Set during the Pacific War against the Japanese, this WW2 drama discerns between achieving one's mission at any cost versus preserving the lives under one's command and enforcing discipline through fear as opposed to mutual respect.
When the U.S. forces withdraw from Java, ahead of the Japanese invasion, U.S. Navy doctor Corydon M. Wassell coordinates the remaining wounded servicemen and leads them to safety towards the last Allied evacuation points.
In the Pacific during World War 2, the officers live a comfortable life with good food, good drink and good quarters. To them, war is a game which they know they will win and the common soldiers are the pawns on the board. When the campaign slows down, the Commander sends a squad to the top of a mountain behind enemy lines to report on the Japanese troop movements. The squad is commanded by a tough cynical Sergeant who takes no prisoners and even takes the gold from the teeth of the enemy dead. Before the mission starts, the lieutenant, who has had a cushy job due to a life of wealth and privilege, criticizes the Commander over his attitude towards the common soldier and is re-assigned to lead the squad. The veteran Sergeant wants to complete this mission as ordered, and he will do everything he can do to see that it is successful.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The cameraman Stanley Cortez is sometimes credited as having worked on this film. He told an interviewer, years later, that he had worked on pre-production for the film for eight months, spending "weeks and weeks" scouting locations in Hawaii. He claimed that Charles Laughton had wanted him to be associate producer as well as cameraman, and that Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster were all sought to play leading roles (none was in the final film). Cortez claimed that Laughton had planned it as an independent production with financing coming from a Philadelphia exhibitor named Goldman. Whether or not any footage shot by Cortez is in the finished film is not known. See more »
The tanks are a variety of M4 Sherman, M-41 Walker Bulldog or M47 Patton and M-48 Patton tanks. See more »
And this is the kind of thing that backs right up to Washington. You can imagine the conversations going on. "What's happening out there?" "What's holding them up?" "What are they doing?" But do we have any air support? No! They switched priorities on us. We're the only division in combat at the moment that doesn't have dependable air support. In the past week, we have advanced a grand total of 400 yards. Time has run out gentlemen. No doubt the troops would be happier with another general in ...
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I saw this movie on a local PBS station about the same time I was writing a Term Paper on the novel. I have already read the novel several times, but I still thought that the movie perspective might be helpful. Needless to say I was wrong. The movie turns a book about the futility of the individual's role in war into a boiler plate feel good war movie w/ a happy ending. One of the most important parts of the novel, where Hearn is betrayed despite his best efforts to be a "good" leader, is scrapped. Hearn not only survives, but the movie goes on the kill the ass hole, Sgt Croft. In the book we see a group of individuals who all want to singlehandedly make a difference and who all end up failing because modern war has grown beyond the control of the individual. In the movie we see a division of good guys and bad guys where where good guys win and the bad guys get what's coming. Finally I would like to point out that this movie is a waste of time or unpleasant to watch. If its going to be on TV by all means watch it, but if you've read the book brace yourself to be VERY disappointed.
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