...."THIS US MARINE FILM IS ....NONPAREIL"....THE BEST!!!
Christopher E. Sarno | Boston, Massachusetts United States | 04/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...Nowhere, have I set eyes on a better Marine movie than this one...it has so much to offer besides the lethal war scenes...ponder this scene...the Marines leaving the safe sanctuary of those gaping LST doors in their briney wake, even the music puts your in their boots...mulling over in their minds that shortly, this is their last day on earth...[powerful cerebrate moment]...the clanky Amtraks churning up the blue/white sea while racing towards the Line of Departure...all hell is about to blast 'you' out of the water..."Lock-N-Load"...we are crossing the Line of Departure" is shouted out!!!...the US Navy's club-wielding police force is turned loose to do their sworn duty to kill every Japanese Marine on another blood/soaked and palm fringed island...another gem, Widmark telling the Colonel who now wants prisoners, that once you teach Marines to hate and kill the enemy [take no prisoners]...it's almost impossible to reverse an ingrained trait for the lust of killing...the more we kill the longer we remain alive, even when the battle-scarred Marines do capture the enemy as ordered, most want to kill every son of Nippon as expressed by [Pretty Boy and Palance]....a multitude of these Marines have been through so much from Guadalcanal, Tawara, Saipan, Pelilieu, etc...that, they will never survive this endless of endless warfare...Widmark expresses this manic/depressive minsdet very clearly [a very great actor]..in real life Widmark's brother was KIA in the Pacific war...[it preyed on him his whole life]...young Bob Wagner was a Marine reservist in real life...the bellicose Colonel [Richard Boone]was for real, always chewing out non/conformist Sgt Reginald Gardiner for being out of uniform and his outspoken word, but once the rocket base is pinpointed the good Colonel gives Gardnier the OK, and Reggie gets the last word in with, "See, just give the Colonel some time, before he sees it our way"...great punchline!!...star studded cast blends in for a smothering display of Marine camraderie within the enlisted ranks...this Marine movie says alot about the protracted island invasions that dotted the looong road back to Tokyo... and ALL six  Marine Divisions FMF gave the Japanese a taste of their own medicine with accrued interest, I kid you naught, indeed..."Give 'em Hell"...."Gung Ho"....SSGT CHRIS SARNO-USMC FMF"
LEWIS MILESTONE, OPUS 29
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 12/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"**** 1950. Directed by Lewis Milestone. WWII, a Pacific island. A company of marines under Richard Widmark's command must find where a Japanese rocket base is hidden. This is a war movie I can recommend without any hesitation. Richard Widmark, Jack Palance in his second role, Karl Malden and Richard Boone give each a very good performance but one must above all praise the mise-en-scene of Lewis Milestone here. Let's admire these travellings of the landings of the Marines or the way Milestone creates the tension by alternating shots of individuals and shots of a company of soldiers. Highly recommended."
A Fitting Anthem To The Marines Of Their Day
W. Y. S. Eric | Hong Kong | 01/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking for a rousing film featuring the Marines and found it in "Halls of Montezuma". Richard Widmark gives an unexpectedly balanced performance as the Lieutenant of a platoon making a landing on one of the island chains leading to Japan. In a flashback, Widmark is revealed to have been a former teacher who helped a student overcome a speech impediment to become his class' graduation orator and when that student subsequently joins his command, Widmark helps him overcome shellshock to find the courage to make the landing featured in the film. Widmark's despondency when that soldier is killed in action then becomes all the more poignant.
Instead of projecting pure machismo, Widmark's role allows him to show that intelligence and psychology had much to do with the war effort of the time. Particularly during the scene where Japanes PoW's are interrogated and when Widmark uses the partial results of the interrogation to determine the location of an enemy rocket battery.
There are fine battle scenes as well, both of the ground troops as well as excellent use of real Navy footage of support ships opening fire on the landing zone in an effort to soften it up for the Marines landing.
The shots of widely separated Marines striding through the front also reveals the homage that later films like "Full Metal Jacket" paid to films like "Halls of Montezuma".
I'd recommend this film as a good starter for anyone wishing to begin building their own World War II library."