In Harm's Way - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In Harm's Way Reviews

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November 7, 2016
I love this movie! John Wayne is just as a good as a Naval Officer as he is as a cowboy. It is a long movie so be ready to spend nearly 3 hours in front of your tv!
September 26, 2016
Great WWII movie. special effects are dated however this is a drama so who cares. It shows the war for what it is people who are there because of someone else. The drama between the characters is what leans me toward awesome. War is not about guns and bullets but those in harm's way. This shows that with Rock Torre and everyone else from a woman's touch to a man shamed from start to finish gaining some redemption. I think it's black and white grit makes it even better.
September 14, 2016
Drama filled epic, but a decent story from the War in the Pacific - star-studded and well directed.
½ July 18, 2016
Everything unvarnished yet slightly compressed into a handful of storylines; this is the way to write a miniseries! In this case a solid script, good editing, and intelligent portrayals get the job done in nearly 3 hours. No wonder so many stars wanted to be involved with this production.

Certainly it seems slow to those of us who are used to flimsy TV movies or Hollywood blockbusters that rely on FX to distract from mediocre scripts, but each minute either sets up a major plot point or brings us directly into that scene. Most of the more emotional scenes are quite brief - partly because this film came out in 1965. Many young men were being shipped out for Vietnam and there was no sense in dwelling on those points to upset loved ones to the point of not being able to watch the rest of the film. Another reason for skimping on the melodrama is that so many of the over 30 film-goers had already had their share of war's atrocities - they only needed a brief reminder and a flood of memories about how nearly every family had missing members and emotional scars from the Korean conflict as well as both World Wars.

Today this film might be rated NC-17. There are several negative depictions of the human condition here, everything but murder. Then most of the positive traits aren't shown to heroic - merely necessary in a moment of stress. Perhaps that's all being a hero really is, and it is a needed reminder coming from Preminger and friends.
½ August 31, 2015
Great movie, with an all-star cast.
August 16, 2015
another good WWII pic post WWII
August 10, 2015
Hi! I'm a stupid guy!
May 25, 2015
Good movie for a Memorial Day tribute!
May 1, 2015
Fish or cut bait.

Captain Rockwell Torrey is an aging Navy captain of a battle ship. He takes on a new crew in a battle against the Japanese. He had an unfortunate historical battle result that he wishes to redeem himself with this mission. He happens to have his son on the vessel, a son he hasn't seen in ten years. Their relationship unfolds under these intense conditions.

"He's my son."
"I'd like to meet him."
"No you wouldn't."

Otto Preminger, director of Anatomy of Murder, Laura, The Man with the Golden Arm, Bunny Lake is Missing, Skidoo, and Carmen Jones, delivers In Harm's Way. The storyline for this picture is interesting and fascinating characters that are well developed. The cast delivers very good performances and includes John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Burgess Meredith, Dana Andrews, Patricia Neal, and Paula Prentiss,

"She's making half a million bucks a year and still collecting alimony from me."

I came across this film on Netflix and found it well done. I enjoyed the interactions, dialogue, and ultimate outcome. It is a classic military drama with some unique elements and interaction. I recommend seeing this.

"I don't even remember you."

Grade: B
½ February 13, 2015
Melodramatic adaptation of James Bassett's novel detailing a WWII naval officer and his attempt to prove himself against the Japanese, after he failed at Pearl Harbor. Star cast, splendid photography (by Loyal Griggs), but fatally weakened by its overlength.
February 12, 2015
Not typical John Wayne fare, which is why I love this movie. Great cast, there are scenes that could have been cut without hurting anything, but overall, It's one of my favorites. You get to see another side of Duke as he hooks up with Patricia O'Neal romantically without getting all sloppy about it. I watch In Harms Way once a year or so........'Nuff said.
½ January 19, 2015
A fairly typical John Wayne WW2 flick. I have to admit that I didn't hate him as much as I usually do, possibly because he gave in a relatively restrained performance that toned down his nauseating self-righteousness to tolerable levels. But the film itself is a bit of a mess. Kirk Douglas sort of pops in here and there with no real idea who he is or why he's there. Then he does something that seems completely out of character, although given the scarcity of his appearance it's hard to say what his character is to begin with. The basic plot is pretty... basic, yet it takes almost three hours to unfold. Wayne's estranged son subplot is also handled better than I thought it'd be. He is the entitled liberal dandy that Wayne so hates, with all his privilege and inside access to the seats of power, but a big part of his posturing is perfectly natural resentment at his father for abandoning him when he was four. He's barely demonized at all. The inevitable reconciliation may seem a bit abbreviated or forced (especially since Wayne being Wayne there's no question of him being the one to back down) but otherwise it's not too bad. It's too bad that the rest of the film is such a mess.
October 3, 2014
hands down John Wayne at his finest. the supporting cast was great. this will always be my favorite movie
August 2, 2014
One of my favorite war movies
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2014
I don't know what's up with Otto Preminger's obsession with arms, because ten years after he did "The Man with the Golden Arm", he lets them put on this film's poster a big ol' arm pointing out, I don't know, harm or something. Well, of course you're in harm's way, dummy, because you're at war! Well, this film is just about the Navy, so, you know, they just need to be careful about what waters you get in, sailors. I'm kidding; the Navy is pretty hardcore, - as this film which actually shows you that will tell you - especially when John Wayne is present, because, you know, nothing says exciting like John Wayne in a World War II film. Yeah, some people gave "The Green Berets" some heat, but I was actually referring to "The Longest Day", because, come on, I cannot be the only guy who didn't think that film got a little boring at times. Maybe it would have been a little more exciting if it was in color, an issue that we know longer have to worry about ever since this, the last black-and-white WWII film... which is, black-and-white, as I said. Don't worry, folks, because this film is plenty good enough to compensate for its literal lack of color, although its featuring the plague on WWII film intrigue which was evidently John Wayne, and its being about the Navy (Seriously, the war film industry is not giving a whole lot of love to the Navy, and all of the excitement of just floating around, waiting for someone to shoot around you) are not the only things going against entertainment value here.

I must give this film quite a bit of credit for its melodramatics' intrigue and at least not being as derivative as they can be, but the fact of the matter is that so much of the dramatic value of this film's story concept thrives on histrionics, which seem to manufacture conflicts and layers in an attempt to mold an epic in a perhaps overblown manner. Again, the melodrama is generally realized, so maybe the film isn't quite as soapish as they say to me, but it's still overblown, even with its questionable dramatics, which you should get used to, but only come to focus upon more as the film progresses, proving to also be overblown in structure. At the very least, all of the excessiveness leads to unevenness, for this narrative features several segments and plot layers that it approaches in a fashion often so disjointed it's almost startling, to the point of convoluting the significance of each plot layer over another. I don't know if the film is so much confusing, as much as it's simply disconcertingly inconsistent in its handling of an arguably overblown network of narratives, and such an issue, plain and simple, derives from the film's running a little too long, for although the runtime of two hours and three quarters is adequately justified by generally tight storytelling, when the feet start to drag, if focus isn't convoluted, it's simply lost. There a few plot holes which thin out the plot's effectiveness, but as irony would have it, it's the overdrawn periods of exposition which really do something of an injustice to a conceptually solid story, because, at the end of the day, a lack of action begets a limited sense of consequence, and allows you to soak in all of the melodramatics and plot bloatings which try too hard to compensate. Honestly, on the whole, I find this film not simply underrated, but very rewarding, although that's primarily because the idea behind this dramatic war epic has so much potential that the final product could have soared, if its kick wasn't so heavily diluted by a touch too much ambition. Of course, the kick is never so diluted that reward value is lost, at least for me, for although I see the complaints critics are making, I find that the strengths stand firm.

I've made my cracks on this film's being black-and-white, but bland technical limitations of the time really do subdue the cinematographic abilities of Loyal Griggs which still stand out at times, with handsome lighting that takes good advantage of the black-and-white palette, and with a certain scope that immerses you into distinguished, typically lovely locations. The visuals of the film carry a sweep that, no matter how subtle, is instrumental in establishing a sense of scale, not unlike the story concept itself, because even no matter how much the narrative's interpretation betrays even conceptual intrigue, there is a certain uniqueness to this extensive take on the works and struggles of men and women of the Navy, maybe even to melodramatics which often fit in the context of human themes comfortably enough to engage, so much so that I mean it when I say that this film could have stood out as a war melodrama. Wendell Mayes betrays much of this potential through an overblown scripts, but he too plays a part in bringing life to this effective epic, with sharp dialogue and enough dynamic set pieces to present a certain colorful flavor, even in writing, while extensive exposition draws memorable and distinct roles, brought to life by memorable and distinct performances. I don't know if any of the performances truly stand out, but most everyone has a time to shine, with some of the more recurring talents including the charismatic Patricia Neal and John Wayne, in addition to Kirk Douglas, who hits some edgy highlights in his layered portrayal of a charming, but flawed Navy man who holds a certain unpredictable brutality that he hopes will get him what he feels is due in his troubled life. Although the unevenly used Douglas hits about as hard as anyone, most everyone endears in this surprisingly intimate epic, and that helps a lot in allowing the film to endear, despite its slow spells, yet can only do so much in comparison with directorial storytelling. Otto Preminger's direction can make or break the engagement value of this drama, and although he hits his missteps, he delivers through and through, making sure that what action there is proves to be thrilling in its sweeping staging and sharp technicality, and that the steady strolls in storytelling which stand in long stretches between the action never lose entertainment value, anchored by tight scene structuring and colorful plays on Jerry Goldsmith's score which hold your interest, while your investment is really secured by moving dramatic thoughtfulness. The brightest highlights of the film are pretty strong, and I really wish that the film was that on the whole, and yet, I still dismiss those who criticize the final product as underwhelming, as there is more than enough inspiration to craft a thoroughly compelling dramatic epic.

Overall, there is a certain bloating to the melodramatics, and plenty of bloating to the storytelling structure, whose unevenness defuses momentum to the point of leaving the final product to meander quite a ways short of what it could have been: an almost outstanding war drama, the glimpses of which punctuate visual style, often well-rounded writing, solid performances, and realized direction so inspired that they secure Otto Preminger's "In Harm's Way" as a consistently rewarding melodramatic tribute to the Navy.

3/5 - Good
December 20, 2013
Nearly never have I watched a movie war movie with so little war. This chronicles the exploits of several ladies too dumb to be realistic - Jill Haworth and Barbara Bouchet, several navel officers who appear mentally unstable and follows a plot with huge gaping holes. John Wayne does a fine job as do Burgess Meredith, Paul Prentiss and Carroll O'Connor the rest no so much. It appears that Preminger could not decide what kind of movie he wanted to make and made a tomato salad instead.
December 2, 2013
Boorrring.... too long. Too soap opera-ish.
½ October 19, 2013
one of the best and most accurate movies about the early part of ww2 in the Pacific.
October 19, 2013
Possibly the finest WW2 movie ever made about the Pacific Theater. The huge, rather outlandish scope of the project, and its all-star cast seem to account for much of its dismissal by the critics. But it stands up brilliantly after nearly five decades. What Preminger and his screenwriters were trying to do was make a 19th century social novel about the officers and opportunists who were in the Navy during the first couple of years after Pearl Harbor. It was extremely ambitious, and the movie is long, and freighted with more subplots than we are used to. But it's well worth multiple viewings.
October 15, 2013
Can't get enough of this super classic. John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neil, Franchot Tone, Dana Andrews, Paula Prentiss...this movie is awesome. it has everything, blindsided attack, war, ships, ocean, enemies (all kinds...personal, intimate, country/politics), love/hate, rape, middle age sex, revenge, sabotage, .... there's nothing this movie doesn't have...LOVE IT!
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