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Objective Burma

85 customer reviews

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(May 13, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Mission accomplished! Errol Flynn, who brought boyish bravado to The Adventures of Robin Hood, Dodge City, Gentleman Jim and other screen yarns, turns in a mature, acclaimed performance as the leader of a paratrooper patrol stranded in Burma. It's "one of the few features of which I am proud," Flynn later said. There's reason for pride. "This is one of the finest World War II films made during the war," The Movie Guide says. "One of the best war movies," Guide for the Film Fanatic's Danny Peary wrote, "and among the grimmest." Raoul Walsh directs the hard-hitting action, shot in rugged California locations so similar to Burma that veterans of that campaign refused to believe the crew hadn't somehow sneaked into Asia.

DVD Features:
Other:WB 1941 Short "The Tanks are Coming" WB 1943 Short "The Rear Gunner"
Theatrical Trailer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Errol Flynn, James Brown, William Prince, George Tobias, Henry Hull
  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Writers: Alvah Bessie, Lester Cole, Ranald MacDougall
  • Producers: Jack L. Warner, Jerry Wald
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, 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: May 13, 2003
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008MTY1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,529 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Objective Burma" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By peterfromkanata on May 28, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finally--the great Errol Flynn is becoming available on DVD. One can only hope that Warner Bros. will be releasing more classic Flynn titles in the near future. Except for late in his career, when Errol's excessive lifestyle took its toll, we are looking at one of the most exciting stars to ever grace the "silver screen".
As other reviews will tell you, this is a truly memorable World War II drama about American soldiers successfully accomplishing a dangerous mission against the Japanese in the jungles of Burma, only to face the daunting task of returning to home base alive. The film is exciting, touching, sad and uplifting--and if ever there was an actor that men might follow even through the gates of hell, it is Errol Flynn. I agree that this is one of his best performances. At first, we get the famous Flynn bravado, but as the story progresses, we see more desperate human qualities and ultimately a world-weary resignation. The scene where he discovers that one of his men has been tortured to death does not really show the victim--it doesn't have to--the horror and disbelief on Flynn's face says it all.
The film is long--but even when there is no action taking place, the combination of suspense and sharply-drawn characters keeps a firm grip on your attention. You can feel that oppressive heat--the dense jungle--the biting insects--and the constant threat of a ruthless enemy. In many ways the atmosphere foreshadows another nasty war for Americans, in another Asian jungle, some twenty years later.
The DVD is excellent--the picture is very clear and stable for a 58-year old film.
I know that this movie was vilified in the UK for ignoring the huge role played by British troops in this theatre of the war. I don't pass historical judgments--I simply review the film. As such, "Objective Burma" is a powerful statement, and an excellent vehicle for a truly great star.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lakan Kildap on July 3, 2003
Format: DVD
OK, so it does give an impression that only Americans fought the Japanese in Burma. (The British most certainly fought there, too, especially since Burma was THEIR colony, part of the Indian Empire.) I personally don't mind that at all, after all, this was a story about ONE company of paratroopers taking out ONE Japanese radar station. They did not even represent the entire American presence in that front. So I have no problem with that.
But when you consider the time this movie was made, you cannot help but admire the no-nonsense, straightforward manner it was told. Not an ounce of excess fat (OK, maybe a little, but forgivable). This movie simply means business. The language is spot on. The other reviewer's remark about salt tablets was right on the mark. (Who would have thought salt, which terrifies some people today, was so vital to some people, once upon a time?) Equipment checks, last minute reminders, "hook up", "stand in the door", the burying of parachutes, tactics, the positioning and pulling out of machineguns, you'll have to make a great leap forward, to "Band of Brothers" in the 21st century, to find something this sound, this honest. I don't know how technically authentic it was, but I know it just feels so authentic.
No superheroes. Even the lead character, Capt. Nelson, is your average (G.I.) Joe. The only thing that makes him special is his ability to focus on the mission and to put the welfare of his men above all things. Yes, during the scene where they were ambushed after supplies were dropped, you wish Nelson had been more active in saving those stricken men.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 18, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Raoul Walsh directed this gruelling, gritty, compelling war story, produced during World War Two, as the fight in the Pacific was still in full swing. Errol Flynn, in one of his least glamorous roles, stars as a hard-bitten Captain in charge of an American paratrooper unit that gets sent on a commando mission into Japanese-occupied Burma. They easily achieve their goal of destroying a strategic radar post, but are decimated while trying to return from enemy territory. The film is remorselessly well paced, tense, and manages to transcend the conventions of Hollywood's WWII combat melodramas: it is propagandistic and uses certain formulas, but it is also earthy and anxiety-provoking in a way that the grade-B war films of the era were not. The predicament of the soldiers -- stranded behind enemy lines and cut off from their support -- is made visceral in a way which few movies manage to convey, making this film a clear precursor to "Platoon" and "Black Hawk Down." It's bleak tone and realistic portrayal of the foot soldiers, with their dark humor and fatalistic resolve, all rings true. Highly recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jack Rice on February 26, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
When I read histories of the Pacific War, I frequently come across passages telling of a rage held by allied soldiers against the Japanese, more intense than that held against the Germans (though had they known at the time about Malmedy and the Holocaust, it might have been a different story). There is a scene in "Objective Burma" which conveys to me, more effectively than any other film, how that rage was born.
This is a Warner Brothers "A" picture, directed by the great Raoul Walsh, and it shows. The acting is superb, and the locations are totally convincing. The framework for these is a conventional story of an allied patrol's sabotage of an enemy radar station, deep in the jungle, and its harrowing trek back to safety. What sets "Operation Burma" apart is its concentration on the humanity of the characters within an "action film" context, without resort to melodrama. It is a delicate balance, that many films fail to maintain, and it is perhaps why Errol Flynn is ideal as Captain Nelson, leader of the patrol. Flynn's screen persona as a swashbuckler was always tempered by a disarming mildness, which not only made the ladies swoon but enabled him convincingly to reveal the human frailty behind the bravura. And nowhere else does he display this double facet to better effect than in "Operation Burma". It is said that the best commanders are those who only have to ask in order to be obeyed. Flynn is this kind of commander.
Other fine players should not be neglected. There is a standout performance by Henry Hull, as an elderly journalist whose ambition to cover the war from the ground leads him to the realization that in war it isn't just combat that kills.
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