A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal.
Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from rebuilding it.Written by
This is one of few contemporary World War II films to feature an American soldier who was an African-American. As such, the movie was not shown in parts of the American South. The book "The Films of World War II" notes that producer Dore Schary said that letters of complaint were received by the studio. See more »
When Corporal Katigbak is found he has a Samurai sword sticking out of him. A Samurai sword is not a stabbing weapon. It's a slashing weapon. And a Japanese officer would not stick his sword in a man's body after he has killed him. Samurai swords are prized by their owners and would not be left behind in such a way. There were swords made just for officers and were not prized swords that were hundreds of years old. See more »
Sergeant Bill Dane:
Don't tell me that's Jap jive!
No, Sarge, no. That's good old America. That's U.S.A. Well, music with our meals, eh! Fancy. That's Tommy Dorsey, from Hollywood! Ohhh... He sends me, Sarge! He makes me lace up my boots! Oh, brother! Keep blowing, Tommy, keep blowing. Oh, boy, he's tall tonight, he's tall. Yeah, talk to me, talk to me. Ohhh... ha, ha, ha. Give me some of that trombone talk, Tommy.
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Opening credits prologue: When Japan struck, our desperate need was time - - - time to marshal our new armies. Ninety-six priceless days were bought for us - - with their lives - - by the defenders of Bataan, the Philippine army which formed the bulk of MacArthur's infantry fighting shoulder to shoulder with Americans. To those immortal dead, who heroically stayed the wave of barbaric conquest, this picture is reverently dedicated. See more »
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
This is one of the best war films of its era, and it is actually less anti-Japanese than many that came later, such as John Wayne's "Back to Bataan". But never forget the very real and common - and ubiquitous - Japanese atrocities, which they still are loathe to admit. Here, a small number of Americans are acting as a rear guard preventing the invading Japanese from driving south on Bataan in 1942. They have to blow a bridge and hold a ravine, and are subject to snipers, air attacks, and infantry assaults. It is superbly done with a great cast (Desi Arnaz was quite good too). Robert Taylor cast off forever his pretty boy image of the 1930's with Garbo in his very tough portrayal of the sergeant.
Most notably, "Bataan" stands out for perhaps the best and most violent hand-to-hand combat footage ever filmed, certainly the best of its era. Also, and often neglected in reviews, is that "Bataan" featured a fully INTEGRATED Army: a Jew, a black, an Hispanic, a Filipino, and so on. They were all treated equally and heroically. "Bataan" could not even be shown in parts of the South in the 1940's due to this. Only two other movies of the WW II period featured a black fighting bravely - "Sahara" and "Crash Dive", but none as well as here. "Bataan" is a marvelous film on many levels. A classic.
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