and most likely wounded or exhausted from disease. These are normal men who miss their homes and families, and want to go home badly they don't let the audience forget that, because it's almost all they talk about and rightly so.
Although some of the battle scenes seem sanitized compared to post 1965-standards (the usual fake-looking "seizure" death scenes, bloodless hand-to-hand combat), the aftermath is shockingly realistic and haunting. There is one scene in which Lt. Stockton slowly walks across a maze of concrete tank-traps, where a pitched close-quarters battle has just been fought, and sees and endless tangled mass of bodies both American and Japanese.
Fuller lets his camera linger on these moments. There is one scene where Merrill gives an order to his subordinate and Fuller keeps the camera on the officer's shocked and disappointed face for just long enough to let us start thinking about what is going inside the nameless man's head. Likewise, he makes the Philippine locations come to vivid life, especially the dark, confined sequence in the swamp. Only a few scenes set in pine forests near the end of the film look jarringly out-of-place.
"Merrill's Marauders" only weakness is in its almost forced jingoistic patriotism. The opening scene, a montage of documentary footage narrated by Andrew Duggan, sets us up for a flag-waving movie about American heroes single-handedly wiping out the Japanese Empire without effort, as has been seen in countless other war films. Likewise, the film's conclusion speaks of the heroism and dedication of the Marauders as if they and the entire U.S. military were immortal saints. These segments seemed tacked on, and I would bet in a minute that the military, who aided in production of the film, required that these scenes be included. Oh, yeah, and the ridiculous music score does not help much, either.
Am I patriotic? Yes. Do I support the American military? Of course. Who makes a war movie web site in order to cut down war movies? I love 'em. The body of the film is about ordinary fighting men and their dedication to each other. Not to a cause. I'm sure that when men were in the trenches together during WWII (and any other war, for that matter) their primary dedication was to their buddy next to them, not for a glorious cause.
I have a soft spot in my heart because Frank Merrill was my grandmother's cousin. So I have a bit of a tie to him and the history he and his men made, I suppose. That bit of prejudice doesn't change the fact that this is a great movie, and deserves a DVD release A.S.A.P.
23 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this