In Harm's Way - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In Harm's Way Reviews

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December 22, 2012
This is my favorite John Wayne movie. Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, and the list of stars are great.
The plot is easily understood and actually quite realistic in the way that the events unfold.
There are official denials, but I do believe it was modeled on The Battle of the Philippine Sea as the Allies island hopped across the Pacific.
This is a classic movie and deserves all the accolades it can get.
December 18, 2012
Otto Preminger's sprawling WWII soap opera is the model for subsequent TV miniseries adaptations of huge WWII novels like "The Winds of War". A star-studded cast headed by John Wayne and Kirk Douglas act out a host of personal melodramas backed by the early war in the Pacific. Just as much time is spent on Wayne's romance with Patricia Neal and his estrangement from his son (Brandon De Wilde, all grown up) as on his promotion to admiral and the attempts to drive the Japanese back. I love a good melodrama, so I quite like this film. I can see why many would not. Like many of Preminger's films, this is sophisticated adult entertainment ... tasteful boundary pushing. This is the kind of film that tends to age the worst. What was once daring will seem ridiculously coy to many modern viewers. I think it's a fascinating glimpse into a past era. The literally huge supporting cast includes Paula Prentiss, Dana Andrews, Burgess Meredith, Franchot Tone, Carroll O'Connor, Slim Pickens, James Mitchum and Henry Fonda.
December 15, 2012
Always loved this movie, but I am a John Wayne fanatic and also am a fan of Kirk Douglas.
October 11, 2012
another fantasic movie with mr. wayne in another diverse role. well done. bravo.
May 17, 2012
One of my favorite WWII Navy movies... .Action packed and character driven.
½ March 14, 2012
Not just 'another' Duke WWII flick...

.I had been skirting around this film for a while, the idea of John Wayne and a dynamic Kirk Douglas mixing it up on screen keeping me a lil' leery, however I was not only surprised but very pleased with the overall film.

Preminger fought to get this film made the way he wanted (fighting the U.S. Government that is) but got his way. While many films of the period were shedding a new and unflattering light on behind the scenes doings of American wartime (be it World War II, Korea or the then rising tensions in Southeast Asia), this film approaches it with a twist upon the general idea of the war 'hero'.

The acting is on par for the names involved, the dialog nothing out of the norm but the characters are driven, troubled and wrapped in the tattered emotions of war. Sure, it drags in spots, but not nearly as bad as one might fear and keeps the pacing fair and completes the point of just who is 'In Harm's Way'.

Not quite WWII epic but no bathroom breaks.
August 12, 2011
An ambitious, long, big epic. Preminger's direction is excellent. His complex camera movements and framings highlight the action very well, not to mention the black and white looks fantastic. What doesn't work as well is the interweaving of a panorama of personal melodramas amidst the war. Still, a rich and interesting film.
½ May 23, 2011
Captain Rockwell Torrey: Well, I'm here to see a nurse. What are you here for?

Ensign Jere Torrey: To see a nurse.

Captain Rockwell Torrey: It looks like we have something in common after all.

Ensign Jere Torrey: I'm just a chip off the old block, sir!
½ February 3, 2011
It goes on and on, the slowness exacerbated by Preminger's customary long takes and by the endless parade of star cameos. Preminger seems happier with long transition shots of the Hawaiian Islands and military class ships than it does with creating rhythm in the filmâ(TM)s narrative.
½ January 17, 2011
Some really fine performances her. My only problem was that the episodic nature of the film was a little confusing. A couple of times Preminger cuts to a seen with a character we've never been introduced to and they play out as we had. Ultimately it all comes together but it was a little distracting.
December 12, 2010
This is absolutely one of my all time favorite John Wayne movies. Partly because he does not play his usual image, and explores a deeper character role in this movie than in most of his others. Also I think that although fiction, it still probably gives a much more realistic and less glamorous view of what it might have been like to be one of these characters in real life during WW2. I've watched it at least 6 times and I am sure I will watch it many more times.... I love this movie!!!!!
December 1, 2010
A bit long. Kirk and the Duke keep u watchin
½ September 8, 2010
IN HARM'S WAY (1965)
August 30, 2010
Not one of Preminger's best. Oh, it's well done--the soap opera of Kirk Douglas and his woman, of Brandon Wilde and his dad (John Wayne), of Wayne and Patricia Neal--is ever watchable. But unlike say in Anatomy of a Murder or Advise and Consent where the characters help illuminate larger vistas and forces at work behind them (law in Anatomy, politics in Advise), the melodrama here feels mainly like melodrama, and the flag-waving heroism feels unexamined and disappointingly heartfelt (no ambivalent nuances, here). It's a far better job than Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor--but that's not saying much.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2010
Solid WWII drama with a most impressive cast even with many future stars in small roles. Some of the special effects are dated and obvious now but for the time frame were effective. John Wayne and Patricia Neal are unexpectedly quite well matched as a couple with her prickliness and his laconic style playing well off each other. The picture flows well considering it's extended length, moving from one set piece to the next without a great deal of wasted exposition.
½ August 10, 2010
Not the worst movie about Pearl Harbor (like... say... "Pearl Harbor"...) but still waaaay too long with too many pointless scenes and too many characters to keep track of. Could have been cut down by at least an hour... and what is with all the deleted scenes on the DVD!? NOOOO WHEN WILL IT END
½ July 29, 2010
Great as ever Big John and supported well by Kirk Douglas
June 16, 2010
U havent seen In Harm's way?
May 17, 2010
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 risqué 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.
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