Battle at Bloody Beach (1961)


(director: Herbert Coleman; screenwriters: story by Richard Maibaum/Richard Maibaum/Willard Willingham; cinematographer: Kenneth Peach; editor: Jodie Copelan; music: Henry Vars; cast: Audie Murphy (Craig Benson), Gary Crosby (Marty Sackler), Dolores Michaels (Ruth Benson), Alejandro Rey (Julio Fontana), Marjorie Stapp (Caroline Pelham), Barry Atwater (Jeff Pelham), E. J. Andre (Dr. Van Bart), Dale Ishimoto (Blanco), William Mims (M’Keever), Miriam Colon (Nahni), Pilar Seurat (Camota); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Richard Maibaum; 20th Century Fox; 1961)

WW II adventure story that turns into an awkward love triangle melodrama.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

So-so filmmaker Herbert Coleman (“Posse From Hell”)in a so-so way directs thisB-film WW II adventure story that turns into an awkward love triangle melodrama. It’s based on the story by Richard Maibaum, and is shot in black and white.

American businessman Craig Benson (Audie Murphy) has just married San Francisco honey Ruth (Dolores Michaels), when the Japanese attack Manilla and the two separate. Two years go by and they are still apart. Craig gets a job as a civilian who supplies Filipino guerrilla fighters with weapons from the American military, and goes to various Philippine islands in search of his wife (the real reason he took on this mission). As the film opens, Craig lands on an island where he’s aided by laid-back party animal Marty Sackler (Gary Crosby), a U. S. Marine radio operator, who lives with two native honeys. When Craig takes to the hills with his native guide Blanco (Dale Ishimoto), he makes contact with guerrilla leader Julio Fontana (Alejandro Rey). The guerrilla then brings down from the hills a group of American survivors who are in hiding and one of them is his wife. The problem is Ruth fell in love with Julio after she thought hubby was killed and refuses to go back home with hubby. The group goes down to the beach, while Craig contacts a U.S. submarine who will pick up the Americans and take them to Australia. Before the sub arrives, the Japanese attack. Marty is eaten by a shark when he swims from the abandoned ship the Americans are staying at to his hilltop radio shack to call for help. But the resourceful Craig rounds up the guerrilla fighters and with the Navy weapons defeats a few battalions of the Japanese army occupiers. When the submarine finally arrives, Ruth gives up her partisan cause to go with her heroic practical-minded hubby after her guerrilla leader lover showed he couldn’t fight like her macho-man hubby.