28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Again Frank Sinatra gives another fine performance (he has always been underrated as an actor in my opinion) and he even directed this film! This is an interesting W.W.II film set on an island in the Pacific where small bands of both American and Japanese forces are stranded. This film examines the human sacrifices made in war and questions if there is justification for those sacrifices examined through the camaraderie and reminisces of fellow combatants on both sides. Sinatra, as director, gives Clint Walker a chance to demonstrate his acting abilities in a fine dramatic performance. The stalwart cast also includes Tatsuya Mihashi, Tommy Sands, Tony Bill, Brad Dexter,Takeshi Kato and Sammy Jackson. Listen for an early score composed by John (Johnny) Williams. I always liked this one.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2010
Great war flick, and the video/audio were very good, but there are no english subtitles for the japanese dialogue, without which you are stuck with the hard-of-hearing subtitles for the whole movie, including ( SINGING ), (LAUGHING ), etc., which to me is very annoying, or you miss a good part of the movie which is in Japanese. I can't believe this was overlooked in the production of this edition.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2010
This DVD is a must for all classic film enthusiasts. Released in 1965, it revolves around the story of a platoon of U.S. Marines during WWII whose transport plane is shot down by an enemy fighter plane over an island in the South Pacific occupied by another platoon of Japanese soldiers. Both groups find are marooned and out of communication with their main forces. They engage each other in a series of battles until both sides decide to arrange a truce in order to save the life of a Japanese soldier suffering from gangrene resulting from his wounds. The late Frank Sinatra plays the Marine's medic, who performs a chilling and suspenseful amputation on the wounded Japanese soldier in an attempt to save his life. Clint Walker is the American no-nonsense commander who negotiates the truce with the enemy commander. Both sides agree that if either unit establishes contact with their main force, the truce will end and combat will resume. This film also possesses a splendid music score composed by Johnnie Williams, now known as John Williams who composed the music for all of the Star Wars films along with many other well known films. These include the likes of Superman,Raiders of the Lost Ark,Close Encounters of the Third Kind,Midway,The Cowboys,Jaws,E.T., and the famous Olympic games theme.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I saw this film as a child, and I finally got around to seeing it again now, and I really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, I could not. Firstly, the characterizations were one-dimensional and sometimes silly. The Marine Lieutenant was so stereotypical and stupid that I literally could not bear to watch the parts of the film in which he was featured. Further, this production lacks English subtitles for the Japanese-speaking parts of the film, which are many and lengthy. This renders most of the film unintelligible to the non-Japanese speaking viewer, as there are long scenes comprised of little more than the very fine Japanese cast involved in dialog.
Overall, I have to score this one as a disappointment. RJB.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2011
Old Blue Eyes produced this movie. Great anti war theme but not preachy and the Japanese are not portrayed as blood thirsty slant eyed devils. Good action but hokey airplane models used in the shoot down scene. Why didn't they caption the Japanese when they talked as the original cut did?I knew what they were saying as I saw it in the movie theatre. Frank's son in law Tommy Sands was great as the young shave tail Lt. Clint Walker tho not a great actor was good as the Captain leader. Bummer ending but that's war. Worth seeing!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Set on an island in the south Pacific during World War II, None But The Brave is notable as the only film to be directed and produced by Frank Sinatra. The movie revolves around the interactions between a group of Japanese soldiers stranded on the island, and American Marines who suddenly arrive, when their transport plane is shot down and crash lands on the island.
The film is a collaborative effort between American and Japanese studios. These filmmakers appear to have admirable intentions. Instead of focusing on combat between the American and Japanese forces, the film attempts to provide some insight into the motivation, philosophy, and culture of the Japanese soldiers, primarily through the thoughts of their commanding officer, Lieutenant Kuroki (Tatsuya Mihashi), who provides narration at various points. Painting the entire group with one broad brush may not be accurate, but the hope is that the Japanese soldiers will be viewed as fellow humans and not just the `enemy'.
The Americans are led by Captain Dennis Bourke (Clint Walker), the pilot of the plane, and headstrong Marine Lieutenant Blair (Tommy Sands). Initially, the opposing forces feel each other out, as the Marines try to gain access to fresh water, and steal a boat the Japanese have constructed. Discovering that each is cutoff from communication with their respective commands, a truce is proposed by Kuroki who needs medical assistance for one of his men. Pharmacist mate Maloney (Sinatra) is pressed into service as a surgeon, to amputate the gangrenous leg of a Japanese soldier.
Following a successful operation, peaceful and mostly cooperative coexistence ensues, with the Americans trading cigarettes for fish, and Maloney providing basic care for the recovering soldier. The truce appears broken when the Japanese discover that the Americans have repaired their radio, but an impending storm brings everyone together in a joint effort to save a well. After the Americans restore radio communications, the Japanese refuse an offer to surrender, leading to a final battle for the island. At the end of the film, the words "Nobody Ever Wins" appear on the screen. The precise point of the film may be subject to discussion, but examining the tragic nature of war and conflict, might be near the top of the list.
Moral statements aside, the film is entertaining, although not very realistic. The fighting scenes are almost laughable, only slightly above something like McHale's Navy. Soldiers on both sides just can't shoot straight. If they could, there would soon be few alive, as most don't seem concerned about being shot. Spreading out and taking cover when under fire, would seem obvious self preservation, yet it is rarely done. Apparently these troops are unaware, that when someone is shooting at you, standing up or moving away from cover, makes you a better target.
Artillery fire from a destroyer, that should blow craters on the beach, result in tiny unrealistic explosions. When the truce almost ends, the two forces stand a few feet apart ready to rumble like street gangs. It's dramatic, but not very realistic. When the sky suddenly turns dark, somehow both Kuroki and Bourke immediately recognize that a huge storm is imminent, and that they must work together to protect the well. Due to their quick efforts, a wall of tree trunks and a few sandbags, manages to hold back the flood waters. Well I'll be a son of a buck!
Discipline is lacking, when Marines ordered not to advance, still proceed to the water hole. A sergeant (Brad Dexter) challenges the chain of command, taking a swing at Bourke. Insubordination is present on both sides, with the Japanese making an unauthorized raid, and a gung ho Lieutenant Blair itching to engage the enemy.
Serving as both director and producer, it is a fair assumption that Sinatra was on board with the aims of the film. In the trailer for the film, Sinatra asks the audience the provocative question, "can you still pull the trigger" if the enemy is not some faceless stranger. As an actor, Sinatra turns in a good performance, though mostly in the background, and absent during the fight scenes. As a director, working with a script with issues, Sinatra demonstrates that he can handle a comic book type action film.
Much of the location work was shot of the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. While filming in the Aloha State, Brad Dexter saved Sinatra from drowning, leading to their friendship. Dexter then played a prominent role in Sinatra's next film, the World War II adventure, Von Ryan's Express. Also in the cast, is Sinatra's ex-son in law, Tommy Sands, the pop singer who was married to his daughter, Nancy Sinatra.
While a collaborative effort, the film has a definite Hollywood look. Much of the special effects and model plane work, reflects the trademark Japanese style, similar to a Godzilla film. A young John Williams, provides a rousing score, with elements of Japanese music mixed in. None But The Brave may not be the most polished effort, and it does not escape being clichéd and at times wooden, but the attempt to be more than another shoot `em up war flick is admirable. Sinatra's lone directorial effort looks terrific in Warner Brothers Frank Sinatra Collection widescreen edition.
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2004
>> `None but the Brave' is an ANTI-WAR movie - not a war movie! This film was the Vietnam-era equivalent of `All Quiet on the Western Front' - and an excellent anti-war movie at that. Yet so far, every review completely misses the deliberate, deeper meaning of this outstanding film. Additionally, everyone completely misses the context of the times that this movie was made under. Frank Sinatra - a well-known, active supporter of JFK, directed this movie - and as such this film speaks volumes for Sinatra's often misunderstood and wrongly maligned character - a character of true personal courage. This movie was released in 1965, after the death of JFK (who wanted to curtail US involvement in Vietnam in late 1963)...and it was released during the presidency of LBJ (who escalated the Vietnam War with pitiful, dishonorable results for the US).
>>In a W.W.II setting, small bands of both American and Japanese military forces are stranded on a small, insignificant Pacific island. The leaders of both deadly enemies quickly realize that the only way to survival is for both groups to cooperate, collaborate, care for each other - and renounce war at their level. When taken in total context, this film examines the inherent tragedy and the uncertainty of war for every soldier; as well as the unknown fortunes and misfortunes of war for every soldier. This film also probes the sad and useless mindsets that soldiers are forced go to war with - vs.- the reality of and the capacity for humanity within every soldier at war. The film drives home the undeniable point that the humanity of soldiers in war is a direct product of sage Leadership - no less than any inhumanity of in war is a direct product of despicable directives that fosters the fears and prejudices of every soldier in combat. True military leadership never wants war - true military leadership only desires to survive war as a surviving victor.
>> Just like its predecessor, `All Quiet on the Western Front', this low budget production has the obvious faults of obvious acting, an obvious script, an obvious plot, and obvious special effects - none of which rate very high by technical filmmaking standards of yesterday or today. However, despite all of its technical shortcomings, this film portrays an anti-war philosophy in a highly intelligent manner. For just like its predecessor, `None but the Brave' has a powerful, timeless message about innate humanity - vs.- the inherent, tragic, deeper meaning of war.
>>Ultimately, this film espouses the poignant anti-war message that there are no real winners in any war. War always produces a tragic, lose-lose outcome camouflaged by a motley combination of victorious survivors versus vanquished refugees.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2000
Frankie works his magic once again in his rendition of a WWII story, None But the Brave. He made, however, not a 'bang it up, shoot it up, run run run' movie, but one that leaves the viewer pondering the meaning of war. Is it really worth it? The final message of the movie is spelled out in the end for those viewers who weren't willing to seek the deeper meaning for themselves. "Nobody ever wins". Nice going, Frankie, this one deserves more recognition than it's getting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2013
I purchased this item because the lead actor is Clint Walker. I think Clint was never allowed to shine in films, usually relagated to small parts. I applaud Frank Sinatra for going with Clint instead of some other bigger names to make a fine motion picture.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this rarely seen film and I had good time watching it. It is the story about two hostile groups of soldiers who are both stranded on a small island with a minimum of resources and are also cut from their respective headquarters. Hard times making for strange bedfellows, their mutual relation, which begins with a bloody fight to death, slowly starts to evolve into a very unexpected direction...
"None but the brave" was the first and only film which Frank Sinatra directed (he also produced it). The film was literally destroyed by the critics in 1965 and it didn't fair well at box office -and frankly, in both cases I can not understand why. Maybe the general idea (about which more further), was "too much and too early" for those times, as a later film on the same theme, John Boorman's "Hell in the Pacific" faired much better.
Sinatra's idea, very unusual for 1965, was to make the Japanese commander, Lieutenant Kuroki, the main narrator of the story, by the way of successive entries in his personal journal (a little bit like what Clint Eastwood used later in "Letters from iwo Jima"). Another unusual but clever Sinatra's idea was to leave the main role in his film to another actor and he made just a perfect choice in person of Clint Walker. This very huge actor (6'7" high and build like a tank!) is best known for his role of Samson Posey in "Dirty Dozen" (remember the biggest guy, the one who didn't like to be pushed?) but in this film he displays an actorship on a wholly different level, as Captain Denis Bourke, the leader of the little group of stranded Americans. Sinatra took himself the role of a barely competent Navy Medic, whose fighting skills are nonexistent and who spends most of his time drunk or getting there...
The story is quite interesting and well thought over. The vicious "guerilla" both sides wage for the limited resources of the island is full of dirty tricks and bloody episodes - and sometimes things go all the way to the knife fight... But there are also many quite funny moments, frequently involving one Japanese private, who was a Buddhist priest in civil life and now proudly defends his title of "most incompetent soldier of Imperial Army" (although he makes his duty the best he can). This is not however a comedy, far from it - and the war, the big war that still rages in the Pacific, is always present, just somewhere over the rainbow. The scene of amputation of a leg without anesthesia, with a bayonet and carpenter's saw is especially very tough.
Sinatra took great care to keep the details right. The Japanese little troop is armed exactly as it should be - Arisaka rifles with long bayonets for all soldiers and one Nambu light machine gun to provide support, with the one officer carrying his sword and a Nambu automatic pistol. Americans are armed according to their apartenance: the Marines have Garand semi-automatic rifles or M1 semi-automatic carbines, with the sergeant carying the only M3 "Grease Gun" submachine gun; Captain Bourke and the radio operator, who both belong to USAAF, have only side arms (a revolver for Bourke and a M1911 Colt 0.45 automatic for the radio operator). Sinatra, who is a Navy medic, unlike on the cover of DVD is unarmed (and nobody dares to give him a weapon at any moment in the film, even when he is sober...)
Geographical settings were also checked carefully and they are credible. We know therefore that the place of action is situated somewhere in Solomon Islands between Santa Isabel and Bougainville -and it is true that there is no shortage of small islands devoided of population in this area, even today... Also, I could not find many logical flaws in the scenario - both groups behave rationally and rather credibly.
It is however important to precise, that during all Pacific War there was NEVER any incident even vaguely similar to what "None but the brave" describes. Also, the conclusion of the film, "Nobody ever wins", is in my modest opinion obviously false - in Pacific War there definitely was a winner and it is rather clear who it was...
But bottom line, I liked this surprising film quite a lot and I am going to conserve this DVD preciously in my collection. And I think anybody interested in war, action or adventure films will probably like it too. Enjoy!