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Merrill's Marauders (2008)

Claude Akins , Charlie Briggs , Samuel Fuller  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Claude Akins, Charlie Briggs, Jeff Chandler, Andrew Duggan, Ty Hardin
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015S2OWI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,035 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Merrill's Marauders" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

The theatrical trailer included in this DVD release of Merrill’s Marauders, touting its depiction of "World War II’s most fabulous jungle fighters… (as) they showed the world what the American soldier can do," makes director Samuel Fuller’s 1962 film sound like jingoistic propaganda, but it’s considerably more than that. The year is 1944; the U.S. Army’s 5307th Composite Unit, a 3000-strong outfit under the command of Brigadier General Frank Merrill (Jeff Chandler), has already been fighting the occupying Japanese forces in the wilds of Burma for several months when they’re assigned to march hundreds of miles through jungles, swamps, and mountains to Myitkyina, a town of considerable strategic importance and the gateway to India, where the Allies fear the Japanese and Nazis will meet and consolidate their forces. Mission impossible? So it would seem, as the men are exhausted, disease-ridden, disheartened, and ill-equipped; his second in command, Lt. Stockton (Ty Hardin), argues that they'll never make it, but Merrill (who has a heart condition that could bring him down at any moment) refuses to let up. There are numerous combat sequences, most of them quite convincing (including a very cool scene in a concrete maze), but the film’s strength lies not only in its graphic chronicling of the obvious horrors of war but in its sympathetic (but never condescending) portrayal of the more quotidian aspects of these soldiers' miserable lives, from easy banter to quarrels over food and ammunition, from the interactions with locals to the sheer hell of simply walking another step when you’ve already passed the limits of human endurance. Grim, gritty, intense, and realistic (Fuller was an Army vet himself), this is an effective precursor to the director’s best-known movie, The Big Red One. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill leads the 3,000 American volunteers of his 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), aka "Merrill's Marauders", behind Japanese lines across Burma to Myitkyina, pushing beyond their limits and fighting pitched battles at every strong-point.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
140 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Merrill's Marauders" March 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I have the movie in VHS, part of (I like to feel) a good collection of war films, in both VHS & DVD, from - "All Quiet on the Western Front '1930'" to "Saving Private Ryan '1998', some '140' war films. I can certainly use the 2 former as a benchmark for comparison & rating. If "Saving Private Ryan", the finest war film I have ever seen, with the most graphically realistic & brutal battle scenes, ever shown on film, has, without a doubt become the benchmark by which all later war films would be judged, then "Merrill's Marauders" is a '60's classic, with, in my opinion, some of the finest acting ever portrayed in a war film! Jeff Chandler, as an earlier review stated, gives one of his finest performances, (He truly is a gifted actor!)This movie portrays, as was intended the American involvement in the Burma Theater of Operations against the Japanese, a 3000 strong unit, put together of mostly seasoned troops, volunteers, for 1 mission against the enemy. From Jeff Chandlers gritty performance, such as when he tells his men - quote -"Everybody back into the swamp" instead of waiting for desperately needed food & ammo supplies, to avoid enemy troops searching for them, to a very poignant scene by actor Claude Akins. All the soldiers are completely exhausted from continuous battles with the enemy, and literally starving, from lack of food supplies that had run out, He's approached by an old Burmese woman & young boy, in a village they have just occupied after a brutal battle, the pair attempt to feed him the
only food they have, a bowl of rice. Overwhelmed by it all, he not only breaks down in tears, but in a gesture reminiscent of the generation, and considering the horrific battle he's just been through, removes his cap in a show of gentlemanly respect
to the old woman.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Merrill's Marauders August 17, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a rugged and gritty WWII film set in the CBI Theater directed by Samuel Fuller. The action concerns Jeff Chandler, in his last screen portrayal, as Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill. Merrill leads a band of battle fatigued GIs (Ty Hardin, Peter Brown, Claude Akins, Will Hutchins and others) against the Japanese in the Burmese jungle. It is beautifully photographed in color and CinemaScope by William Clothier. Fuller co-wrote the script with Milton Sperling. This film has been highly underrated. It is a good depiction of the stress, determination and humanity experienced by the average GI in everyday face-to-face confrontation with the enemy. Jeff Chandler gives an accurate performance of the real Merrill. Jeff Chandler truly was a gifted actor and deserves more recognition for his talents as this film demonstrates. The VHS copy is in Full-Frame, but it retains the images in vivid color and is very enjoyable. It was released theatrically in 1962.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great war movie from Sam Fuller June 27, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Merrill's Marauders is an excellent WWII movie dealing with a topic often ignored in war movies covering the Pacific Theater. In 1944, the 5307th Composite Unit, Merrill's Marauders, 3,000 seasoned jungle fighters, march into Burma with the objective of the supply depot at Walawbum and the airfield at Myitkyina. The Marauders must march across hundreds of miles of dense jungle, pushing themselves to their mental and physical limits, battling Japanese troops all the way. Like most Fuller movies, Marauders has plenty of great action scenes as the 5307th trudges across Burma. Along with the excellent battle scenes, Fuller includes several very powerful and moving scenes, specifically when the Marauders are resting in a Burmese village and are approached by the villagers. At a compact 99 minutes, Merrill's Marauders is a quick-paced, action-packed, exciting war movie from Samuel Fuller.

Jeff Chandler gives one of his best performances as Brigadier General Frank Merrill, the commander of the 5307th who must push his men to their absolute limit, physically and mentally. Unfortunately, Chandler died before the film was released in theaters. Ty Hardin matches Chandler with his performance as Lt. Lee Stockton, Merrill's long-time friend and leader of the 5307th's scout platoon. Andrew Duggan plays Captain Kolodny, the doctor accompanying the unit. Stockton's platoon includes Peter Brown as Bullseye, the platoon's sharpshooter, Claude Akins as Kolowicz, the tough sergeant, Will Hutchins as Chowhound, Charles Briggs as Muley, the mule-packer, and Pancho Magalona as Taggy, the Filipino scout. Unfortunately, there is no DVD release of Merrill's Marauders, although this is one film that definitely deserves a release. The VHS copy is of decent quality in pan-n-scan.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic WW2 Movie..!! March 26, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a classic WW2 movie with an excellent cast and script. It's based on the true story of Gen. Frank Merrill and the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) who fought behind the Japanese lines in the China/Burma/India theatre. They walked over 1000 miles and raided Japanese bases in Burma and fought 5 major and 30 minor engagements. It's a story of the battles, the hardships, and the men who made up this unit. Hollywood has taken some liberties, but it's none the less a tribute to these brave men. Excellent story and well worth watching.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good WWII action from Fuller May 20, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Not in the top rank of war pictures, Merrill's Marauders is still a great way for fans of the genre to spend a couple of hours. I would rank one particular scene, the fighting in the oil refinery among the concrete bases for the huge tanks, as one of the best and beautifully choreographed action sequences I have ever seen. I thought that Jeff Chandler's performance was excellent and that the rest of the cast was quite up to the task. Weak points in the film include the rather stock military band music used throughout and a sudden ending with some "modern" footage pasted on that makes one wonder if Fuller didn't just run out of money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Decnet war movie.
Decent war drama.
Published 2 days ago by R. Dye
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic movie.
Published 2 days ago by thomas varnadoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Awe inspiring movie about an often overlooked area of action ...
Awe inspiring movie about an often overlooked area of action of WWII. Note: US Army assisted heavily with this movie and many of the actors are actually active US military... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Shadawick
4.0 out of 5 stars Pritty good WWII flick
Good action WWII story of the American operations in Burma. All of the Warner Brothers characters under contract at the time are in this film. Read more
Published 24 days ago by dirtcop45
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A fine war movie. Jeff Chandler's portrayal of Merrill was well-done.
Published 1 month ago by Norman M. Bissett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This movie shows a realistic face of war.
Published 1 month ago by Julian Toro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it
Published 1 month ago by Max Kilford
3.0 out of 5 stars Love a good WWII flick!
This one was not one of the epics of the times these were being made, but it was fun and brought back memories of Sunday afternoons watching war and sci-fi. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Terrance Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars Not to bad
Needed to recast. Jeff Chandler was lacking. Andrew Dugan did not come through at all. The remainder of the cast were excellent
Published 2 months ago by jonathan lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars BOUGHT FOR ME
Published 3 months ago by wetdreams47
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Topic From this Discussion
Merrill's Marauders (1962) DVD?
The History Channel has Merril's Marauders on DVD. Rather expensive but it is an
excellent movie and I would purchase it at that price. Just use Google and go to
the History channel.
Merril's Marauders us available there.
Oct 20, 2007 by Peter F. Yancick |  See all 6 posts
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