Col. Mike Kirby picks two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam. First off is to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy the second mission is to kidnap a North Vietnamese General.
On patrol the morning of December 7th while commanding a cruiser Captain Torrey receives word of the attack on Pearl Harbor. His orders are to find the Japanese force and attack it. The picture tells the story of three families during the outbreak of World War II.Written by
Henry Fonda, who portrayed the second Commander-in-Chief-Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC II), was a Naval veteran of World War II who served in the Pacific Theater. After making The Ox-Bow Incident (1942), Fonda enlisted in the Navy to fight in World War II, saying, "I don't want to be in a fake war in a studio." He served in the Navy for three years, first as a Quartermaster 3rd Class on the destroyer U.S.S. Satterlee, then secondly, after receiving a commission as Lieutenant (junior grade) (O-2), in Air Combat Intelligence. For his service, he received the Bronze Star, the fourth highest award for bravery or meritorious service in conflict with the enemy. Fonda reprised the role of CINCPAC in the docudrama Midway (1976), where the character was identified as Admiral Chester Nimitz. See more »
When Capt. Torrey walks Eddington from the brig to the duty launch, a boom mic shadow is very clearly seen on Kirk Douglas and the background behind him. See more »
One thing I think this film captures is the real toll war takes on human relationships. It's more somber than the usual Hollywood war film. The leading characters spend the film doing their duty to the best of their ability. They aren't even thinking about the future a lot of the time. There doesn't seem to be a future, only the grim present. While I've seen the story referred to here as "melodrama," it seems to be pretty close to real life.
Wayne plays his part beautifully. His conversations with his estranged son, his relationship with the nurse (played sensationally by Patricia Neal) - he really is a "rock." A fine man, who seems to be bearing the weight of the whole war on his shoulders, at times.
The cinematography is spectacular, overall. It's been a long time since I saw the film but I'll never forget the shot of San Francisco, with Paula Prentiss. There is so much expressed in that shot.
The deliberateness of the pacing is, to me, very effective. War is not an adventure, it's just doing a job, in very difficult circumstances, no matter what you'd rather be doing. Duty is deliberate.
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