C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 12/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Similiarities to the Enemy Mine movie could be made here. Perhaps the Enemy Mine writer got the idea from this story. Two men stranded on a Island rather than a planet in this case. As WWII rages a Japanese and American soldier are stranded on the same small island. They try to kill each other at first. As time goes by they realize their very survival depends on a truce. Eventually they work together and build a raft. After days on the Pacific Ocean they find another larger group of islands. The uneasy truce becomes shaky again when they find remnants of Japanese and American occupation of the main island. Up to this point an excellent movie. In fact I was say close to flawless movie since the acting, sets, scenery, music, directing and all the rest are incredible. SPOILER ALERT: Now the reason I didn't give it four or five stars is because they kill them off with a single stray artillery shell in the original ending. You will be enthralled with the wonderful acting and really care for these two characters. Then to suddenly watch their lifes snuffed out just so some writer or director could make their point that war is bad didn't impress me. If someone didn't think we get that point long before the ending of this movie, they don't give much credit to the audience. Why they didn't use the alternate ending with the soldiers walking off their separate ways is beyond me. Be sure to look at the alternate ending and see if you agree this should have been the original ending. Still well worth owning."
With little-to-no dialogue, this film is one to watch
SharmaG | NY, NY USA | 07/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My fiance got me the DVD as a present to me on his birthday. It sat for a month and then we finally watched it together. I was amazed that there was no dialogue... really. Very little. And when we were watching the DVD, we did not choose the option for subtitles and only realized that option after we'd seen the film. Overall it is a film to watch -- really watch. After you see it once without the subtitles, watch it again with them. Makes it a totally different experience. The acting and directing is incredible and one is left wondering, what the screenplay of this film actually looked like. Not too many special features but there is an alternate ending that is interesting.
A tense and comical classic!
Gengie | Malaysia | 06/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a hardcore fan of movies from Japan and China, Hell in the pacific is one of the few American arthouse movies I now owned and it is an absolutely fantastic piece of work.Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune is absolutely terrific in this movie. Their chemistry is as perfect as the story is tense and an absolutely hilarious esp during the scenes when they try to out do each other in their "turf fight". I crack up everytime each one of them mess up their own dirty little wicked plan in the most humourous fashion.The cinematography is stunning and I really appreciate the alternate ending. I find the original ending really sucks big time. Still a solid 5 star for this movie. 2 stars for both actors, 1 star for the movie, 1 star for the cinematography and 1 star for the alternate ending. There you go, a 5 star pure cinematic genius. I am very very happy with this DVD."
Hell in the Pacific
Steven Hellerstedt | 04/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"HELL IN THE PACIFIC is a curiosity. Telling the story of two pilots, one Japanese (Toshiro Mifune) and one American (Lee Marvin), stranded on a small, deserted tropical island during World War II it's at once fascinating and somewhat flat. Mifune and Marvin are two of my favorite actors. Their plight on the island, coveting or guarding precious limited resources against the `enemy', more or less drives home the point that war is a futile exercise. Of course the question arises as to whether we can conquer our distrust before we conquer, or are conquered by, our enemy. HELL IN THE PACIFIC is thought-provoking and beautifully photographed by master cinematographer Conrad Hall.
After a while, though, with all the attacks and counter-attacks, I got the feeling that I was in the middle of a Road Runner cartoon with no exit. This feeling was exacerbated by such scenes as Marvin trying to teach captive Mifune (the balance of power changes a number of times) to fetch a stick like a dog. It was an ill-conceived scene, brutishly funny if the intent was humor, but added onto the ridiculous ending HELL IN THE PACIFIC seems to have expended its creative energy well before the final credits run. By the way, I strongly recommend watching the `Alternate Ending' in the Special Features after watching the movie. It's the right ending for the movie, and it's a mystery why it's the `alternate' one.