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187 user 85 critic

The Great Raid (2005)

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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.

Director:

John Dahl

Writers:

William B. Breuer (book), Hampton Sides (book) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,241 ( 890)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Benjamin Bratt ... Lt. Colonel Mucci
James Franco ... Captain Prince
Robert Mammone ... Captain Fisher
Max Martini ... 1st Sgt. Sid "Top" Wojo
James Carpinello ... Cpl. Aliteri
Mark Consuelos ... Cpl. Guttierez
Craig McLachlan ... 2nd Lt. Riley
Freddie Joe Farnsworth ... 2nd Lt. Foley
Laird Macintosh ... 2nd Lt. O'Grady
Jeremy Callaghan ... Lt. Able
Scott McLean Scott McLean ... Lt. LeClaire
Paolo Montalban ... Sgt. Valera
Clayne Crawford ... PFC Aldrige
Sam Worthington ... PFC Lucas
Royston Innes ... Sgt. Adams
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Storyline

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 themusicman999

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two proud races, brothers-in-arms... A daring mission that will earn them the respect and admiration of the entire world. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong war violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Australia

Language:

Filipino | English | Tagalog | Japanese

Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran rescate See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,376,009, 14 August 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,166,502, 16 October 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,769,311, 15 July 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Joson plays his own grandfather. See more »

Goofs

Colonel Mucci states "The plane will buzz the camp at 1800, Lt. Reilly will fire the first shot at 1930 and Capt Pajota will blow the bridge at 1945..." The Filipino setting the explosives under the bridge at 1800, when the plane flies over, sets the timer for 2 hours. See more »

Quotes

General Kreuger: Henry, I'll be honest with you. This mission appeals more to my heart than to my head.
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Crazy Credits

The first part of the end credits are superimposed over actual footage of the American prisoners following their liberation. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hannity & Colmes: Episode dated 12 August 2005 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

You Go To My Head
Written by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots
Performed by Victoria Hamilton
Published by Toy Town Tunes, Inc. (ASCAP) and Gillespie Haven Music (ASCAP)
Produced by Sourcerer
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very well done and educated snapshot of a country at war
12 August 2005 | by mercybellSee all my reviews

This was a great film, and a nice escape to reality from all the superhero, fantastical, and over-hyped movie star fare we've gotten this summer.

The biggest accolade I can offer this flick is that it sticks to history in ways rarely seen in Hollywood films, and even then it's not dry or boring, not inaccessible to those not particularly versed in history. It shows beautifully how exciting and thrilling real history can be. The liberties it takes aren't too offensive (I can't say much without spoiling the story, but although the "romance" in this film didn't exist, it's not particularly gratuitous or hard to believe, and there were many wartime romances between people who met in the occupied Philippines), but on a whole they valiantly stuck to the stories. It doesn't revel in clichés or surrender to the cheap thrill of pyrotechnics, which so many war films do. Since it looks to true events for inspiration, there's a happy lack of predictibility and "been there, done that". Not to say that there are any talk-of-the-summer plot twists, but it keeps you on your toes because you're dealing with life, and is often surprising. The film brings you down to the level of its characters, and it doesn't treat you like an outsider.

As a Filipino American and history buff, I was thrilled and proud to see so many Filipino actors in the film (particularly the wonderful -- and gorgeous -- Cesar Montano) and to finally see this little known but mammoth part of WWII recalled on such a public scale. The film takes place over 5 days in January, as the Rangers prepare to take the camp. Its three interconnected story lines -- the prisoners in Cabanatuan, the Rangers, and the underground movement in Manila (including a nurse played by Nielsen who smuggles in Quinine to prisoners) -- give a fairly accurate and well rounded portrait of the landscape of war in the Philippines, although by the end of the film you do feel as if you've only seen the tip of the iceberg.

The acting is lovely. There aren't any "Oscar" scenes or the like, just solid ensemble acting, and the leads, Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Cesar Montano, and Connie Nielsen, are excellent for what they're given. The writing doesn't try to over-dramatise or "soapify" anything, it stays level headed and just plays. It felt a lot like a less ridiculous "Gettysburg" or a much tamer "Black Hawk Down" or a much MUCH shorter "The Longest Day". Surprisingly, for a war film, there are relatively few "what I'm here for" speeches, which is refreshing. The ones it does have aren't particularly irksome or obnoxious. It's not particularly violent (except for the unnerving opening scene -- a recreation of the Palawan massacre -- and one scene in the camp, I'd have given it a PG-13 rating), but it IS disturbing. And although they hardly began to show the full extent of the atrocities committed, the point is made clear, heartrendingly I might add. Two scenes, involving Filipino underground workers and another at the camp, had me in tears.

Honestly, this is NOT for people looking for a testosterone fueled action flick. The action is strictly historical (except for a hand to hand fight at the end which I doubt happened). At times it feels like a documentary, and other times it's like watching a memoir. Neither is this film the "rah rah" flag waving fest the advertising makes it out to be (thank goodness). In fact it pays great homage to the work of the Philippine people, underground resistance (a portion of the film which seemed a bit out of place in the film but which had me enamored and on edge), and guerilla fighters, all of which touched me deeply. As a Hollywood studio film goes, it's an academic, nearly blow by blow accounting of the events surrounding the raid on the Cabanatuan prison camp, but because of the nature of the story and not because of empty manipulation, it is intense, inspiring, and exciting. Don't expect the next "Paths of Glory" or "Bridge on the River Kwai" or that calibre of film-making, but I hope that this does well because in its own way it's different from so much of the mindnumbing junk that is out there, it attempts to portray a war story smartly, chose to tell a story that doesn't spell out big money, and without being overbearingly in-your-face patriotic, it pays homage to and shares the experiences of the American and Filipino men and women who endured the hell that was World War II in the Philippines.


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