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Hell in the Pacific Reviews

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June 8, 2014
The ending is pretty awful, but there is an alternate ending that can be found on YouTube that is way better. In fact, I will just pretend that is how it ends. Regardless, it's a great survivalist film with practically no dialogue yet rich in character.
October 6, 2013
Judging from "Hell in the Pacific" and the only other work of his I've seen, the searing masterpiece "Deliverance", John Boorman seems to make movies that play off the traditional ideals of masculinity -- territory, loyalty, etc. -- and see how men act and react to perilous situations that strip them of humanity and down to their most vulnerable. "Pacific" is pretty bare bones when it comes to plot or dialogue (or a satisfying ending) so the lion's share its success is in Boorman's naturalistic direction and the equally strong performances by Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune as two marooned officers hailing from either side of the Japanese-American divide. The disclosed setting is one that can and does shift from peaceful to high stakes of life or death. It's no "Deliverance", but "Hell in the Pacific", a movie of imagery and feeling, is also quite often a work of patience and mystical ferocity.
July 28, 2013
Great just make sure you see the real ending aka the Alternative Ending
February 3, 2013
A engaging survival film set in the Pacific Theater of WW2. A great story and great performances by Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune make this a classic!
August 10, 2012
two of the worlds greatest actors directed by boorman. both men had to re-live their war experience making this film. the men speak different languages, so it's interesting to watch how they communicate. even though they are enemies, they must learn to work together in order to survive. but can they let go of the enemy hate? nope. i loved this film but the ending was not so good, otherwise i would give it a full 5 stars. the film is a great study in the psychology of war.
July 15, 2012
Very interesting movie, with a great moral message. Builds slowly, if anything to show the gap that has to be bridged between the two characters. Ultimately they discover that peace and co-operation are more constructive than war and strife - surely a code to live by.

Solid direction by John Boorman, to go with the excellent plot.

Good performances by Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune, in one of the smallest casts ever (though there have been movies with a cast of one).
June 23, 2012
John Boorman's Hell in the Pacific is the story about two solders, one American (Lee Marvin) and one Japanese (Toshiro Mifune) who is trapped on an god forsaken island in the middle of the pacific ocean. Neither of them can understand each others languages, and after a lot fights, they decides to put away their differences and starting to work together in order to make a boat out of three and escape the island, but will they succeed or are they to different?

Hell in the Pacific is an excellent anti-war film, which a great cast only consisting of two people, great actors. It's such a great film because we always understand what they are saying, but they don't understand each other, and we as an audience are frustrated by that which only makes it more thrilling.Thumbs up.
May 31, 2012
Two great actors, a great script, a grand theme--Powerful in it's simplicity!!
December 19, 2011
Toshiro Mifune was fantastic as was Lee Marvin in this WWII film that was the inspiration for "Enemy Mine".
November 13, 2011
About as small a cast as your ever likely to see and the two characters don't even speak the same language so this is quite light in dialogue. Lee Marvin is always a great presence. The ending if at first a little disappointing is actually quite fitting.
FilmGrinder S.
July 15, 2010
My favorite Boorman picture, except for ZARDOZ. Also says something about humans, when ideals are raised into question.
September 20, 2011
One of the best films I've ever seen.
Trevor C.
July 6, 2011
A very slow, yet suspenseful and enjoyable film starring Toshiro Mifune and Lee Marvin as soldiers, of their own nations, stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island during WWII.

A Japanese Soldier, presumably having been on the island for days, if not longer, discovers that an American Soldier also crash landed on the same island. They instantly are fearful of each other and are ready to kill the other if necessary. The American Soldier at first only wants water from the Japanese Soldier, but, being enemies, they have constant battles where the Japanese man ends up sending the American hiding in the woods. Soon the American starts destroying the Japanese man's handmade survival tools. So, the Japanese man ends up capturing the American, and then the American escapes and captures the Japanese man- though eventually they have to rely on each other to survive, and they both realize it. They work together to survive and find a way off the island and create a sort of friendship.

Both actors are amazing and the fact that there is very little dialogue, and no subtitles for Mifune's Japanese makes the film seem much more real. It's as if we're just observing this as its happening, and if you don't know English, you don't know what Marvin is saying, and if you don't know Japanese, you don't know what Mifune is saying - though, visually, it is very clear - most of the time - what they mean.

As a visually based film the cinematography is absolutely beautiful, and there's this sort of weird bizarre style that highlights the paranoia these two enemies have with each other. There's a score to accompany their struggles, and in the long run you may end up caring for both soldiers equally. They just want to survive and get back home, and this is a fine observation of that.

One flaw, though its probably just because I know English and not Japanese, is that Marvin came across as mean and he always seemed to have the upper hand. Really Mifune's character could have survived on his own due to his craftsmanship, but one of the themes that the Japanese soldier needed the American soldier's ability to 'take charge' was a bit much. It seemed like the American, at times, was only using Mifune, because really it was the American that needed him more than he needed the American. This flaw is very small and not very noticeable, in my opinion, but it is definitely present. I know its the character, but it's all fiction, so to have them need each other equally with the situation's desperation, they each need to be equal in those sort of skills or at least have Marvin's character have a better quality than just 'taking charge'.

Besides that, this movie is a WWII masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by anyone. It's a very original premise portrayed extremely well.
December 14, 2004
December 24, 2009
2 guys...almost no dialog...double bill with HEAVEN KNOWS MR ALLISON
Sanity Assassin !

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2009
interesting to see toshiro mifune in a yank effort but it works. he gets to act while him and marvin go head to head. essentially kurosawa did drama so if mifune was to simply have been plonked into some action it would've been a waste. dark dramatic survival!
Agent Orange
October 16, 2009
HELL IN THE PACIFIC is a solid, enjoyable war movie. It's a superb, sharply written and directed film starring two A-list in Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune. It's probably in my top ten of World War Two movies, in no small part because of the film's grit and realism. HELL is the story of two officers, Marvin and Mifune, who are stranded on the same atoll. While war rages on, these two men are offered a respite-- except that they must fight each other, as enemy officers. A relatively unknown movie, HELL IN THE PACIFIC deserves recognition as the excellent WW2 movie it is.
August 17, 2009
Add a review (optional)...Mifune's acting in this movie is excellent. I laughed during the first 48 minutes of the film. Its fun to watch. Marvin and Mifune's chemistry is the best. But why kill them both at the ending?
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