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4 Film Favorites: John Wayne War [3 Discs] [DVD]

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    Overview

    Synopsis


    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

    Operation Pacific
    Set during WW II, this film casts John Wayne as Duke Gifford, two-fisted submarine commander. Patricia Neal co-stars as Mary Stuart, Duke's former wife. Duke's hopes of staging a reconciliation are constantly interrupted by a series of life-threatening circumstances, capped by the rescue of a group of orphans from a Japanese-held island. Featured in the cast are old John Wayne cronies Ward Bond and Jack Pennick, as well as TV's future Jim Bowie, Scott Forbes. Operation Pacific might prove a fascinating companion feature to 1964's In Harm's Way, which reteamed John Wayne and Patricia Neal in another WW II Navy yarn. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    They Were Expendable
    John Brickley (Robert Montgomery) believes in PT boats, and as a lowly U.S. Navy lieutenant stationed in the Philippines, that makes him a radical thinker. "Your boats maneuver beautifully," an admiral (Charles Trowbridge) tells him, "but if I'm going into combat, I prefer something a little more substantial." The gently delivered but stinging dismissal stirs the resentment of Lt. "Rusty" Ryan (John Wayne), who tartly tells Brickley that he wants to be transferred to destroyers. The Pearl Harbor bombing makes transfer impossible, especially with the Japanese preparing to invade the islands. So Brickley and Ryan go to work, first as message carriers between the Philippines and Corregidor, then, finally, as ship hunters. They record some successes, but it's a doomed effort: The Americans are hopelessly outnumbered by the Japanese, and with almost all of the Pacific Fleet destroyed at Pearl Harbor, they know help won't arrive to save them. As the Japanese push the U.S. forces back, Brickley and Ryan and their crews hop from island to island, scrounging supplies and taking casualties but keeping up the fight. Just as it appears that they will be forced to fight on Corregidor against the Japanese, they get rescued; they're ordered home to promote their PT-boat successes, and they take the last plane out, hoping to return and avenge their defeats. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr., Rovi

    Flying Leathernecks
    The Technicolor adventure epic Flying Leathernecks offers two things that film cultists can never get enough of: star John Wayne and director Nicholas Ray. Filmed at the behest of RKO chieftain Howard R. Hughes, Leathernecks is a paean to the Marine Flying Corps of World War II. Wayne plays Major Dan Kirby, a squadron commander, whose no-nonsense attitude is sharply at odds with the easygoing approach of executive officer Captain Carl Griffin (Robert Ryan). Griffin eventually learns the value of discipline at all costs, while Kirby becomes more humanized as he gets to know his pilots. Jay C. Flippen steals the show as a supply sergeant who "borrows" from other companies to keep his men happy. Though not entirely cliché-free, Flying Leathernecks is one of the more solid war films of the 1950s, and one that has remained readily available in theaters, on TV and in video stores to the present day. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • John Wayne
      John Wayne - Col. Joe Madden
    • Anthony Quinn
      Anthony Quinn - Capt. Andres Bonifacio
    • Beulah Bondi
      Beulah Bondi - Miss Bertha Barnes
    • Fely Franquelli
      Fely Franquelli - Dalisay Delgado
    • Richard Loo
      Richard Loo - Maj. Hasko



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