7.3/10
7,543
72 user 31 critic

Hell in the Pacific (1968)

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

Alexander Jacobs (screenplay), Eric Bercovici (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lee Marvin ... American Pilot
Toshirô Mifune ... Captain Tsuruhiko Kuroda (as Toshiro Mifune)
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Storyline

During World War II, a shot-down American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain find themselves stranded on the same small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. Following war logic, each time the crafty Japanese devises something useful, he guards it to deny its use to the Yank, who then steals it, its proceeds or the idea and/or ruins it. Yet each gets his chance to kill and/or capture the other, but neither pushes this to the end. After a while of this pointless pestering, they end up joining forces to build and man a raft... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They hunted each other as enemies...they tormented each other as savages...they faced each other as men! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie had one of the more expensive productions at the time. This, combined with the movie's unusual concept, lack of subtitles and unpopular ending, caused the movie to become one of the biggest box office bombs of its time. It lost some four million dollars, which was one of the factors that caused its production company, ABC films (subsidiary of the ABC company), to eventually go bankrupt. However, the critics did praise many aspects of the film, especially Toshiro Mifune's performance as one of the best in his career. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, when Kuroda flips through the pages of the magazine, he repeats himself. In the close up he comes across the page filled with eyes, and then in the wider shot he again comes across that page. See more »

Quotes

American Pilot: How come you guys don't believe in God?
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Alternate Versions

Released in Panavision 70 (70mm blown up from 35mm Panavision) in Japan. See more »

Connections

Featured in La guerra en el cine (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Down in the Cane Brake
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Lee Marvin
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User Reviews

Excellent movie, hilarious yet tragic
20 March 2001 | by DJ_RamjetSee all my reviews

Was there a better hard man in the 70's then Lee Marvin ? I don't think so. Team him up with Toshiro Mifune (yojimbio, Seven Samurai), gorgeous scenery (Paulau islands) under the light hand of John Borman (Deliverance) and watch as a simple story grows and develops into a visual feast. There is no lead-in to the film, all we see is a lone Japanese soldier on a tropical island spotting a life raft and realising he is suddenly not alone, and worse, his company is an enemy soldier. The initial confrontations are tension filled as the two chase each other around and around their new home in a battle of wits and cunning. Eventually the inevitable happens and they are forced to start living together. Rather than a Disneyish style 'lets all learn to live together because we are all really the same under the skin' co-operation, the two have as little to do with each other as possible, unless arguing about possession of driftwood (in a scene that left me in tears of laughter). Eventually they do co-operate through necessity to leave the island and develop a bond of friendship through adversity, only to have this challenged when exposed to the realities of the world outside their desert island refuge. A bitter but unavoidable ending reminds us of the insanities of war. I loved this film because it was totally gripping in a way few movies are, I genuinely cared about the characters. It was in some ways like watching 'survivor' in the way the relationship changed-only in reverse- so naturally did it happen on screen. Bormans direction was great, more of a fly on the wall perspective that made the story all the more involving. This movie deserves to be seen.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

18 December 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell in the Pacific See more »

Filming Locations:

Airai, Babelthuap, Palau See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,150,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm mag-optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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