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.
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The Gallant Hours depicts the crucial five-week period in October-November 1942 after Admiral Halsey took command of the beleaguered American forces in the South Pacific Area. That period of combat became a turning point in the struggle against the Japanese Empire during the World War II. The story is told in flashback, framed by Halsey's ceremony of going on inactive duty in 1947.Written by
Admiral Halsey visited the set with his son, William F. Halsey III at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The young Halsey would later remark how much Cagney resembled his father. See more »
Dennis Weaver's character "Lt. Cmdr. Andy Lowe" is the same rank in 1942 that he is in 1945 after 3 years of war serving on the Admiral's staff and as a fighter pilot. When saluting the departing Admiral Halsey (James Cagney) he has no embellishments (scrambled eggs) on his cap meaning he was never promoted from his 1942 Lt. Cmdr. rank. See more »
Arrgghh!! Whether or not this is a good film, I am surprised that most of the reviewers don't mention the god-awful men's chorus that inappropriately drones on and one with even greater solemnity than a Biblical epic!! It's horrible and annoying--and undermines much of the film. Why this was chosen for the soundtrack I have no idea, as it grates on the nerves like no other soundtrack I can recall! Yes, it's that bad and after a while it sounds almost like bees swarming--I kid you not! Aside from the demoniacally-inspired chorus, the next thing you'll probably notice is the unusual style of the film. Instead of a typical bio-pic, this one is told in a semi-documentary style--with very serious narration punctuating various vignettes of a very small portion of Admiral Halsey's life. This small cross-section of his life consists of just five weeks!! So, it's hard to exactly call this a 'bio-pic' as it would seem to imply more than just a tiny portion of the subject's life.
The film is also surprisingly different from what you'd expect because the telling of the story is very straight-forward and without adornment. Simple and direct seem to be the motto for this film...and have a male chorus that sounds worse than cats begin tortured.
If you want a film version of all of Halsey's life or a warts-and-all film, this is not the movie for you. However, it is very competently made and worth seeing...even with the evil chorus from Hell--though I AM deducting two points for this!
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