Awesome film - great story, great acting, quality of DVD cou
Anborn | 04/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"They made some pretty amazing movies in the late 50's and early 60's, and this is an overlooked gem!! Set in the Phillippines in WWII, it is largely a coming-of-age story, but it also presents a clear-eyed, adult look at heavy-duty issues such as the meaning of and conflicts between honor, loyalty and duty during times of crisis; horrific actions people take to survive; interracial love; and what is means to be a man/human being (thank God they avoided using that title, although the issue is handled really well!)
There is some pretty good action (raids, battles); there are some acts of horror and cruelty that are not sugar-coated, and the impact these have on both major and minor characters is excellently done (yes, rape DOES hurt and scar, even non-Caucasians). The characters are complex, even the loathsome ones, and they do develop; their interrelationships are multi-dimensional.
James MacArthur is superb; he's a little light at the beginning, but then again, he is supposed to be an innocent, coming from a sheltered and pampered background. His reactions to the evil things and pain inflicted by his protector/mentor are just excellent - not stereotypical, standard stuff at all, but gut-wrenching and realistic. The edge and the hard eyes his character develops over the course of the film are completely believable, and frequently chilling. He doesn't do the right thing, not at first, and not all the time. But he does grow and develop, and he is a very different character by the end of the film than he is at the start.
Van Heflin is loathsome, horrific, disgusting, and yet fascinating, pathetic and pitiable - another amazing job of acting in this film. There is an intriguing thread as his dependent/protogee develops to the point that he no longer needs protection - a very interesting issue.
The Phillippine people are presented with dignity, courage, complexity and respect; even the Japanese are shown as human beings (not that common for that time).
The quality of the DVD is not as good as could be hoped, especially the sound; it is B&W (too bad, given the spectacular location!) However, it is still very watchable. There are no extras with the DVD."
The transfer is so bad that i really can't say if the movie
John D. Page | usa | 06/02/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"the transfer is so bad that i can't tell if the movie is good or not!!!! not a good buy!"
D. L. Grasser | castle rock,wa.u.s.a. | 10/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"hi, i have been a war movie buff for a long time and have seen a lot of them, .this really isn't the best, but for some reason it holds me to it very closly.i have watched it about 12 times already, more than any other movie. ................i think the reaso I loved this one is because it has james meauther in it and .i really liked him. in hawaii five -0 ... also I have visited the philippines and know that the people are just like the movie Very loveable people. Not dangerous like other countrys. Dobn. G."