Back to Bataan (1945)

Back to Bataan (1945)

Synopsis

Storyline:
An Army colonel leads a guerrilla campaign against the Japanese in the Philippines.
User Reviews: I send out 100 men, they find nothing. I send out ten men, they don’t come back.rnrnIs it churlish to complain about overt flag waving in war movies? Or to decry propaganda prose in the same? Back to Bataan is guilty as charged, yet such is the composition of Edward Dmytryk’s film, and its focus on a part of the war we rarely have seen on film, it matters not.rnrnWe are in 1942, and after the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese, U.S. Army Col. Joseph Madden (John Wayne) stays behind to lead the local guerrilla resistance against the Japanese army. With that synopsis it isn’t hard to figure out what sort of pic we are going to get, yet to purely consider this as a macho beefcake movie is a little unfair.rnrnSure it’s bookended by blistering action, as Duke Wayne (very restrained turn actually) and Anthony Quinn cut a swathe through the RKO sound stages, but there’s lots of intelligent human interactions here to mark it as being in the least knowing of the campaign.rnrnIt often grasps for the sentimental branch, while the racist barbs and portrayal of the Japanese does sting at times. But this is exciting and thoughtful stuff, boosted no end by Dmytryk’s sturdy direction and Nicholas Musuraca’s monochrome photography (a film noir lovers dream pairing!). Better than routine war movie. 7/10

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