Bataan (1943)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Bataan brilliantly transforms one of America's most ignominious wartime defeats into a paean to courage and perseverance. The time is 1942: a ragtag group of American and Filipino troops stand their ground in Bataan, hoping in vain to stave off the invading Japanese hordes. Robert Taylor gives an outstanding performance as the acting officer, who overlooks the character flaws of his men--especially incognito criminal Lloyd Nolan--and in so doing brings out the best of them during the worst of the battle. Though they know they're doomed when pilot George Murphy crashes in an attempt to fly off and fetch backup troops, the survivors bravely fight on until only Taylor is left. The film's last image is of Taylor grimly firing off round after round, yelling "Come on, you dirty...(we don't hear what he says, but we know what it is). MGM's Bataan ranks with Paramount's Wake Island as one of the best of the earlier war films; both deal with a battle lost, but both emerge as triumphant morale boosters. Bataan is compromised only by the obvious studio exteriors and the occasionally corny dialogue.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Cast

Robert Walker
as Leonard Purckett
Thomas Mitchell
as Cpl. Jake Feingold
George Murphy
as Lt. Steve Bentley
Barry Nelson
as F.X. Matowski
Phillip Terry
as Matthew Hardy
Lloyd Nolan
as Cpl. Barney Todd
Desi Arnaz
as Felix Ramirez
Ernie Alexander
as Wounded Soldier
Lee Bowman
as Capt. Henry Lassiter
Tom Dugan
as Sam Malloy
Kenneth Spencer
as Wesley Epps
Donald Curtis
as Lieutenant
Alex Havier
as Yankee Salazar
Bud Geary
as Infantry Officer
Roque Espiritu
as Cpl. Juan Katigbak
Phil Schumacher
as Machine Gunner
J. Alex Havier
as Yankee Salazar
Robert Taylor
as Sgt. Bill Dane
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Critic Reviews for Bataan

All Critics (3)

Since it was basically a tale of defeat, the nervous producers emphasized heroism, but later, under criticism of fabricating the facts with mechanically packed incidents, MGM was forced to acknowledge "some melodramatic flaws and technical mistakes."

Full Review… | October 30, 2006
EmanuelLevy.Com

An exciting flagwaving big box office Alamo-esque suicide mission World War II film.

Full Review… | June 1, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

MGM and the War Department teamed for this flag waving combat drama that influenced a number of future war movies.

October 25, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Bataan

better than expected despite the abundance of fog machines on set. also better than /back to bataan/ with john wayne and anthony quinn, which has the advantages of their star presence in addition to a larger budget and more realistic environments. with its relative simplicity and limited setting, it manages to cram a lot in in terms of interpersonal nuances and character development.

Harim Kim
Harim Kim
½

BATAAN A moving WWII drama based on a series of actual events in the South Pacific in 1942. Good ensemble cast. Robert Taylor is a stand-out. This homage recalls the heroic self-sacrifice of American-Philippine troops in a last ditch effort to stave off the onslaught of advancing Japanese forces in conquest of the island nation, thus allowing for the bulk of General MacArthur's army to fall back and evacuate to a safer position until conditions were more auspicious for their ultimate return and victory many months later. Japan had initially attacked the Philippines on May 8, 1941, one day after their infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Battle for Bataan took place on this SW Luzon peninsula from April to May 7, 1942, at which time Japanese troops took complete control of the general area for an extended period of time. This particular story as portrayed in the movie isn't perfect and is in fact a fictionalized account. However it does present the grim realities of a very dire situation to the viewer as it existed for Allied forces assigned to the difficult mission in 1942 on Bataan. In truth they endured many hardships that complicated their very best efforts to succeed and many perished--but they did succeed in their mission, and General MacArthur did indeed return to fight another day. Special effects are representative of 1943 film making.

Ann Lorraine
Ann Lorraine

A real gung ho World War II propaganda film. I can be a bit much at times, but considering the year it was made it's understandable. It's a fine film, good cast.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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