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Ambush Bay
Ambush Bay
Actors: Hugh O'Brian, Mickey Rooney, James Mitchum, Peter Masterson, Harry Lauter
Director: Ron Winston
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
NR     2005     1hr 49min

General MacArthur doesn't know it, but he's headed for an ambush. Hugh O'Brian, Mickey Rooney and James Mitchum star in this "well-made" (Los Angeles Times) World War II nail-biter that'll keep you on the edge of your seat...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Hugh O'Brian, Mickey Rooney, James Mitchum, Peter Masterson, Harry Lauter
Director: Ron Winston
Creators: Emmanuel I. Rojas, John F. Schreyer, Aubrey Schenck, Hal Klein, Ib Melchior, Marve Feinberg
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Espionage, Drama, Military & War
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/19/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Ambush Bay, Bad Title, good movie
Avid | USA | 06/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am driven in part to write a quick review based on the errors mentioned by the other review (Cressy, below).

First, the movie was good, but still Hollywood, when it comes to portraying actual combat.

Second, Hugh O'Brian's character may come across to a civilian like a "superhero" because he actually was a Marine! He knew the part he played from experience, not just as an actor.

Three, the previous reviewer knows nothing about the Marine Corps or its history. Baseball caps were common in the pacific, especially during the early years of the war and especially with air crews. The choice was that or a garrison cap (if you have to look that up, do so) or a helmet. It was not until later in the war that the soft cover came out, which, as I recall, was what Hugh O'Brian and Mickey Rooney and the other "Marines" wore.

Fourth, the "rubbery, funky camouflage uniforms" are not "rubbery" at all, but were real. I still have one.

Fifth, it goes to show that civilians should not be allowed to review military movies, for the obvious reasons."
Fun movie with some great action scenes.
T. M Rogers | Az United States | 02/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Do not expect a masterpiece with Ambush Bay. Expect to have some fun and enjoy this "covert" action film. A team of Marine Raiders (Marines that were actually issued full camouflage uniforms in WW2) are sent to a Japanese held island to try and remote-detonate some mines that are blocking our ships at sea. The mission goes bad early on and the Marines start dying one by one. The shootouts are exciting and there is a fair amount of blood for a 60's film. To the reviewer who commented about the uniforms- by the early 40's, some Marines fighting in the Pacific were issued a reversible camouflage uniform that had light sandy camo on one side (for a beach invasion) and green jungle camo on the other (for jungle fighting). The guys in this film wear only the beach side for some reason. The hats are authentic for the 40's. Soft caps were common once troops were out of a combat zone. In fact even today, special forces covert units prefer "boonie" hats over helmets. This is a movie I would have LOVED as a kid. As an adult, I enjoy it and have watched it 3 times now."
Decent WWII Action Fiction
D. Blackdeer | Kansas | 02/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Ambush Bay" is a decent feature with an interesting plot, but viewers need to temper their expectations. It's a fictional World War II action drama about a Marine Corps reconnaissance team dispatched to the Japanese-occupied Island of Siargao in support of a pending U.S. amphibious invasion. Their mission is to link up with a Japanese-American woman and radio back intelligence information she has on a coastal bay to be used for the assault. The reconnaissance turns into a raid after they find an elaborate minefield in the bay that threatens disaster for the invasion force, and are unable to warn higher headquarters when their radio is destroyed in action.

The plot is interesting and the movie has a good cast with Hugh O'Brian as First Sergeant Corey, Mickey Rooney as Gunnery Sergeant Wartell and James Mitchum as Private Grenier. Mitchum's character is an airman radio operator assigned to the Marine team, being the odd man among a team of highly trained recon Marines, and serves as the audience's observer and narrator for the story. While there are other Marines on the team, O'Brian's character takes the lead early after their commander is killed and Rooney gives balance as a career soldier who doesn't take himself too seriously.

While the movie has a good story, it's a modest production. Action receives priority over tactical logic as the recon team stumbles across Japanese units, resulting in several firefights that whittle the team down to the main characters. O'Brian overdoes his macho persona and Mitchum's character is a bit contrived as an airman ill-suited for such a high-risk mission. While the movie boasts on-location filming in the Philippines, the casting of Filipino actors as Japanese soldiers and the use of a contemporary military base for the climatic sequence waters down the authentic environment. As well, the actors move like they're on a nature hike rather than a trained Marine team behind enemy lines. The music soundtrack is okay, but sounds akin to "Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) with a melodramatic tone.

It's a good "B" movie for light-hearted action entertainment. The DVD's imagery and sound are good."
The men who made "I shall return" happen
Steven Hellerstedt | 09/27/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Suddenly the screen steps on a minefield." That line was heard on the trailer to AMBUSH BAY, and I'm still not sure what it means. I can picture someone stepping on a single mine, even just about wrap my head around a screen stepping on a mine, but a whole minefield is beyond me. Whatever, it sounds impressive, in a confusing sort of way. The movie itself is a pleasant little invention about a small group of Marines infiltrating deep into a Japanese-held island on a mission vital to the success of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's impending invasion. The unit includes 1st Sgt. Hugh O'Brian, Gunnery Sgt. Mickey Rooney, green Pfc. James Mitchum, and a handful of bullet fodder bit players. Of course the island is crawling with the enemy, the men have to make a quick penetration deep into the country, and the only one who seems to know what the mission is Sgt. O'Brian. And he don't talk much, especially to the slow-to-be-accepted wiseacre Mitchum.

My expectations were really, really low for this one. A b-movie cast, probably low production values, a less-than-stunning premise. The movie doesn't look like it broke the bank on cast or special effects or a hot script, but it holds its own. O'Brian - who was a real life Marine drill sergeant - is appropriately flinty as the tough-as-nails Marine, Rooney acceptable as the courageous gunnery sargeant, and James Mitchum sure looks an awful lot like his old man Robert. The story is told through Mitchum's eyes and the movie takes a long time clueing him - and us - in on what the mission is. It's a coy ploy that's not really necessary, but I'll keep the secret. In one sense AMBUSH BAY is more realistic, or at least easier to accept, than many of today's WWII flicks. The soldiers aren't a mutually supportive band of brothers or averse to behaving less than heroically. My favorite line, growled by O'Brian to Mitchum, "Stay away from things that you've never done, like thinking," is clumsy and crude but something Generation Greatest wouldn't be caught dead saying in a modern movie. The movie was shot in the Philippines and, while that may have been a cost-savings move on the part of the producers, in looks pretty authentic.

Look, AMBUSH BAY was probably a first feature at a drive-in theater when it was released in 1966. If you don't like old war movies you won't like this movie - if you do, it offers a little more than you'd expect from a mid-`60s war flick whose second lead is Mickey Rooney.