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Hell in the Pacific

4.3 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the director of Excalibur and Deliverance comes this "gripping" (Leonard Maltin)adventure about two wartime enemies trapped alone on a desert island. Academy AwardÂ(r) winner* Lee Marvin (The Dirty Dozen) and Toshiro Mifune (The Seven Samurai) deliver "striking and well-etched performances" (LA Herald-Examiner) in this searing psychological drama that packs "plenty of action and excitement" (Motion Picture Herald)! From the instant they meet, a marooned American soldier (Marvin) and his Japanese counterpart (Mifune) have the same objective: killing each other. But it soon becomes apparent that the only way they will survive isby forging an uneasy truce and cooperating with each other. Can they rise above the hatred that divides them long enough to stay alive?

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Writers: Reuben Bercovitch, Alexander Jacobs, Eric Bercovici
  • Producers: Henry G. Saperstein, Reuben Bercovitch, Selig J. Seligman
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, 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: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001GF2FQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,310 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hell in the Pacific" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
My fiance got me the DVD as a present to me on his birthday. It sat for a month and then we finally watched it together. I was amazed that there was no dialogue... really. Very little. And when we were watching the DVD, we did not choose the option for subtitles and only realized that option after we'd seen the film. Overall it is a film to watch -- really watch. After you see it once without the subtitles, watch it again with them. Makes it a totally different experience. The acting and directing is incredible and one is left wondering, what the screenplay of this film actually looked like. Not too many special features but there is an alternate ending that is interesting.
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Format: DVD
Being a hardcore fan of movies from Japan and China, Hell in the pacific is one of the few American arthouse movies I now owned and it is an absolutely fantastic piece of work.
Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune is absolutely terrific in this movie. Their chemistry is as perfect as the story is tense and an absolutely hilarious esp during the scenes when they try to out do each other in their "turf fight". I crack up everytime each one of them mess up their own dirty little wicked plan in the most humourous fashion.
The cinematography is stunning and I really appreciate the alternate ending. I find the original ending really sucks big time.
Still a solid 5 star for this movie. 2 stars for both actors, 1 star for the movie, 1 star for the cinematography and 1 star for the alternate ending. There you go, a 5 star pure cinematic genius. I am very very happy with this DVD.
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Format: DVD
Similiarities to the Enemy Mine movie could be made here. Perhaps the Enemy Mine writer got the idea from this story. Two men stranded on a Island rather than a planet in this case. As WWII rages a Japanese and American soldier are stranded on the same small island. They try to kill each other at first. As time goes by they realize their very survival depends on a truce. Eventually they work together and build a raft. After days on the Pacific Ocean they find another larger group of islands. The uneasy truce becomes shaky again when they find remnants of Japanese and American occupation on the main island. Up to this point an excellent movie. In fact I was say close to flawless movie since the acting, sets, scenery, music, directing and all the rest are incredible. SPOILER ALERT: Now the reason I didn't give it four or five stars is because they kill them off with a single stray artillery shell in the original ending. You will be enthralled with the wonderful acting and really care for these two characters. Then to suddenly watch their lifes snuffed out just so some writer or director could make their point that war is bad didn't impress me. If someone didn't think we get that point long before the ending of this movie, they don't give much credit to the audience. Why they didn't use the alternate ending with the soldiers walking off their separate ways is beyond me. Be sure to look at the alternate ending and see if you agree this should have been the original ending. Still well worth owning.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
British director John Boorman's 1968 consideration of the tremendously vicious hemispheric Pacific conflict of WW II is a brief, but unfortunately unsatisfying examination of the here leaderless, very dirty hand-to-hand combat that was island-hopping in the war. Both Lee Marvin (who actually served as a Marine during the war in his youth) , and Mifune, a Japanese "star" of quite respectable dramatic stature give fine, necessarily muted performances. But the plot sort of drifts lazily back and forth in the Pacific Palau, in a dreamy would-be interpretation of individual land-ops which one-on-one combat most assuredly should not (cinematically) at least) be. To do Boorman credit, Marvin does eventually bring the subject of the (Christian) God into the confrontation, but it's pretty much too late, and the audience leaves with the somewhat dull effect of having watched a war fought between business boardrooms, one democratic and one fascist, and who really needs that kind of history, if only merely dramatic? Sadly, once again, "Old men start wars...young men finish them."
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Format: VHS Tape
It's been a long time since I saw this on the big screen (I was in my teens), but I remember a few vivid images of this intense drama of two men, one American, one Japanese, stranded together on a tiny Pacific island. Although bitter enemies, the y each go through a transformation of character and purpose, forced upon them by their harsh circumstances. In a way, the film is as much a commentary on how mankind can get along, or how we can destroy each other, depending on which way the wind blows (literally, here). Parts of the movie seem to drag on with little development, while others are rich in humor, sadness, violence, and characterization. I didn't like the ending, as it seemed pointless. However, that may well be the message of the entire movie.
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Format: DVD
HELL IN THE PACIFIC is a curiosity. Telling the story of two pilots, one Japanese (Toshiro Mifune) and one American (Lee Marvin), stranded on a small, deserted tropical island during World War II it's at once fascinating and somewhat flat. Mifune and Marvin are two of my favorite actors. Their plight on the island, coveting or guarding precious limited resources against the `enemy', more or less drives home the point that war is a futile exercise. Of course the question arises as to whether we can conquer our distrust before we conquer, or are conquered by, our enemy. HELL IN THE PACIFIC is thought-provoking and beautifully photographed by master cinematographer Conrad Hall.

After a while, though, with all the attacks and counter-attacks, I got the feeling that I was in the middle of a Road Runner cartoon with no exit. This feeling was exacerbated by such scenes as Marvin trying to teach captive Mifune (the balance of power changes a number of times) to fetch a stick like a dog. It was an ill-conceived scene, brutishly funny if the intent was humor, but added onto the ridiculous ending HELL IN THE PACIFIC seems to have expended its creative energy well before the final credits run. By the way, I strongly recommend watching the `Alternate Ending' in the Special Features after watching the movie. It's the right ending for the movie, and it's a mystery why it's the `alternate' one.
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