Too Late the Hero (1970)


too late” [to Lawson] Getting ourselves killed is not going to make any difference to anyone except us. ” – Pvt. Toss Hearne

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Cable in the 90’s and 6 Apr 2016)

Brief Synopsis – An American officer is sent on a mission with a British commando unit to cause havoc by destroying a Japanese radio station during WWII.

My Take on it – Both Michael Caine and Cliff Robertson were both very sought after actors when this movie came out in 1970.

I liked how they have so different personalities and that they each have very differing opinions on how exactly to fulfill the mission that they have been sent on.

Not unlike MASH (1970), which came out at the same time, this movie delves into the politics of the Vietnam War allegorically by using a different war as the backdrop of the story.

It is actually much more interesting to watch it now, more than 45 years after it was made because the public is much more aware of the way the war was handled and how many lives were lost because of poor intelligence and poor leadership on the highest levels. (Maybe it’s even more relevant now based on what is happening in the Middle East…maybe.)

This movie raises so many moral issues about war and how it is fought that even a few days after watching this, I still am pondering those questions.

Bottom Line – Robertson and Caine are both great here as the two leads who have different opinions as to how to fulfill their mission. Knowing that this story is very allegorical to the Vietnam War makes it that much more interesting to watch because of all of the minor subtleties that we now understand more clearly 45 years later.  The moral questions raised are very interesting and stay on one’s mind long after the movie is over. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director Robert Aldrich refused Cliff Robertson’s request to attend the 1969 Academy Awards ceremony, as a flight from the Philippines to Los Angeles and back would be too time-consuming. Robertson won the Oscar – for Charly (1968) – and the crew presented him with a mock statuette made out of wood. According to Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, after the Philippine location shooting was over, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences President Gregory Peck greeted the cast as it disembarked at Los Angeles International Airport. Robertson was holding his fake Oscar when he got off the plane. As he was approached by Peck with the real statuette, Robertson threw the wood “Oscar” over his shoulder. The fake Oscar hit Michael Caine in the forehead, and caused him to bleed profusely. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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One thought on “Too Late the Hero (1970)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1970 |

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