They Were Expendable (1945)

they were expendable“Listen Brick, for years I’ve been taking your fatherly advice, and it’s never been any good. So from now on, I’m strictly a one man band! ” – Lt. “Rusty” Ryan

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Jun 2014)

Brief Synopsis – The tale of US PT boats and the men who manned them that helped fight the war in The Pacific during the beginning of America’s involvement in WWII

My Take on it – I have always been a fan of John Wayne and John Ford movies, but this one just isn’t as good as most of the others.

I think that the fact that this movie was made immediately after the war ended made it well received by moviegoers at the time because of its patriotic stance on the soldiers and the war itself (and the retreat from The Philippines), but something is truly lacking.

Watching this almost 70 years after it was made, just doesn’t do the story justice (IMHO).  Yes, many other movies have been made over the years about this same Battle of Bataan, but the acting and storyline just seems to me to be a bit cheesy.

I know Wayne is a better actor than he lets on here and I definitely know that Ford is a better Director.

I actually read that there was a lot of animosity between the two during filming because of the fact that Wayne didn’t suspend his acting career and enlist (like so many other actors and Ford himself did) to help fight the fight.  They eventually made peace between each other, but the fact that they didn’t get along during filming perhaps is evident by the way this film was made.

Slightly better than mediocre because of the battle scenes, but the characters or their stories are not so well developed.

Bottom Line – Somewhat average movie about The Battle of Bataan that was probably much better received at the time since this was made right after the war ended.  Ford and Wayne, who worked so well together over the years didn’t have the best collaboration here.  The battle scenes are much better than the character interactions and dialogue.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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6 thoughts on “They Were Expendable (1945)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Saw this with my Grandpa as a kid and in his memory I must seek it out and watch it again. I recall really enjoying it with him. Thanks and good review!


  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1945 | MovieRob

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