Hell in the Pacific (1968)


“Oh, for a second I thought you were a Jap. ” – American Pilot

Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Mar 2019)

Brief Synopsis – During World War II, an American and Japanese soldier find themselves stranded on a deserted island in the Pacific and must learn to work together in order to survive their ordeal.

My Take on it – This is a film that takes the premise of placing two sworn enemies in a situation where they must find a way to work together in order to survive.

Unfortunately, the way that they present the story comes across quite tedious and boring throughout.

It’s quite hard to find the actions of these two very desperate men interesting for over 90 minutes.

They do manage to show how these men can try to overcome an obvious language barrier despite how frustrating it can be for both of them.

Both Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune give nice performances here and they each show how far they are willing to go when they are faced with a difficult situation like the one shown here.

The film also shows how the only true enemy in battle is the unpredictability of the world and that could potentially be the greatest barrier that one must try to overcome along the way.

Bottom Line – Great premise that fails to find a way to keep things interesting. The way that they make the characters find ways to interact due to a language barrier works well in showing how frustrating the whole situation must be for both of them. Mifune and Marvin are both great here in showing the lengths they will each go when faced with predicaments like this one.  The film is able to show how the unpredictability of war in and of itself is the true enemy and that is the only barrier that can never be overcome.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The movie had one of the more expensive productions at the time. This, combined with the movie’s unusual concept, lack of subtitles and unpopular ending, caused the movie to become one of the biggest box office bombs of its time. It lost some four million dollars, which was one of the factors that caused its production company, ABC films (subsidiary of the ABC company), to eventually go bankrupt. However, the critics did praise many aspects of the film, especially Toshiro Mifune’s performance as one of the best in his career. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Hell in the Pacific (1968)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1968 | MovieRob

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