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Back to Bataan (1945)

Approved | | Drama, War | 31 May 1945 (USA)
In 1942, after the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese, U.S. Army Col. Joseph Madden stays behind to organize the local resistance against the Japanese invaders.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Capt. Andrés Bonifácio
...
...
...
...
Alex Havier ...
Sgt. Bernessa (as J. Alex Havier)
'Ducky' Louie ...
...
Lt. Cmdr. Waite
...
Gen. Homma
...
Bindle Jackson
...
Japanese Captain
...
Señor Buenaventura J. Bello
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Storyline

The US Army's defense of its Philippines colony and the allied Malay countries/colonies behind it counted on its island fortress of Corregidor on Luzon -and a few others- but loses it in the 6 May 1942 Japanese combined forces attack. Colonel Joseph Madden is among the escaping survivors who are ordered by general Douglas McArthur to organize a guerrilla. As he finds many native Filipinos inclined to resist the occupier's vision of returning to the South Asian fold under a paternalistic empire which doesn't hesitate to 'spank the unruly', but is mainly civilian, unprepared, inept in military matters, Madden appeals to the legendary anti-US freedom fighter Andres Bonifácio's homonymous grandson Captain Andrés Bonifácio, who is luckily rescued from a POW dead march, to inspire the resistance -once his own fighting spirit is rekindled- with him in a still very unsure war, retaliated by bloody, ten to one repression. When the Japanese realize the people side against them, they stage fake ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of the "Invisible Army of the Philippines" (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 May 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Invisible Army  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,490,000, 31 December 1945
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the script for the movie was being written, the battle for the Philippines was still being fought. The screenwriters were constantly updating the script based on the latest news from the front. See more »

Goofs

Miss Barnes asks Col. Madden if, after he avenges the hanging of Senor Bello, he would erect a sign in his honor quoting a Filipino poem that mentions several kinds of trees, including a cypress. Madden and his men do so, but the on the sign the word cypress is erroneously spelled "Cyprus", like the Mediterranean island. See more »

Quotes

Maximo Cuenca: [a poor student dying in his teacher's arms after heroic action] Miss Barnes, I'm sorry I never learned how to spell "liberty".
[dies]
Bertha Barnes: [tearfully] No one ever learned it so well.
See more »

Crazy Credits

8 minutes into the film: "Americans had been freed- hundreds of them. This was a promise of what was to come. Soon the whole world would be free. But behind the rescue of these men, behind the triumphs yet to come, there is another story- the story of the resistance of the Filipino people. This is the story of that resistance. It begins in one of the darkest hours in our history on the island fortress of Corregidor." See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exceptional WWII action film
24 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

While this film is a tad heavy from time to time with propaganda elements, in many ways this war film stands well above the usual crowd of jingoistic American war films. Now I am NOT being critical saying the films are "jingoistic", as this was positive propaganda that slightly exaggerated the truth in order to unify the country against the Japanese. After all, we were at war and Japan had conquered most of the Pacific. But films made during the war often sacrificed reality in order to deliver the message--such as in AIR FORCE when a B-17 bomber almost single-handedly wipes out half the Japanese planes!! Fortunately, beneath the occasionally heavy-handed patriotism, the film itself was a very good representation of the war in the Philippines. This, combined with excellent action scenes and better than average acting make this a film worth seeing. In particular, other than IN HARMS WAY, this is John Wayne's best WWII film, as his acting is a little less "bigger than life" and more realistic. Also, if you liked this film, I also strongly recommend BATAAN (starring a surprisingly macho Robert Taylor). This film focuses on the fall of Bataan and BACK TO BATAAN is a great companion piece as it focuses not only on this but its reconquest. Top notch entertainment and a decent history lesson to boot!


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