4: I love movies like this. Great films are almost always best when you don't know they're coming. This was one of those wonderful pictures that simply bowled me over. I had no notion I was in store for anything close to this good. What makes it even funnier is that I was recently thinking about the fact that the Pacific half of WWII doesn't seem to have nearly as many powerful films as the European theater does. Part of the reason for this is undoubtedly the foreign nature of the terrain. Everyone basically knows where Europe is, but everyone does not know where all these little islands in the Pacific are. The extent of the Japanese empire is little understood by the common public. For example, earlier today I was inside the PACOM AOC looking at WWII era aerial intelligence photographs of various battle damage in areas I hadn't realized the Japanese were, and I'd consider myself relatively well informed when it comes to WWII. There are certainly recent pictures like Flags of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, and The Thin Red Line that highlight the pacific theater, as well as The Pacific, which I have yet to see, but for the most part it is pictures like Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, Band of Brothers, A Bridge Too Far, Inglorious Basterds, Valkryie, Miracle at St. Anna, Downfall, Patton, Battle of Britain, Enigma, Black Book, The Dirty Dozen, Battle of the Bulge, The Great Escape, The Guns of Navarone, etc. that seem to make up the bulk of the major WWII films, not to mention all the Holocaust pictures. There are exceptions like Bridge on the River Kwai, They Were Expendable, From Here to Eternity, The Wings of Eagles, Pearl Harbor, South Pacific, etc., but they seem relatively few and far between by comparison. This reminded me of A Bridge Too Far in many ways. It highlights a major operation that is in many respects forgotten, at least as compared to D-Day, etc., and I had no notion it was going to be this good. I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised given that it comes from Preminger. He is a relatively underrated workhorse auteur of old Hollywood. He certainly didn't shy away from rather risquÃ© and taboo subjects either. He doesn't flaunt his all-star cast here either. They all fit in quite naturally. Wayne, Fonda, Douglas, Neal, Meredith, Andrews, etc. Wayne gives a classic and nuanced performance. Douglas provides a complex backdrop for a conflicted man. Neal is superb (she had quite a career and is still around). Why can't more people write scripts featuring old men and women? It would be great to get stars like this on screen more in their more advanced years. The Naval battle sequences are remarkable given this is 1965. One gets a far more complete picture of the Pacific theater than I've ever seen on film before. The window into the higher levels of the command structure is always fascinating as well. It seemed even more appropriate that I am here in Honolulu while I was watching the film as well. I certainly didn't plan it that way, but it sure worked out.