A World War II movie set on a Pacific island. Japanese and Allied forces occupy different parts of the island. When a group of British soldiers are sent on a mission behind enemy lines, things don't go exactly to plan. This movie differs in that some of the "heros" are very reluctant, but they come good when they are pursued by the Japanese, who are determined to prevent them returning to base.Written by
After the huge success of The Dirty Dozen (1967), MGM asked Robert Aldrich to make another movie for them, preferably along similar lines. Aldrich showed them a draft of the script for this movie, and the company came up with a provisional budget of $10.1 million, which seemed to them a little steep. Aldrich, in the meantime, had become immensely rich from his percentage of the profits for The Dirty Dozen (1967), and had used the money to buy his own studio, and thus have more control over his movies. Rather than argue with MGM, he simply made this movie for his own company instead, and, as he was proud to tell interviewers, for the much smaller budget of $6 million. See more »
The British Vickers machine gun had an effective range of 810 yds (740m), but could be used for indirect fire at distances up to 4500 yards (4100m). The British 2-inch mortar had a range of 500 yards (457m). Given that the mortars can reach the edge of the jungle, that gives the width of the open field as around that distance (500 yds). The Japanese Arisaka rifle had an effective range of 400m (360 yds), which would put the British troops out of range. However, the Japanese infantry are seen using a Type 99 Light Machine Gun. This had a range of up to 1600 yds (1500m), though its effective range was more likely considerably less. This means that the British soldiers would not be out of range of this weapon when they stood behind their weapons pits, though it is unlikely the Japanese would try to hit them at that distance. See more »
For the DVD edition edited in Spain in 2005, 2 cuts of the film were included. The English version of 128 minutes, and another only with the Spanish Castilian dubbing 12 minutes shorter (115 minutes). See more »
In the spring of 1942, in Southwest Pacific, Captain John G. Nolan (Henry Fonda) postpones the leave of the volunteer Lieutenant Sam Lawson (Cliff Robertson) and gives an assignment in New Hebrides Island with the British troops based on the required profile – fluency in Japanese and good shape. When Lt. Lawson arrives in the base, the commander explains that the island is divided in the British and Japanese sectors and he should go with a group of soldiers behind the Japanese lines to destroy their radio and transmit a false message to the Japanese forces. Captain Hornsby (Denholm Elliott) is assigned to lead the group, but during the tense mission, he has friction with Private Tosh Hearne (Michael Caine). When things go wrong, the soldiers have to fight to survive while exposing their weakness in character.
"Too Late the Hero" is a realistic and original war movie with human and cynical characters in the jungle of an island in Pacific. Michael Caine plays a rude and insubordinate cockney soldier that is only interested in surviving. Most of the soldiers are cowards that fight only to save their lives and not for patriotism or idealism. The hero of the title is actually an anti-hero that redeems himself in the end. The dialogs are cynical and Tosh has the best lines, like for example, when he proposes to Lawson to go North; or when he talks about the hole where he lives in his hometown in a total lack of perspective. My only remark is the long running time that could be a little shorter. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Assim Nascem os Heróis" ("This Way the Heroes Are Born")
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