They Were Expendable

Critics Consensus

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91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,465

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Movie Info

After a demonstration of new PT boats, navy brass are still unconvinced of their viability in combat, leaving Lt. "Rusty" Ryan (John Wayne) frustrated. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, Ryan and his buddy Lt. Brickley (Robert Montgomery) are told they can finally take their squadron into battle. The PT boats quickly prove their worth, successfully shooting down Japanese planes, relaying messages between islands, and picking off a multitude of enemy ships.

Cast & Crew

Robert Montgomery
Lt. John Brickley
John Wayne
Lt. (j.g.) "Rusty" Ryan
Donna Reed
2nd Lt. Sandy Davys
Jack Holt
Gen. Martin
Ward Bond
"Boats" Mulcahey
Marshall Thompson
Ens. "'Snake" Gardner
Paul Langton
Ens. "Andy" Andrews
Leon Ames
Maj. James Morton
Arthur Walsh
Seaman Jones
Donald Curtis
Lt. (j.g.) "Shorty" Long
John Ford
Director
William L. White
Writer (Book)
Frank Wead
Writer (Screenplay)
John Ford
Producer
Cliff Reid
Associate Producer
Earl K. Brent
Original Music
Herbert Stothart
Original Music
Eric Zeisl
Original Music
Joseph H. August
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for They Were Expendable

All Critics (11) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for They Were Expendable

  • Feb 25, 2009
    Entertaining film about PT boats and how they were used in the first months of WWII. John Ford made this film during the last days of the war and he added every detail of realism he could. The action scenes are great and really intense. There is hardly any rear projection and shot with real backgrounds, explosions, and alot of intensity. For some reason most of the night scenes are shot real dark. The night raids are shot day for night, but the scenes between actors is just plain dark. It works, but it is still strange. It's also strange that John Wayne is second banana in this film, but he excels in the role. There is a small romance between Wayne and the beautiful Donna Reed that works really well and doesn't get in the way of the story.
    cody f Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2008
    boring and uninteresting. if i could give this less than half a star i would. i was watching it on the box and somewhere from the start to the end i learnt to love adverts
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2008
    Another Wayne classis if you like that sort of stuff.....and I do.
    Barry L Super Reviewer
  • Aug 18, 2007
    Hollywood's tribute to the PT boats of World War II and the brave men who served on them. This would make a fantastic double feature with Cliff Robertson's PT 109 (1963).
    Kevin S Super Reviewer

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