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The contrast between the two is probably best captured in two scenes involving Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright (Sandy Kenyon), who was left behind in command of the Philippines when FDR ordered MacArthur to get to safety in Australia. Even though he promises MacArthur he "will be here or I'll be dead," Wainwright is ultimately forced to surrender and MacArthur goes off the deep end, insisting that Wainwright has gone insane and heaping invective on the man's name. Later in the film, on the day the Japanese signed the articles of surrender on the U.S.S. "Missouri," Wainwright arrives, a gaunt figure after years of captivity in a Japanese prison. MacArthur embraces Wainwright warmly, brushing away all apologies and assuring the man he can have his Corps back as soon as he says the word. MacArthur remains the same man, unconcerned by the obvious contradictions of his nature.
Director Joseph Sargent frames this biopic with MacArthur's famous speech to the cadets of West Point, where he extols the virtues of "Duty," "Honor," "Country.Read more ›
Gregory Peck gives a monumental portrayal of MacArthur; it is nuanced and brilliant, and from the old film clips I have seen of General MacArthur, subtly captures his posture and movement, with his many different pipes. This film is one of Peck's best, and it's sad it did not have more critical acclaim, as I feel it certainly deserved it.
Other terrific performances come from Marj Dusay as his wife Jean, Sandy Kenyon as General Jonathan Wainwright, and Ed Flanders as President Truman is quite exceptional; tough, gritty, and angered by MacArthur.
An excellent score by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Mario Tosi complements the well-paced direction by Joseph Sargent. If it has a flaw, I feel the film makes too much of the publicity loving aspect of MacArthur's personality. Yes, he liked to use the media to his advantage, and most people who make history feel the same way no doubt...otherwise it is a fairly balanced depiction of one of the great men of the 20th century.Read more ›