Three Exceptional Hardnosed WWII Films
gobirds2 | New England | 10/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OBJECTIVE, BURMA! is a first rate quality production and I think one of Errol Flynn's best films. I think Errol Flynn's perception as a good actor was greatly undermined by the very transcendence of his good looks and screen presence. In OBJECTIVE BURMA Errol Flynn rises far beyond those attributes and gives a very credible and sincere performance and his performance is one of the many strengths of this film.
Paratroop Major Nelson (Errol Flynn) leads his men into Burma to destroy a Japanese jungle outpost. What makes this film so intriguing is the human cost and life struggle to enter the Burmese jungle, accomplish the mission and return to safety. This is a hard-nosed action drama filled with a lot of emotion and sentiment. Under Raoul Walsh's brilliant direction war is not a thing comprised of glory but one of sacrifice and endurance. Henry Hull as the aged journalist Mark Williams gives a truly endearing performance and brings Walsh's message vividly photographed by James Wong Howe to fruition.
In terms of Hollywood's standards this is a very realistic WWII film. The script and dialogue by Ranald MacDougall and Lester Cole are very effective and detailed to the man. Very realistic Art designs by Ted Smith and Sets by designer Jack McConaghy combined with Cinematographer James Wong Howe's outstanding and deeply textured images are so convincing that you become entrenched in and overwhelmed by the Burmese jungle and all the dangers and death that it holds. Franz Waxman also composed one of his best scores. The cast including James Brown, William Prince, George Tobias, Mark Stevens, Anthony Caruso and Hugh Beaumont is excellent. This is an outstanding film.
GO FOR BROKE! This is a very entertaining film directed by Robert Pirosh about the formation of the WWII 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Based on factual events and what makes it unique is that the 442 was made up of Japanese-American volunteers who served in the European, essentially Italy and France, theater of battle. Van Johnson, giving one of his best performances, portrays Lt. Mike Grayson in charge of a platoon of these troops. Van Johnson as Lt. Grayson carries as much prejudice against Japanese-Americans as did the rest of the country at that point in the war. The film appears true to its subject depicting prejudice and resentment from both sides of the issue. The combat scenes have a sense of reality about them never losing sight of the horrors of war. The photography by Paul C. Vogel and detailed sets by Cedric Gibbons and Eddie Imazu enhance this point. However, this film does run the gamut of emotions and the camaraderie of the Japanese-American soldiers developed along side Van Johnson's Lt. Grayson is extremely well conveyed and is a high point of this film. This is a very good film, somehow forgotten and deserves to be seen and stand along side other essential WWII films.
NEVER SO FEW is a very entertaining WWII hardnosed action adventure film again set in Burma with great characters, dialogue, camaraderie and Steve McQueen as Ringa. The outstanding cast includes Frank Sinatra, Richard Johnson, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lawford, Charles Bronson, Brian Donlevy, Dean Jones, Paul Henreid, George Takei and Whit Bissell. Steve McQueen almost steals this film away from Frank Sinatra. However, the worldly Sinatra leading a guerilla force, battling the enemy well as his superiors (Brian Donlevy) and having time to romance Gina Lollobrigida demonstrates a strong sense of charm, righteousness and an ability to show off just how good an actor he really was.
Director John Sturges really new how to tell a story with strong individuals giving each character a sense of depth, believability and distinct charisma. Composer Hugo Friedhofer was very adept at scoring WWII films capturing the drive of the combatants juxtaposed with the horrors of the conflict. The one actor that seems to have gone unrecognized in this film is the very British Richard Johnson. In the earlier scenes in the film he was Frank Sinatra's drinking partner and his second in command. Johnson gives a very colorful and convincing performance and the camaraderie between him and Sinatra looks incredibly natural. It is this camaraderie that is the springboard for all the interwoven characters in this film and really enhances Steve McQueen's introduction as Ringa and the rest is film history."
3 Very Good WWII Films
acinehermoso | 11/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very good 2-disc DVD set. These 3 WWII films cover both the CBI and European theatres of war. OBJECTIVE BURMA and GO FOR BROKE focus more on the basic American fighting man while NEVER SO FEW lends its perspective to daring and theatrical heroics. Yet all 3 films never lose focus of the human element and the morality of what happens in war. Frank Sinatra's character makes this very clear in NEVER SO FEW making that film more than just a great action war film.
Objective, Burma!/Never So Few/Go for Broke!
Wise One | 02/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Action filled, kept my interest! Van Johnson grand performance!!"
Ed C. Rice | NY. | 05/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Three WW11 Films all better than I expected.
" Go for Broke"..a film about acceptance in the midst of war.A group of 'Japanese-American' soldiers under the misguided leadership of an All White American Lieutenant [ played by Van Johnson ]come to terms with themselves and bigotry againsst the backdrop of War in the European campaign. Lotss of action, drama and some very funny and touching moments.
" Never so Few" ..Surprisingly good performances from Frank Sinatra and a young Steve McQueen.More about personal honor and integrity than war..
The interaction and dialogue are witty and often sad. I liked this one.
"Objective Burma" Errol Flynn at his best! A meaty role for Flynn who gets a chance to act and not smile at pretty wowmen for a change. Outstanding support from many fine actors, 5 STARS