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They Were Expendable (1945)


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Release Date: Dec 20, 1945 Wide



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 3,348

My Rating

Movie Info

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


Drama, Classics

Frank Wead

May 18, 1999

MGM Home Entertainment

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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.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
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.

January 8, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

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

October 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for They Were Expendable

Really not that exciting.
May 17, 2010

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.
November 8, 2006

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.
February 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

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