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Top Customer Reviews
At the beginning and ending, this film briefly shows some of the survivors, though it is "sanitized", and the men have some flesh back on their bones.
John Wayne is terrific as Colonel Madden, who organizes the resistance fighters, and does his own stunts, some of which must have left him muddy and bruised.
Anthony Quinn is also excellent as Captain Bonifacio, the leader of the Filipino guerillas. Both Wayne and Quinn are at their most handsome and heroic, and make a fine cinematic pairing.
Though the script is sometimes stilted, it is based on actual events and people, and was written as history was happening, taken from the daily newspapers to the screen.
Edward Dmytryk's direction is well paced, and Max Steiner's "stock music" was used, along with an original score by Roy Webb.
Much in this film can be said to be "propaganda", as it is "good vs. evil", with no subtleties or gray areas, but these were the days when Hollywood and patriotism were compatible, a sentiment that filmmakers seem to have lost, and a time that seems long gone.
May we never forget the souls who bravely fought for freedom and suffered so much in Bataan.
After a couple of brief but quite cool battle sequences, the movie settles in to its main plot of John Wayne training Philippinos in the art of guerilla warfare against their conquerors, so that the forces of Truth, Justice and the American Way may get `Back to Bataan.' His second-in-command, Anthony Quinn, struggles to come to grips with his heritage of leadership. And Quinn's on-again-off-again love, also the mouthpiece of the Japanese, must decide where her true loyalties lie.
There are moving segments throughout the film, but overall it seemed a tad too limited, too mechanical, often shot on claustrophobic studio sets. The movie closes with the flag-waving return of our boys, comprised largely of stock footage. Some of it is not bad stuff, but it was a slight disappointment.
The film was very good in showing the brutality of the Japanese soldiers toward those they conquered at that time, and the brainwashing that ensued. A schoolyard hanging of the principal when he won't raise the flag of the rising sun is particularly thought-provoking. As are another character's dying words, regretful that he never learned enough about `liberty,' meaning in the grammatical sense; the reply as he breathes his last is: "Who ever learned it so well?"
And The Duke is obviously his same charismatic self, as in Flying Leathernecks or Sands of Iwo Jima or They Were Expendable. Or any other Duke movie, for that matter. Yet I found myself wanting... more. I don't really pop in a rah-rah wartime actioner for long sections of mostly dialogue.
Wake Island was a movie that I thought held similarly high potential and just did not go far enough. B2B reminded me somewhat of that one.
For more, better action in WW2, try plain old `Bataan' instead.
P.S. The final line is classic Duke.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great group of movies, I like the movies of the 40 's and the 50's. I like especially the musicals, though I do like most of movies of that time.Published 15 days ago by Michael Dewit
This is a great old movie, I love the Duke. Seams a little high priced, be t that's a testimony to his enduring popularity.Published 23 days ago by Christopher Gibbons
Very good movies, would recommend this to all WWII collectors. Can't beat the price.Published 23 days ago by William J. Henderson
Classic WWII propaganda film celebrating the Filipino resistance. Interestingly, it begins with a reenactment of the Cabanatuan raid depicted in The Great Raid. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Bob Campbell
Pite Pillipino's,,,,,Pite!! Extreme Camp! You'll Love it. Amerikan Popaganda at its' elitest!Published 3 months ago by Stubby
My husband is a big John Wayne fan and he has lots of VHS videos. I have been trying to replace many of our VHS tapes with DVDs, so I decided to start with the husbands stuff... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda Lee
I am a John Wayne fan so I always enjoy seeing his movies. I like him as an actor and his movies keep you interested in the movie.Published 3 months ago by Nancy J. Pearson
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