War Films : What War films have you seen? Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr - 2016 Edition.

Re: HELL IS FOR HEROES 1962

Hell Is for Heroes (1962)

I endorse both your triffic informative review, and of the film itself. Gord


McQueen Mean Moody Magnificent.

Autumn 1944, and the powerful Nazi army moves along the Siegried Line. With immense firepower and a high volume of soldiers, it's only a matter of time before they break thru the line. In their way is a small band of GIs, who thru sheer guts and ingenuity, devise a ruse to fool the Nazis into thinking a huge Alied Task Force is holding the line. But just how long can they keep up the pretence?

Directed with unfussy and straight know how by Don Siegel, Hell Is For Heroes is an adaptation of Robert Pirosh's script titled Separation Hill. Very much a tale of brains to go with courage, it's actually a picture that is grounded in fact. There really were seven men who used the ruse that is the centre of the film. Very much an ensemble picture, it wasn't without problems during production. Robert Pirosh was actually meant to direct the film, but after headliner Steve McQueen voiced opinions and requests, Pirosh was promptly fired. Enter Siegel, who quickly earned McQueen's respect and crafted the intended ensemble film and not the one man story that McQueen had openly coveted. The final result is a rewarding one on both counts. McQueen does dominate the film by putting an edgy believability to his character Reese, but we do come away knowing that this film is about a group of men coming together under duress.

In spite of favourable reviews on its release, Hell Is For Heroes wasn't particularly fancied by its studio {Paramount}. Releasing it as a double bill with the Yul Bryner yawner, Escape from Zahrain, Siegel's picture sadly vanished from view and judged a failure. But as the years have passed, the film, and McQueen's excellent performance, has grown in stature and garnered a new generation of fans. Director Stanley Kubrick {Full Metal Jacket} even going so far as to say McQueen's turn was "the best portrayal of a solitary soldier he'd ever seen", something that Kubrick wouldn't have said lightly I'm sure. With its stark black and white photography (Harold Lipstein), booming Leonard Rosenman score, and a highly impressive young cast led by McQueen, Hell Is For Heroes is a WWII film that simply should not be missed; just like the film itself, a gritty and realistic 8/10 from me.


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

KOKODA 2006 War with an unseen Enemy

CONTAINS SPOILERS

KOKODA 2006

This Australian war film is about a small group of Australian soldiers during the Kokoda Track campaign of 1942. The men, part of the Australian 39th Battalion are sent deep into the mountains of New Guinea to try and stop the Japanese from reaching Port Moresby. The Japanese had landed a large force on the far side of the island, and are crossing over the Owen Stanley Range to take Port Moresby.

Most of the Australian Army was fighting in North Africa, or had been lost in the fight for Singapore and the Dutch East Indies. The 39th was one of the few units available. It consisted of mostly of untrained militia and soldiers considered unfit for combat.

The film starts with a section of men assigned to a forward post on the Kokoda Track. Their job is to warn the main body of the troops if the Japanese show. The Japanese do show, and quickly flank the group. The survivors hot foot it into the jungle to escape. The half dozen men left now need to attempt to reach their own lines.

The men quickly run out of food and fresh water. Most have malaria and are suffering from dysentery. They move on the best they can trying to avoid Japanese patrols. One by one the group is reduced from clashes with the opposing forces. One man is wounded and wanders off into the jungle to die. Another is shot up and left in an old native hut.

Several days later, two of the men, starving and exhausted, manage to hook up with some Regular Australian Army units. The Regulars have just reached the area, and are having their own problems with the Japanese. Fighting in the open North African desert, is not the same as the dense humid jungle.

The militiamen soon find themselves back in the fight as the Japanese launch a big attack. The attack fails, but the undermanned Aussies still need to fall back. Another of the men is killed, but the man left at the native hut has been brought in by several natives.

The slow retreat continues almost to Port Moresby. The Japanese though have shot their bolt. They are now at the long end of a supply line. They are recalled back to the other side of the mountains. The long battle now continues back over the mountains in pursuit of the Japanese. The 39th though, what is left of them, are withdrawn.

The cast is made up of, Ben Barrack, Simon Stone, Ewen Leslie, Christopher Baker, Travis McMahon, and Jack Finsterer, Luke Ford and Steve Le Marquand.

First time feature film director, Alister Grierson, deserves full marks here. This is one nasty, brutal, war film.

The cinematography by Jules O'Loughlin is simply fantastic, showing the viewer just how claustrophobic jungle warfare was. The Japanese are seldom shown except as shadows through the dense undergrowth. Most of the time they are right on top of the Aussies before they are seen. O'Loughlin was nominated for best cinematography by various Australian cinema award venues.

All in all, this is a very good war film.

Re: KOKODA 2006 War with an unseen Enemy

Kokoda (2006)

Sounds great, a variant on The Lost Patrol. Seems like the Mount Tamborine location has been underused in Oz films.



The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: KOKODA 2006 War with an unseen Enemy

ha...used to live a short drive from it..

Re: KOKODA 2006 War with an unseen Enemy

ha...used to live a short drive from it..

War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957

Contains Spoilers

THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957

This is an episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode, the seventh is the series, is about the "Batfish". It is early 1945 and "Batfish" has been assigned to patrol off the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. The Japanese are using submarines to evacuate high level officers over to their bases on Formosa. The subs are then used to ship ammunition and food back to the Japanese still fighting in the Philippines.

The "Batfish" is one of several U.S. Navy pig-boats operating in the general area. The Captain of the "Batfish", Rhodes Reason, warns his crew that they must be doubly sure they do not attack one of their own by mistake. The ship's second in command, Michael Emment, is not worried about the "Batfish" making an error, he is overly worried about the "Batfish" being sunk in error.

The "Batfish" gets a radar contact while running on the surface at night. They stalk the contact to confirm that it is an enemy submarine. After identifying said sub as a Japanese RO class boat, they move in. One torpedo soon sends the enemy sub to Davey Jones' locker. In the next 36 hours the "Batfish" manages to dispose of two more Japanese submarines running the shuttle service to Formosa.

The "Batfish" was kept in service after the war as a training vessel. She served as such till 1969 when she was put in reserve. In 1971 she was sold to Oklahoma Maritime Advisory Board. "Batfish" then began a year long journey up various inland waterways to her final berth at Muskogee, Oklahoma. She is now a museum ship open to the public.

Re: War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957

looks like that entire series is on youtube


I don't think I'd heard of it...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZgGjj9ev8IC2QYB3ccieYd2PkBuFfXZP

Re: War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957

do they have that great oriental 'GONGGGG" sound, every time a Japanese is sighted.. ?

I used to love that GONG and orchestral every time the Japanese are glimpsed , in Pacific War movies...a periscope in particular..

The GONG!!!!

The sound you speak of is in every episode. LOL No way to miss that ear splitting racket. LOL

Action Stations!!!!!

Re: The GONG!!!!

and a few bars of that Japanesey Empirey orchestral music, whatever it is...I might download the one about the USS Tang and watch it...

Re: War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The U.S.S. Batfish Scores (1957)

It's an education!

Have you got series 2 as well mate?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Batfish Scores" 1957

I have all of season one and maybe half of the second.

THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Tigrone sets a Record" 1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Tigrone sets a Record" 1957

This is the eighth episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Tigrone". It is early 1945 and "Tigrone" has been assigned along with several other submarines to patrol north of Guam. The "Tigrone" is part of a line of submarine positioned to pick up downed flyer's returning from B-29 attacks on Japan. Damaged aircraft ditch near the subs if they cannot reach home base on Saipan.

The "Tigrone" is soon busy fishing various B-29 crews out of the drink. They pack on 30 plus flyer's on board before heading back to Gaum. The "Tigrone" would become famous among aircrews for always getting the job done.

After the war, the "Tigrone" would be modified as a radar picket boat and would serve tours in the Med and Caribbean seas. She then served as a research vessel for various experimental radar and sonar installations. She was the oldest serving submarine in the fleet when decommissioned 1975. She was also the last submarine to have seen active service in World War Two. She was sunk as a target in 1976.

The cast is made up of Jack Kelly, Brett Halsey, Art Lewis, Ross Elliot and Douglas Dick. Western fans will of course know Jack Kelly from the popular series, MAVERICK, where Kelly played Bart Maverick, the brother of Bret Maverick. (James Garner)

Re: THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Tigrone sets a Record" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The U.S.S. Tigrone Sets a Record (1957)

Maverick's Bro!

Great work mate

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Ordre d'execution 1958

CONTAINS SPOILERS

Ordre d'execution – 1958

There has been a leak in a French Underground network ran by the U.S. Army intelligence service. Several agents have been killed after meeting with a member of the network. The U.S. decides that the man, Leslie French, must be a double agent working for the Germans. They decide that the leak needs to be sealed and Mr. French eliminated. It is only a month till D-Day and the Allies cannot take any chances.

They draft in a French speaking pilot from the Air Force. The man, Paul Massie, just happens to have lived in the same area of Paris where French lives. They give Massie a crash course on how to act etc once he is dropped in country. They also teach him various ways of killing quietly.

One of training officers, Eddie Albert, is not quite sure that Massie is the right man. While dropping bombs on a more or less unseen enemy is OK, will Massie be able to do the deed, face to face? Albert's boss, Johnny Crawford sees no problem and orders the training to carry on. "Lives are at risk!" Crawford says.

Massie is soon ready and dropped outside Paris. He is to meet with an Underground contact, Irene Worth, who will put him up etc. He as papers as an electrical engineer which allows him more or less free movement through the streets.

He then spends several days casing the run down building where French has his lawyer offices. While having a drink in the downstairs café, Massie bumps right into French. French seems like a nice sort, and warns him not to order the rabbit stew as it is really cat. French then warns him that the Police and the Germans will be raiding the area in an hour. Massie best hideout, or he will be grabbed up and shipped to Germany as forced labour. French offers the man a room in his office upstairs to hide in.

Sure enough, the raid happens and several men are grabbed up and hauled away. Massie spends the night in French's office looking for evidence he is a turncoat. He finds none. French returns the next morning and invites Massie to dine with his wife and daughter that evening. Massie accepts the invite. Massie is finding that the more time he spends with his target, the more convinced he is that French is innocent.

Massie contact's Worth and asks what he should do?. ''Do your job!'' Is her response. The next morning Massie returns to French's office. When French turns his back to brew up some tea, Massie, belts him with a handy blunt object on the back of the head. The blow was not hard enough and Massie is forced to make a mess of the job with a knife. He cleans up as best he can and takes off into the streets.

Several days after the Allies have liberated Paris. A MP patrol brings in a drunken man who says he is a U.S. pilot. The name is run through the records and Eddie Albert gets the call. He visits Massie in the hospital and finds that the man is being eaten up by guilt over killing French. He has been drunk ever since the hit.

Now Col. Crawford shows up, he tells Massie that he is a hero and his actions saved hundreds of lives. Once Crawford has left, Massie asks Albert for the truth. He can't go the rest of his life wondering about it. Albert tells him that French turned out to be innocent. Also in the cast, are James Robertson Justice, Sandra Dorne, Lionel Jefferies and Lillian Gish.

Canadian Paul Massie won a BAFTA Award for his role in this film. Though the film builds slowly, it is worth staying till the pay off. The film was nominated for the Palme dÃ’r at the Cannes Film Festival.

The director was Anthony Asquith. His work includes, THE BROWNING VERSION, COTTAGE TO LET, FANNY BY GASLIGHT, THE WOMAN IN QUESTION, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, CARRINGTON V.C. and LIBEL.

Re: Ordre d'execution 1958

Orders to Kill (1958)

Nice one Gord. Seems under seen but some strong suport and a fair few reviews for it. That's quite a CV for Anthony Asquith.

Enjoyed that

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Ordre d'execution 1958

Good film.

War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The Five Ring Circus" 1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "The Five Ring Circus" 1957

This is the ninth episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Gato". It is fall 1943 and the "Gato" has been assigned to patrol north of the Bismarck Archipelago. She is hunting ships heading for Rabual on New Britain. She attacks several cargo ships causing heavy damage to two. She then sinks a ship later in the patrol.

While on the surface charging batteries', "Gato" sights a life raft in the distance. On the raft is a single Japanese soldier. After the man is hauled on board, one of the ships officers, who speaks a bit of Japanese, grills the prisoner. The man had been afloat alone for two weeks surviving on rain water and the odd seagull. He was the sole survivor of a troop transport sunk by a submarine.

A Japanese float plane now decides to put in an appearance. It is touch and go for moment, but the "Gato" manages to chase off the float-plane with quick action from the ship's anti-aircraft guns. The float-plane however has called for help and several Japanese escort ships arrive.

A severe depth charge attack rattles the bones of the "Gato" and her crew. Later, after it appears that the escorts have left the area, the "Gato" surfaces. The crew find a most unpleasant surprise awaiting them. Stuck between the deck, and the conning tower, is an unexploded Japanese depth charge.

Now the escorts return to the scene. The "Gato" flees at full speed on the surface. There is no way to dive while the depth charge is lodged on deck. One of the enlisted men has a bright idea. They pull the depth charge free and load it onto a rubber life raft. Over the side it goes and the "Gato" dives to safety.

The "Gato" completed 13 war time patrols during which she sank 7 Japanese vessels. The "Gato" was also present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese signed the surrender documents. She was decommissioned in 1946 and held in reserve till 1960 before being scrapped.

The cast includes, Britt Lomond, Tom Coley, Jack Mann, Ken Drake and Stanley Clements.

Re: War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The Five Ring Circus" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Five-Ring Circus (1957)

Another goodie! New review for you, first time watch or a long overdue rewatch?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: War Tv : THE SILENT SERVICE "The Five Ring Circus" 1957

The whole series is new watch stuff for me.

Võitlused Leegionis 2010 Excellent low budget Short Film

CONTAINS SPOILERS

Võitlused Leegionis 2010

This short film is about a young man who joins the 3rd Estonian SS Volunteer Brigade. The young man wants to get even with the Soviets for killing his brother when the USSR annexed Estonia in 1940.

The film starts in late 1944 with a small squad of Estonians retreating before a massive Soviet attack. The Soviets overrun the Estonians and kill everyone but one wounded soldier. The next day, the man is found by several civilians and hauled off to a small cabin in the forest. The man's wounds are tended to and he slowly recovers. As he does, he tells the others about how he ended up in the war.

It is early 1943, and the Germans put out a call for men to join an all Estonian unit to fight on the East Front. Several thousand men sign up. Most join to get some payback on the USSR. The Soviets had annexed Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at the same time in 1940. (The Soviets received a bloody nose when they tried the same move on Finland) The Soviet occupation had been brutal with many killed or shipped off to camps. When the Germans swept through during their 1941 attack on the USSR, they were looked upon as liberators.

Our storyteller explains how the men were trained, and then shipped to a rear area behind a quiet part of the front. Things quickly change when the Soviets launch an attack and break through the German lines. The only handy unit for the Germans to use is the untried Estonians. The unit proves their mettle and launch a successful counter-attack pushing the Reds back.

The film then follows the men as the war starts to go bad for the Axis. Retreat becomes the order of the day, with sharp, brutal battles in the deep forest. The Reds have pursued the Germans and their allies back through Estonia. We now get to where the narrator was wounded and his comrades killed.

The men who had rescued him, offer to take him in with them. They are members of the Estonian resistance group, "The Forest Brothers". They intend to continue the fight against the Soviets. The narrator joins the men knowing what will happen if the Reds get him.

This is a pretty good low budget war film that runs just over 40 minutes. There is excellent attention to detail with uniforms, weapons etc being correct to the time. The cast looks like mostly amateur types, though this does not detract from the film at all. The direction is solid and the combat scenes quite well done. The English sub-titles are a bit awkward but, so what, the film gets the point across. I liked it.

A bit of history, "The Forest Brothers" used the heavily forested countryside to hide and launch guerrilla attacks on the Reds. The armed anti-Soviet resistance lasted about 10 years and cost the Soviets several thousand troops. Needless to say that the USSR was hard on anyone caught.

Re: Võitlused Leegionis 2010 Excellent low budget Short Film

Võitlused Leegionis (2010)

You keep dragging them up out the blue! You liked this one a lot.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: Võitlused Leegionis 2010 Excellent low budget Short Film

Thank you. I always look for the obscure films if I can.

War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Pampanito Story" 1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Pampanito Story" 1957

This is the tenth episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Pampanito". It is August 1944 and the "Pampanito" has been assigned to patrol the South China Sea. The submarine is part of a wolf pack looking for Japanese shipping. The "Pampanito", along with the "Growler" and "Sealion" make contact with a Japanese convoy. Each of the submarines scores a kill. They then continue on with their patrol.

72 hours later, the "Pampanito" returns to the same area looking for fresh targets. They see a large group of men clinging to various pieces of wreckage. They assume that they are Japanese survivors from the earlier action. The "Pampanito" alters course to avoid the men.

They quickly turn back when they hear shouts in English. The men turn out to be British and Australian prisoners who were on one of the torpedoed vessels. The Japanese had been transferring 900 of the prisoners to Japan from Singapore. The "Pampanito" starts pulling in all the men they can find. Water, food and medical aid are in rather short supply, but the crewmen do what they can.

The ship's officers, Jess Barker and Richard Crenna get on the radio and call for help. Headquarters in Pearl Harbor sends all subs in the area to help. "The "Pampanito" picks up about 75 men while the other submarines manage to pull in another 80 or so. The subs then set sail at top speed to get the men to Saipan for medical help.

The "Pampanito" completed 5 wartime patrols accounting for about 27,000 tons of enemy shipping. After the war she served as a training ship till 1971. She is now a museum ship based in San Francisco.

The "Pampanito" was used in the 1995 Hollywood film, DOWN PERISCOPE staring Kelsey Grammar and Laruen Holly.

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The U.S.S. Pampanito Story" 1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The U.S.S. Pampanito Story (1957)

Not seen Down Periscope (1996)


Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War Tv: "The USS Tirante plays a Hunch"1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "The USS Tirante plays a Hunch"1957

This is the eleventh episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Tirante". It is March 1945 and the "Triante" is cruising off Southern Japan on her very first wartime patrol. They are to patrol the shipping lanes between Korea and Japan. She is lucky right from the get go sinking 6 Japanese ships of various types. She also under goes a rather vigorous round of depth charges from one of the escorts.

Escaping the escort, the "Triante" now heads for Korean waters. By this time in the war, the Japanese were so short of ships that they were using even small junks to move supplies. The "Triante" stops and sinks several of these. Off one of the small craft, a Korean sailor offers info on a convoy hiding off a small island.

The "Triante" sneaks in to the anchorage on the surface and sinks a trio of Japanese ships, a cargo ship and two escorts. She then hot foots it out of the area before any Japanese aircraft can show. The commanding officer, George Street would be awarded the Medal of Honor for this mission. Also among the crew members on the "Triante" were author Edward L Beach, future actor, Theo Marcuse and future governor of Massachusetts, Endicott Peabody. Beach wrote the novel, RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP.

The cast in this episode includes, Glen Veron, Kelly Thordsen, Thom Carney, Charles H Gray and Russell Johnson. Johnson played "The Professor" on the 60's cult series, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.

The "Triante" served after the war as a test ship and was decommissioned in 1973 and scrapped the following year.

Re: War Tv: "The USS Tirante plays a Hunch"1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The U.S.S. Tirante Plays a Hunch (1957)



Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

.THE PURPLE HEART 1944

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE PURPLE HEART 1944

The war in the Pacific was into its fourth year when this 20th Century Fox production hit the theatres. It is a dramatization of a show trial of American air-crew that took place in 1942. It shows the capture, torture and trial of eight members of the "Doolittle Raiders". The cast is made up of, Dana Andrews, Don Barry, Richard Andrews, Farley Granger, Sam Levene, Kevin O'Shea, Charles Russell, John Craven, Richard Loo and Tala Birell.

After the April 18th 1942 attack on Japan by 16 B-25 bombers, the aircraft were to fly to airfields in China. None made it there as lack of fuel forced the crews to parachute into the night. All but eight men would make it to safety in Allied parts of China. These eight men were captured by the Japanese and put on trial. Three were executed, one died in a p.o.w. camp and the others were freed in August 1945 after the Japanese surrender.

In the film, the men are placed on trial in front of a group of reporters from various Axis and neutral countries. The Japanese officer in charge, Richard Loo is not above using a spot of torture to get his questions answered. One man is beaten so bad he is brain damaged, another has his arms broken, a third, has his vocal chords damaged and yet another has his hands destroyed. They all refuse to talk.

There is a side plot going on here between the Japanese Army and Japanese Navy officers. One side is sure the B-25's came from China, and the other is convinced they were off a carrier. (Which they did, the U.S.S. Hornet) The Japanese "really" want to know which is correct. The trial goes on with the Japanese producing plenty of obviously faked evidence.

This is more of courtroom film than a war drama, but so what, it is a really hard hitting bit of war-time flag waving. Apparently the U.S. War Department was against the production of this film. It was one of the first films to deal directly with the treatment of POWs by the Japanese. The War Department was worried that it might provoke the Japanese into making reprisals against Allied prisoners.

The film was directed by Lewis Milestone. The three time Oscar nominated and two time winner does solid work here. He is probably best known as the helmsman on the 1931 Oscar winner, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. The man knew how to make a war film, with, A WALK IN THE SUN, NORTH STAR, HALLS OF MONTEZUMA and PORK CHOP HILL as examples of his work in the genre. He also directed OF MICE AND MEN, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, THE RED PONY, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1962) and OCEAN'S ELEVEN.

The cinematographer was three time Oscar winner, Art Miller. The talented Miller worked on, LIFEBOAT, MAN HUNT, THE MOON IS DOWN, WHIRLPOOL, THE PROWLER as well as the superb westerns, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT and THE GUNFIGHTER.

The film was a hit and was heavily promoted during war bond drives at theatres.

Re: .THE PURPLE HEART 1944

The Purple Heart (1944)

Flag Wavers "r" Us

Good work as always


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War TV: THE SILENT SERVICE "USS Tang vs Truk"1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "USS Tang vs Truk"1957

This is the 12th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Tang". It is March 1944 and the "Tang" is patrolling of the large Japanese Naval base at Truk. They have been hunting for prey for 3 weeks with no luck. The U.S. Navy launches a large attack from several aircraft carriers against the Japanese base.

The "Tang" is called in to rescue downed airmen who ditched after the attack. They come up on a light Kingfisher float-plane off one of the American battleships escorting the carriers. The small two man float-plane is riding low in the surf. That is because besides the crew, there are 7 rescued fliers perched on the wings. The "Tang" pulls everyone on board and sinks the damaged float-plane.

Over the next couple of days the "Tang" pulls more fliers out of the drink before heading back to Pearl Harbor. The Captain and crew get a hardy well done from the Navy even though they did not sink any enemy vessels. The use of submarines to rescue downed pilots now became the norm.

The cast is made up by, Jerry Paris, Dan Barton, Otis Greene, Leon Tyler and Damian O'Flynn. Actor Paris would become a successful director of television movies and various series.

The "Tang" would become the most successful U.S. submarine of W.W.2 in terms of ships and tonnage sunk. She was credited with 33 ships totalling 116,454 tons during five patrols. On her fifth patrol, one of her own torpedoes circled back and hit the "Tang", sinking her. Only nine officers and crewmen survived the sinking to be rescued by a Japanese escort. They spent the rest of the conflict in a Japanese P.O.W. camp

Re: War TV: THE SILENT SERVICE "USS Tang vs Truk"1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The U.S.S. Tang vs. Truk (1957)

Outstanding history info mate


Oh, BTW, got Intimate Enemies sorted

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Wahoo Story"1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "The Wahoo Story"1957

This is the 13th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Wahoo". It is May 1943 and the submarine "Wahoo" has just returned to Pearl Harbor. Tied to her periscope is a broom, which means she made a clean sweep on the patrol. There are 8 new Japanese flags painted on her conning tower. Waiting on the dock is the Admiral in charge, Phil Tonge, and a news radio reporter, Morris Ankrum.

The ship's crew, led by "Mush Morton" (John Archer) is given leave while the "Wahoo" is refitted for her next patrol. Reporter Ankrum has been assigned to do a story on several of the Navy subs, including "Wahoo". Ankrum meets Captain Morton and really takes a dislike to the man. He finds Morton to be rather arrogant. Morton though is well respected among other submariners as an aggressive leader, with a long list of Japanese ships to his credit.

The "Wahoo" goes out on her next patrol and hits a bad stretch of luck. She has a large number of torpedoes fail to run true or blow up early. After a half dozen or so failed attacks the "Wahoo" returns to base. The sub is promised the first of a new mark of torpedoes arriving from the U.S.A. These all have improved firing pins etc.

The "Wahoo" is sent to an area between Japan and Korea to try out the new gear. She is never heard from again. After several months she is listed as lost with all hands. The episode ends with newsman Ankrum making a radio broadcast about the brave men of, THE SILENT SERVICE.

The cast includes, Brett King, John Close, David Cross and Jerry Paris. Actor Paris would later become a television director of note with close to 300 episodes to his credit.

The "Wahoo" was credited with 16 Japanese ships over 6 wartime patrols. The wreck of the "Wahoo" was discovered in 2006 at a depth of 65 meters.

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Wahoo Story"1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Wahoo Story (1957)

Was someone looking for The Wahoo? Or did someone stumble upon the wreck by accident?

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "The Wahoo Story"1957

It was a joint search between the US, Russia and Japan. It is now marked as a war grave.

CHINA GATE 1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

China Gate 1957

I caught Sam Fuller's 1957 war film CHINA GATE for the first time in a good 20 plus years. The DVD is finally available with its full black-and-white CinemaScope image intact. The old pan and scan VHS was terrible.

While not the first Hollywood film to deal with the war in what was then French Indochina, this one does comes across as a precursor to the American involvement in Vietnam.

The leads are played here by Gene Barry and Angie Dickinson, with support by, Nat King Cole, Lee Van Cleef, Gerald Milton, James Hong, Paul Dubov and Marcel Dalio.

The film is set in 1954 and the French are on the losing end of a string of battles with the Viet Minh. Gene Barry is an American Korean War vet who has returned to Vietnam to continue his fight against the Reds. As with most leads in a Fuller film, Barry is a typically conflicted hero. He volunteers to go on a mission for the French Foreign Legion to destroy Soviet-supplied ammunition dumps near the border with Red China.

The expedition is to be guided in country by a Eurasian bar girl known far and wide as Lucky Legs (Angie Dickinson). Dickinson just happens to Barry's estranged wife as well the mother of his young son. The kicker here is that Barry could not handle that the boy looked Chinese, so Barry left to fight in Korea. Barry is still fighting because he hates the Reds, while Dickinson is going because the French government promised to help her get her son to America.

The group slowly works its way north through the thick jungle past various Viet Minh outposts. Dickinson is known to most of the Red officers from her days running a popular bar. She has also brought along a generous supply of booze to ply the guards with. The group has a few close calls along the way losing some of their explosives and a few men.

The group finally reaches the area where the Reds have stockpiled enormous amounts of arms and ammo. They are all stored in a large complex of caves. Of course Miss Dickinson happens to know the Red officer in charge, Lee Van Cleef. Cleef is more than happy to show Dickinson around after a few belts from one of Dickinson's bottles.

During the journey, Barry has finally realized what a turd he was for leaving his wife and son while he went off to fight. He promises to make sure the boy makes it to the States. While Dickinson distracts several of the guards at the entrance of the cave complex, Barry and his men wire up the arms etc with explosives.

Everything is wired and ready to go when the Reds discover the explosives. They cut the wire hooked to the detonator. Dickinson rushes back inside the cave and hooks up the wires again, blowing herself, the caves, and most of the Reds to kingdom come.

Sam Fuller wrote and directed this film. His other work, include the excellent Korean War films, THE STEEL HELMET and FIXED BAYONETS. He also dabbled in film noir with, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, HOUSE OF BAMBOO and THE CRIMSOM KIMONO. His most well-known works are probably, THE BIG RED ONE and MERRILL'S MARUDERS.

The film, though mostly studio bound, is quite sharp looking with plenty of nice blacks and greys. The man handling the cinematography is two time Oscar nominated, and one time winner, Joseph Biroc. Biroc worked between 1943 and 1987. He is well known to film noir fans for his work on, THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK, LOAN SHARK, WITHOUT WARNING, VICE SQUAD, THE GLASS WALL, DOWN THREE DARK STREETS, BENGAZI, THE GARMENT JUNGLE and CRY DANGER. His most well know film is IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

Re: CHINA GATE 1957

China Gate (1957)

Nice. Fuller and Biroc. This should get more exposure now with the DVD release.

Good work my man

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH 1961

CONTAINS SPOILERS

BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH 1961

This WW2 film has Audie Murphy is the starring role. The action takes place on an unnamed island in the Philippines. Murphy, who had been working in the Islands at the time of the Japanese Invasion, was lucky enough to have escaped. He however was unable to save his wife in all the confusion. He is now helping the US supply various Philippine resistance groups with arms and ammo. These are landed at night by submarine. Murphy uses these trips to spend time looking for his lost wife who he is sure is still alive.

This time there is trouble right from the get go. When Murphy hits the beach to meet his underground contact, Gary Crosby, he is jumped by a pair of patrolling Japanese soldiers. There is a brisk bit of hand to hand before Murphy and Crosby dispose of the Japanese. They hide the corpses and hightail it into the hills to Crosby's jungle shack. That is where Crosby has his radio.

At the shack Murphy meets several members of Crosby's band of guerrillas. One of this group, Dale Isimoto, leads Murphy to a meeting with William Mims. Mims is an American leading his own bunch of men. They want Murphy to supply them with arms so they can fight the Japanese. This does not happen as Murphy discovers that Mims and his men are simply bandits robbing the locals.

Arriving on the scene now is a genuine guerrilla leader, Alejandro Rey. Rey's men and Mims bunch engage in a quick and bloody battle with Rey's men winning. With Rey, Murphy finds his wife, Dolores Michaels. While Murphy is happy as pie with the reunion, Michaels is not. Thinking Murphy had been killed in the invasion, Michaels and Rey have been doing a bit of horizontal Mambo. Michaels now loves Rey.

Rey brings in all the Americans who have been hiding in the hills so they can be lifted by the submarine. Murphy agrees to this and will give Rey the rifles etc that he brought. Murphy is somewhat surprised when Michaels tells him she is staying with Rey.

Anyways, before the civilians can be taken out to the sub a large force of Japanese interrupt the proceedings. The Americans hide out in a wrecked ship on the beach and manage to fight off the Japanese assault. The Japanese send for a couple of mortars and begin to plaster the ship killing off the Americans one by one. It is only the last minute arrival of Rey's men that rout the Nipponese and save the day. Michaels has now decided that she does still love Murphy and will leave with him.

This is at best an average war film. It suffers from some not so good acting by the supporting cast as well as slipshod editing and direction. Murphy, Michaels and Crosby are however decent and do their best.

The director, Herbert Colman had worked with Murphy on the western POSSE FROM HELL. Colman had been a second unit director on 5 Hitchcock films including VERTIGO, TO CATCH A THIEF and REAR WINDOW. The man would soon end up working on the TV series, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.

The story and screenplay, which should have been better, was by Hollywood veteran, Richard Maibaum. Maibaum wrote the story or screenplay for, THE GREAT GATSBY, I WANTED WINGS, O.S.S., THE RED BERET, HELL BELOW ZERO, RANSOM, GOLDFINGER, DR NO, FROM Russia WITH LOVE, THUNDERBALL and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN.

Look close and you can see Ivan Dixon in an early role. Dixon would become famous as one of men in the 1960's TV hit, HOGAN'S HEROES.

Re: BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH 1961

Battle at Bloody Beach (1961)

Average, then. Surprised I hadn't heard of it before given that it stars Audie, though it seems it's one not many want to unearth as a hidden gem.


Gord

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Re: BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH 1961

I sure was expecting a better film. You are an Audie fan if I recall, right? One to see in order to check it off the Murphy list.

Re: BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH 1961

casual fan of him in Westerns, here, anyway..

I use one of his oft-repeated sayings, actually..

"just passin' through, M'aam, Just passin' through.."

PUNISHMENT BATTALION 999 :1960 (STRAFBATAILLON 999)

CONTAINS SPOILERS

PUNISHMENT BATTALION 999 – 1960 (STRAFBATAILLON 999)

This World War Two film is set on the Eastern Front just as the war is turning against the Germans. The film is about the men of one of the penal battalions assigned to clear mines, dig earthworks etc. The battalions are made up of criminal types as well as deserters and men convicted of being politically unreliable.

The story follows several men assigned to Penal Battalion 999. These include a thuggish brute, Hanns Ernest Jager, a disgraced doctor, Georg Thomas and a nasty NCO, Werner Peters.

The men are considered to be expendable by the High Command and are given all the most dangerous jobs at the front. They clear mines, fight Russian partisans and take on Soviet tanks with nothing but hand grenades. The losses among the men mount daily.

There is a side story here involving the doctor, Thomas' wife, Sonja Zieman who is back in Berlin trying to get Thomas freed. She even agrees to "step out" with several high level Nazi types if that will help her husband. There is another bit with soldier, Jager dealing with an officer who has it out for him. He arranges for the man to be shot while visiting the trench line. He then sets it up so it looks like the Soviets got the officer.

The Battalion is now sent out on a dangerous patrol to gather intelligence on a possible Soviet attack. The night time raid fails miserably with most of the unit wiped out. The Soviets attack and it is now a big scramble to make it back to the German lines.

Only one man, Peters, makes it back to safety. He is given a promotion and sent back to the front.

The film is okay, but it should have been better. The story, though based on a popular book, misses the mark and there is far too much dead time. The battle scenes are also a bit on the weak side. I would recommend "Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben" 1959 as a much better film about Eastern Front combat.

Re: PUNISHMENT BATTALION 999 :1960 (STRAFBATAILLON 999)

Strafbataillon 999 (1960)

Interesting themes.


The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "TWO DAVIDS AND GOLIATH"1957

CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE SILENT SERVICE "TWO DAVIDS AND GOLIATH"1957

This is the 14th episode of the U.S. war series, "The Silent Service". The series was about the exploits of the U.S. Navy's submarine fleet. Each episode is a stand-alone tale of the actions of a particular submarine. Most of the stories are about actions against the Japanese Navy and merchant fleet in the Pacific. There is also the odd tale from the Korean conflict. The series ran for 78 episodes during 1957 and 1958. The stories were all based on actual events. Some pretty good attention to detail here with the U.S Navy allowing filming on several WW 2 era Gato class subs.

Each episode started and ended with retired Real Admiral Thomas M. Dykers giving a breakdown of the action. Dykers became a writer, producer and technical adviser after leaving the service. He worked on films such as, TORPEDO ALLEY, FLAT TOP, THE FROGMEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER and SUBMARINE COMMAND.

This episode is about the "Dace" and the "Darter". It is Oct 1944 and the two submarines are on patrol in the South China Sea. They are on the lookout for any movement by the Japanese heavy Fleet. The Philippines are about to be invaded and the U.S. expects a big response to the assault.

Sure enough the Japanese send out all their heavy units as well as their remaining carriers. The Japanese advance from several different directions all heading for Leyte.

"Dace" and "Darter" come up on one of these groups. The two submarines attack at night and manage to sink two heavy cruisers, the "Atago", the "Maya" and heavily damage the "Takao". Leaving behind several destroyers to assist the damaged, "Takao" the rest of the Japanese task force leaves the area.

"Darter" decides to close in and finish off the damaged cruiser. This idea does not come off as planned when the "Darter" runs up on an unseen reef. The "Darter" is stuck high and dry in the receding tide. The "Dace" pulls in as close as possible and offloads the crew from the stranded "Darter".

The explosive self-destruct explosives fail to destroy the "Darter", so "Dace" fires a spread of torpedoes at "Darter" and a few rounds from her deck gun. "Dace now heads back to base with her extra passengers.

The "Dace" was credited with 28,000 tons of Japanese shipping during 7 patrols. The submarine was transferred to the Italian Navy in 1956 and served with that force till returned to the U.S. in 1972. The "Dace" was scrapped in 1976.

The "Darter" was credited with 19,000 plus tons of Japanese shipping in 4 patrols. The wreck of the submarine can still be found on the reef in the Palawan Passage.

The cast in this episode include, Dennis Weaver, K.L. Smith, Paul Picerni, Terry Becker and Alan Emerson.

Re: War Tv: THE SILENT SERVICE "TWO DAVIDS AND GOLIATH"1957

The Silent Service (1957) - The Two Davids and Goliath (1957)

Loving these Gord!

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

.BATTLE ZONE 1952

CONTAINS SPOILERS

BATTLE ZONE – 1952

This Korean War film is about a group of combat photographers and the dangers they face. John Hodiak and Stephen McNally are WWII vets sent to Korea to teach the new bunch how it is done.

The soldiers are soon shipped to Korea and take part in the UN attack to retake South Korea. It follows the team up into North Korea, and then the retreat back south after the Red Chinese launch their counter-offensive.

After the front has more or less settled down, the team is sent out on a secret mission to film Chinese preparations for further attacks. Needless to say this does not come off as planned, and the group has to fight their way back to UN lines. Of course they manage to bring out the needed footage with them.

Also in the cast are Martin Milner, Dave Willock, Carleton Young, Philip Ahn, and in an early bit, Charles Bronson. Linda Christian plays the love interest, who gets between Hodiak and McNally.

While not a barn-burner by any means, the pace is keep moving by veteran B-film helmsman, Lesley Selander.

Re: .BATTLE ZONE 1952

Battle Zone (1952)

With Hodiak and McNally it's a shame this wasn't better.

The Spikeopath - Hospital Number 217

Mystery Sea Raider- 1940 Early Edward Dmytryk

CONTAINS SPOILERS

Mystery Sea Raider- 1940

A quite well made low budget programmer. The film is set just before WW2 starts in Europe. Several Nazi's, Onslow Stevens, Roland Varno and Willy Kaufman, hire the Captain, Henry Wilcoxon and crew of a rundown and harmless looking merchant ship. They tell Wilcoxon they need to deliver some cargo to South America. Of course the U.S. Captain and crew have no idea that it is really Nazis who have hired them.

They set sail and several days later Germany attacks Poland. The Nazis pull out their guns and take over the ship. Of course the "cargo" turns out to be supplies for U-boats and raiders.

They meet with several U-boats who refuel from the now Nazi controlled ship. The Nazis use the neutral American ship as perfect cover to fool any British warships.

Needless to say the crew want to take the ship back. But how? I'm not telling! The rest of the cast includes the, "built like a brick s*******e" Carole Landis, Henry Victor, Kate Howard, Louis Aldon and Monte Blue.

This is a very well put together little wartime thriller. It is an early film from future big time director, Edward Dmytryk. Dmytryk made several cracker-jack film noir including, MURDER, MY SWEET, THE SNIPER and CROSS-FIRE. He is best known though as the director of the Bogart film, THE CAINE MUTINY.

Re: Mystery Sea Raider- 1940 Early Edward Dmytryk

I think I've seen it...


which one was it where a German merchant ship tries to depth-charge a US or British sub...and they pull the old blow an oil slick out the torpedo tubes routine...and the German captain sees the oil, or has it reported to him...and he is like 'ahh, Ol...gut...Ol! "

Re: Mystery Sea Raider- 1940 Early Edward Dmytryk

Not the one, but your film sounds like something I've seen. Now it will bother me all night trying recall it. LOL

Re: Mystery Sea Raider- 1940 Early Edward Dmytryk

"...ahhhh, LOL...Gut, LOL...."
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