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.
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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>
In the film, General Cummings is shown to be a Brigadier (one star) General. In the Norman Mailer novel on which the film is based, General Cummings is a Major General (two stars), the normal rank an Army division commander holds. See more »
Lt. Robert Hearn:
General... I've been thinking about what you said. Especially what you said about the power of fear and the fear of power. I never agreed with your point of view before, but I wasn't sure you were wrong. Now I'm sure. Two men carried me 18 miles through the jungle, a Baptist minister and a wandering Jew, but they didn't do it out of fear. They did it out of love. But they did something else besides save my life, they showed me something I've known all my life but I had forgotten. There's a ...
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Very different, surprising non Hollywood movie way better than book
This movie seems like one made because of a much hailed and overrated author, in which the director has the nerve to actually make changes to give a novel look at war and life.
The book is exactly like a Hollywood movie. Bullets cannot find bad guys, and if you're evil enough, you live forever. We get this from 99% of films. No wonder Americans bend over backwards to be sadistic. In short, that's about all the book is. Very Hollywood.
This movie gives a fresh look for the viewer. Instead of the mass depression we're used to, we get an intelligent look at war. The hero is caught between two equally vicious men, one higher in rank, and one lower. Much of the rest of the movie deals with the characters, like in the older war movies.
Not to give away the ending, but you will be shocked and surprised. The film still shows the horror and depravity of war without getting preachy, as many later films did.
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