TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: WWII - Battlefront Asia [2 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Destination Tokyo
Though its purely propagandastic aspects are never far from surface, Destination Tokyo must rank as one of the most intelligent and objective of wartime thrillers. Cary Grant is a tower of strength as Captain Cassidy, skipper of an American submarine bound for Tokyo harbor. Its mission: to allow a Navy meterologist to survey Japanese weather conditions, in preparation for a major Allied assault. Many of the individual incidents in Delmar Daves' script are based on fact, notably an episode in which a pharmacist's mate is called upon to perform an emergency appendectomy. Admittedly, some of the secondary characters are WWII stereotypes, but they're never played that way. Particularly good isDane Clark, in his first important screen role; also registering well as a radio man is John Forsythe, in his first screen role ever. From the sub's embarkation in San Francisco to its climactic retreat from Japan, there's not a single solitary dull moment in the 135 minutes of Destination Tokyo. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Green Berets
The Green Berets is an exciting war film that was lambasted by critics who at the time of its release opposed the war in Vietnam. Wayne's role is similar to his part in The Longest Day (1963), but it was evident to the worldwide public that the same bravado that flew well in World War II crash-landed in 1968 in the wake of a very different war and political time. Wayne plays the hard-nosed rough-and-ready Colonel Mike Kirby who heads a courageous bunch of tough-as-nails Green Berets determined to capture an important enemy general. They are accompanied by a skeptical reporter who soon becomes a gung-ho red-white-and-blue patriot as the Colonel and the others lecture and show him why they must defeat the "commies." Interestingly, despite the massive anti-war sentiments of the times, the film grossed over $11 million at the box-office and is especially notable for the fine battle scenes. The film also features the hit song "Ballad of the Green Berets," sung by Sgt. Barry Sadler. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Back to Bataan
Edward Dmytryk's Back to Bataan stars John Wayne as Colonel Joe Madden. After General MacArthur decides to follow his order and leave the Philippines, Madden agrees to stay behind and organize an underground resistance movement. Anthony Quinn plays Andres Bonifacio, a captain who falls in love with a local woman (Fely Franquelli) who helps the army keep their rag-tag forces as organized as possible. Bonifacio must also deal with the pressure of being the grandson of a beloved Filipino leader. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Bataan
In 1942, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and the United States Office of War Information collaborated on Bataan with the official goal to increase public understanding of World War II. The first war film to take place entirely on the battlefield -- with no scenes of the soldiers on leave, depictions of the home front, or flashbacks to pre-war civilian life -- Bataan prepared its wartime audience for American casualties. Its Alamo-esque storyline emphasized the value of such sacrifice and its diverse group of soldiers --compiled of all ranks, races, classes, ages, and creeds -- portrayed this effort as the duty of all men. It is a depiction of altruism and national unity that both inspired public support of the War and served as the template for World War II films throughout the forties and into the present. ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Cary Grant
    Cary Grant - Capt. Cassidy
  • John Garfield
    John Garfield - Wolf
  • Alan Hale
    Alan Hale - Cookie
  • Dane Clark
    Dane Clark - Tin Can
  • John Ridgely
    John Ridgely - Reserve Officer Raymond
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