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They Were Expendable (1945)


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 8
Fresh: 7
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No critic reviews yet...

Release Date: Dec 20, 1945 Wide


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 3,370



Movie Info

Based on a true World War II story, They Were Expendable follows two American PT boats fighting a battle against a fleet of Japanese ships in the Philippines. They Were Expendable is also shown in a computer-colorized version.

Drama , Classics
Directed By:
Written By:
Frank Wead
In Theaters:
May 18, 1999
MGM Home Entertainment


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Critic Reviews for They Were Expendable

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

The real star of the film is the gorgeous, luminous, mostly outdoor black-and-white cinematography.

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

The most unfortunate thing about John Ford's excellent, elegiac war film, with a strong turn from John Wayne, was its release date, December 1945, since the war was over.

Full Review… | January 8, 2007

Surprisingly rich film is one of the best war films ever made.

Full Review… | October 9, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for They Were Expendable


Really not that exciting.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

I never get tired of Robert Montgomery -- or of his daughter, Elizabeth Mongomery of TV's Bewitched, for that matter. An extremely fine actor, no matter how schmaltzy or schlokey the story, from an era I can only experience through film. Mahalo to Ted Turner for helping us all to see so many classics that past generations jammed theaters to see. This is one of the few -- very few -- John Wayne films I can manage to get caught up in. He's less him here.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer


Entertaining film about PT boats and how they were used in the first months of WWII. John Ford made this film during the last days of the war and he added every detail of realism he could. The action scenes are great and really intense. There is hardly any rear projection and shot with real backgrounds, explosions, and alot of intensity. For some reason most of the night scenes are shot real dark. The night raids are shot day for night, but the scenes between actors is just plain dark. It works, but it is still strange. It's also strange that John Wayne is second banana in this film, but he excels in the role. There is a small romance between Wayne and the beautiful Donna Reed that works really well and doesn't get in the way of the story.

cody franklin

Super Reviewer

Another Wayne classis if you like that sort of stuff.....and I do.

Barry Lappin

Super Reviewer

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