Taking place towards the end of WWII, 500 American Soldiers have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them.
Set in the Philippines in 1945 towards the end of WWII, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci and Captain Robert Prince, the 6th Ranger Battalion undertake a daring rescue mission against all odds. Traveling thirty miles behind enemy lines, they intend to liberate over 500 American Soldiers from the notorious Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp in the most audacious rescue ever.Written by
Although he was not among the real-life officers portrayed in the movie, Colonel Arthur "Bull" Simons was a young Army Ranger Captain who took part in the raid on Cabanatuan and was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the raid. During the height of the Vietnam War, Colonel Simons led the famous raid on Son Tay in an attempt to rescue POWs. See more »
The terrain in outdoor scenes consists of grassy areas with trees common in North America (e.g. Oak, Pine), not native tropical terrains and trees (e.g. rice fields, Banana, Mango) common to the Philippines. Needle bearing trees are not seen in the Cabanatuan region of the Philippines. See more »
Lt. Colonel Mucci:
General, this is the man who led the raid... Captain Prince.
Congratulations, soldier. I'm very sorry for your losses, but I want to let you know you men have done a great service to your country.
Thank you, sir.
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The first part of the end credits are superimposed over actual footage of the American prisoners following their liberation. See more »
After the American evacuation of the Philippines following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, thousands of American servicemen were abandoned to the Japanese enemy, finding themselves facing brutal conditions in Japanese POW camps, and feeling forgotten by their country. "The Great Raid" is the portrayal of a rescue mission to save five hundred of those POWs at the Cabanatuan camp before they're killed by their captors, as the Americans begin to close in during the closing days of the war.
As far as I can recall there haven't been very many movies depicting conditions in Japanese POW camps. "Bridge On The River Kwai" springs to mind, but this is the only other one I think I've come across. It's always hard to judge the accuracy of how the enemy is portrayed in a movie like this. In this case, though, we do know that the Japanese were in fact brutal captors. Surrender was the ultimate dishonour, and prisoners, therefore, were seen as deserving of neither honour nor respect. The conditions portrayed in the camp, therefore, were believable and probably historically accurate.
The portrayal of camp conditions is one of the highlights of the movie. The other is the actual raid carried out. It was portrayed in great detail and, again, in a very believable way. The basic problem with this movie, though, is that it repeatedly seems to get bogged down. Frankly, when the movie strays from those two subjects it just isn't that interesting, and all the various sidebars end up making this longer than it needed to be. The character of Margaret Utinski (played by Connie Nielsen) was especially problematic. Utinski was a real person - and a winner of the Medal of Honour - but there are historical questions about her life, and there was certainly no romance involved in her actions, as is suggested throughout the movie.
Aside from Nielsen, the cast were fine, but in all honesty no one stood out to me as outstanding. As I've suggested, there are certainly aspects of this movie that make it worthwhile viewing, but it certainly can't be mistaken for a masterpiece. (6/10)
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