(director: Raoul Walsh; screenwriters: Ranald MacDougal/Lester Cole/story by Alvah Bessie; cinematographer: James Wong Howe; editor: George Amy; music: Franz Waxman; cast: Errol Flynn (Capt. Nelson), James Brown (SSGT Treacy), William Prince (Lt. Sid Jacobs), George Tobias (Cpl. Gabby Gordon), Henry Hull (Mark Williams), Warner Anderson (Col. J. Carter); Runtime: 142; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Jerry Wald: Warner Bros. ; 1945-B/W)
“The action is gritty, the dialogue is sparse and the star Errol Flynn is at his swashbuckling best.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An overlong but colorful Raoul Walsh (“A Distant Trumpet”/”Battle Cry”) WW2 drama. It’s based on a story by Alvah Bessie, and is crisply written by Ranald MacDougal and Lester Cole. The action is gritty, the dialogue is sparse and the star Errol Flynn is at his swashbuckling best.
Captain Charles Nelson (Errol Flynn) successfully leads a team of 36 commandos to parachute into Japanese-occupied Burma in hopes of destroying a critical radar base, and does so with no casualties. But the problem becomes how to get back home, as they find the Japanese have taken over their airstrip. They’re left no choice but try and escape on foot. They split in two groups and must go over a hundred miles in the jungle, infiltrated by the enemy, to get back home.
The film was popular in America, but caused an incident in England by not mentioning their contributions to the Burma campaign. As a result the film was banned in England for seven years. It was shown in 1952, and included an apology in its prologue.
REVIEWED ON 7/21/2021 GRADE: B+