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Merrill's Marauders

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Merrill's Marauders (DVD)

Burma, 1944: The 5307th commanded by Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill is deep behind Japanese lines marching through the dense, unforgiving jungle. They've gone undetected--so far--but the trek has taken its toll on the gaunt, fatigued soldiers. Then, arriving at their destination, the men endure the sheer hell of war, only to be ordered on another forced march through the jungle ... another mission for the hard-bitten men dubbed Merrill's Marauders.

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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


Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

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.)
  • 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015S2OWI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,900 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Merrill's Marauders" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 148 people found the following review helpful By "corman25thmass" on 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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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By gobirds2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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 By T O'Brien on 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 By Seen Them All on 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marin_Guy on December 7, 2009
Format: DVD
My father was a staff sargent in MM and, when he saw the movie, said it was pretty accurate. He said the main thing that was left out was the utter brutality. Because they didn't trust the enemy soldiers that they captured (couldn't release them or send them to the rear lines) and were short on ammo, they bayonetted to death "countless" captured enemy soldiers. He said the Japanese soldiers would fight to the death and then some so - no prisoners taken.
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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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