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Back to Bataan
Back to Bataan
Actors: John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Beulah Bondi, Fely Franquelli, Richard Loo
Genres: Action & Adventure, Military & War
NR     2004     1hr 35min

After the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese in World War II, Col. Joseph Madden (John Wayne) of the U.S. Army stays on to organize guerrilla fighters against the conquerors.


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Movie Details

Actors: John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Beulah Bondi, Fely Franquelli, Richard Loo
Genres: Action & Adventure, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Classics, John Wayne, Military & War
Studio: Turner Home Ent
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/04/2004
Original Release Date: 05/31/1945
Theatrical Release Date: 05/31/1945
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Movie Reviews

May we never forget Bataan
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 05/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Some of the most horrific events of WWII occurred in the Pacific Theater, and this film touches on what happened in Bataan, where tens of thousands of U.S. and Philippine soldiers died in captivity, either on the infamous Death March, the appalling POW camps, or the hell-ships.
At the beginning and ending, this film briefly shows some of the survivors, though it is "sanitized", and the men have some flesh back on their bones.John Wayne is terrific as Colonel Madden, who organizes the resistance fighters, and does his own stunts, some of which must have left him muddy and bruised.
Anthony Quinn is also excellent as Captain Bonifacio, the leader of the Filipino guerillas. Both Wayne and Quinn are at their most handsome and heroic, and make a fine cinematic pairing.Though the script is sometimes stilted, it is based on actual events and people, and was written as history was happening, taken from the daily newspapers to the screen.
Edward Dmytryk's direction is well paced, and Max Steiner's "stock music" was used, along with an original score by Roy Webb. Much in this film can be said to be "propaganda", as it is "good vs. evil", with no subtleties or gray areas, but these were the days when Hollywood and patriotism were compatible, a sentiment that filmmakers seem to have lost, and a time that seems long gone.
May we never forget the souls who bravely fought for freedom and suffered so much in Bataan."
Just a little patriotism involved
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 05/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Back to Bataan is a flag-waving patriotic movie that was filmed and released as WWII was drawing to a close. The story is about the Filipino people and their fight for freedom from their Japanese oppressors. This is very obvious patriotism with the Japanese portrayed as cowardly murderers and the Americans as noble freedom fighters. John Wayne stars as Colonel Joe Madden, the man selected to help organize the Filipino guerilla movement. His small company wreaks havoc on the Japanese forces in the Phillipines as the war progresses. The young Duke is very good in his role as Madden with Anthony Quinn also excellent as Captain Andres Bonifacio. Also starring are Beulah Bondi, Lawrence Tierney, Vladimir Sokoloff, and Paul Fix. This is a very good movie that shows a part of the war many people do not know about. Check this one out to see an exciting, well-told, adventure story. Classic Duke!"
A John Wayne Classic
Matthew Thibeault | Wrentham, MA | 07/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the kind of classic John Wayne movie that you think of when you think of the Duke and WWII. I have just about every JW DVD made after Stagecoach that is available and have been waiting for this to come out for some time. The story begins around the fall of Bataan and Corrigador in 1942 and ends with the American return to Letye in 1944. In between the Duke organizes restistance to the Japanese occupation. Wayne's acting is excellent and so is that of Anthony Quinn. The story and soundtrack are very good and the action is pretty intense for its time. If you like Wayne and haven't seen this movie, buy it now. I would put it up with Sands of Iwo Jima, Operation Pacific, They Were Expendable and In Harms Way as one of my favorite JW WWII movies."
A solid wartime movie that aims small and misses small.
Doghouse King | Omaha, NE United States | 08/03/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"B2B was an okay war picture, with action bookending a smaller-scale, human story of loss and pride and redemption.After a couple of brief but quite cool battle sequences, the movie settles in to its main plot of John Wayne training Philippinos in the art of guerilla warfare against their conquerors, so that the forces of Truth, Justice and the American Way may get `Back to Bataan.' His second-in-command, Anthony Quinn, struggles to come to grips with his heritage of leadership. And Quinn's on-again-off-again love, also the mouthpiece of the Japanese, must decide where her true loyalties lie.There are moving segments throughout the film, but overall it seemed a tad too limited, too mechanical, often shot on claustrophobic studio sets. The movie closes with the flag-waving return of our boys, comprised largely of stock footage. Some of it is not bad stuff, but it was a slight disappointment.The film was very good in showing the brutality of the Japanese soldiers toward those they conquered at that time, and the brainwashing that ensued. A schoolyard hanging of the principal when he won't raise the flag of the rising sun is particularly thought-provoking. As are another character's dying words, regretful that he never learned enough about `liberty,' meaning in the grammatical sense; the reply as he breathes his last is: "Who ever learned it so well?"And The Duke is obviously his same charismatic self, as in Flying Leathernecks or Sands of Iwo Jima or They Were Expendable. Or any other Duke movie, for that matter. Yet I found myself wanting... more. I don't really pop in a rah-rah wartime actioner for long sections of mostly dialogue.Wake Island was a movie that I thought held similarly high potential and just did not go far enough. B2B reminded me somewhat of that one.For more, better action in WW2, try plain old `Bataan' instead.P.S. The final line is classic Duke."