MacArthur (1977)




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Star Gregory Peck went into MacArthur disliking the title character that he was slated to play, but emerged from the experience with a deeper understanding and respect for this complex historical figure. The film is framed in flashback, with an octogenarian General Douglas MacArthur (Peck) making his final address before his alma mater of West Point. We flash back to the fall of Corregidor in 1942, with MacArthur promising "I shall return" to the beleaguered (and eventually imprisoned) American and Filipino troops. The story follows MacArthur's subsequent victories in the South Pacific, occasionally pausing to show us the General's omnipresent sense of "showmanship" (e.g. his wading ashore on the beaches of the Philippines for the benefit of the newsreel cameras). The greater part of the film involves MacArthur's attempts to restore dignity to the defeated postwar Japan, and to keep the Russian Communists from overtaking the orient as they had Eastern Europe. MacArthur is eventually fired from his post by President Truman after the general defies orders during the Korean conflict. MacArthur was intended as Universal's "answer" to 20th Century-Fox's enormously successful Patton (1970), but box-office returns were disappointing.
Action & Adventure , Drama
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Universal Pictures

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Gregory Peck
as Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Ed Flanders
as Harry S. Truman
Dan O'Herlihy
as Franklin D. Roosevelt
Nicolas Coster
as Capt. Huff
Ivan Bonar
as Gen. Sutherland
Ward Costello
as Gen. George Marshall
Marj Dusay
as Mrs. MacArthur
Art Fleming
as The Secretary
Sandy Kenyon
as Gen. Wainwright
Robert Mandan
as Rep. Martin
Allan Miller
as Col. Diller
Dick O'Neill
as Col. Whitney
Addison Powell
as Adm. Chester Nimitz
Tom Rosqui
as Gen. Sampson
G.D. Spradlin
as Gen. Eichelberger
Russell Johnson
as Admiral King
Kenneth Tobey
as Adm. `Bull' Halsey
Garry Walberg
as Gen. Walker
Lane Allan
as Gen. Marquat
Barry Coe
as TV Reporter
Everett Cooper
as Gen. Krueger
Charles Cyphers
as Gen. Harding
Manuel DePina
as Prettyman
Jesse Dizon
as Castro
Warde Donovan
as Gen. Shepherd
John Fujioka
as Emperor Hirohito
Philip Kenneally
as Adm. Doyle
Phil Kenneally
as Admiral Doyle
John R. McKee
as Admiral Leahy
John McKee
as Adm. Leahy
Walter O. Miles
as Gen. Kenney
Eugene Peterson
as Gen. Collins
Beulah Quo
as Al Cheu
Alex Rodine
as Gen. Derevyanko
Yuki Shimoda
as Prime Minister Shidehara
Fred Stuthman
as Gen. Bradley
Harvey Vernon
as Adm. Sherman
William Wellman Jr.
as Lt. Bulkeley
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Critic Reviews for MacArthur

All Critics (8)

Gregory Peck plays MacArthur as an intense and dignified general with an arrogant and well-defined sense of patriotism.

Full Review… | January 22, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

A woefully overblown biography with a wooden Indian Peck as MacArthur. He poses instead of acts.

August 20, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Quote not available.

April 20, 2007
Atlantic City Weekly

Quote not available.

October 9, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Quote not available.

August 19, 2005

Quote not available.

July 1, 2005
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Audience Reviews for MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur was one of the most famous Generals in the U.S Military. He was one of 5 generals to attain the rank of 5 star general. His life was a series of accomplishments almost attaining legendary status. This is a fine biopic of the late General, one that is effectively directed and acted. Gregory Peck delivers one of his strongest performances since his role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. The film is directed by director Joseph Sargent who has previously helmed The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. This is a terrific war film that boasts a great cast, a well written script, effective dramatic elements and a plot that will certainly appeal to war film fans who desire to know the story of Douglas MacArthur. Peck commands the screen with such ferocious intensity that he is perfect for the part. I think it's hard to imagine someone else in the role; he truly has made it his own. I really enjoyed the film, but I felt that it was second only to Patton, which is the definitive war biopic of a U.S General. This would be second. The acting and plot just takes a hold of you, and you are entertained from the first frame onwards. There are a few aspects missing, but it's only natural that there couldn't be a longer film, because MacArthur's career was long and illustrious. For that this film is, it's an accomplished war biopic about complicated man, who was just as grand as he was flawed. To this day, MacArthur is a figure that is revered and criticized. The film shows in great part why he was like. He was a man that disobeyed orders from the very top, and had his own agenda on how to win a war. This is a fine film worth seeing if you want one of best military biopics after Patton of course.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Lots of insight into Douglas MacArthur the strategist, the tactician and the military commander - very little about Douglas MacArthur the man. I didn't learn anything about the General that I couldn't have gleaned from old newspaper clippings and newsreel footage.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


This film is very good that compares to such films like "Patton" and "Pearl Harbor". The acting of Peck is superb as MacArthur. Somehow, I felt that the movie stick to the accomplishments of MacArthur and not his own story, meaning a biography.

Alvin Yalung
Alvin Yalung

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