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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected
I'd never heard of 'Back to Bataan' before, and only got it because it was in a 'special offer' double pack with 'Bataan'. I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill sort of war film. However, it is much better than that. It is a serious film, giving some idea of the suffering of the Philippine people during the second world war. There is plenty of violent action, as you...
Published on 30 Aug 2006 by Denis Smith

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3.0 out of 5 stars "I send out 100 men, they come back empty-handed. I send out ten men, they don't come back." A succint summary of guerilla war
This very Hollywoodian war time propaganda film made in 1945 is definitely amongst less good Duke's movies, but it is still watchable, because of the topic - the anti-Japanese guerilla waged on Luzon by Filipino and American partisans between 1942 and 1945.

The film begins with the description of a very real event, the archi-famous raid against the Japanese...
Published 7 months ago by Maciej


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected, 30 Aug 2006
By 
Denis Smith (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
I'd never heard of 'Back to Bataan' before, and only got it because it was in a 'special offer' double pack with 'Bataan'. I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill sort of war film. However, it is much better than that. It is a serious film, giving some idea of the suffering of the Philippine people during the second world war. There is plenty of violent action, as you would expect, but it is some of the 'in-between' scenes that are the best, as the script and the dialogue are unusually good. Everyone talks intelligently and interestingly (even the enemy), and this makes it realistic and believable. John Wayne is good, as the man given the unenviable task of trying to organize guerrilla resistance against the Japanese, and so is Anthony Quinn. I have never thought Quinn was much of an actor before, but this is definitely one of his best films. Also impressive is the actress who plays the elderly schoolmistress, who has seen her fellow teacher hanged in front of his pupils by the Japanese. There are two or three particularly powerful scenes, and, as the film is based on true events, you never quite know what is going to happen next, and who is going to survive.

This all-but-forgotten film is an example of the effort and care which was put into film-making in the past, where the characters were real, and you cared about them, unlike some of the stuff produced nowadays. To my surprise, I have to say that 'Back to Bataan' does not really suffer by comparison with that other great John Wayne war film, 'They Were Expendable'. It's certainly worth a few pounds of anybody's money.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Bataan, 7 July 2007
By 
ray dorrity "ray dorrity" (New Forest, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
Usually I am quite critical of American war movies, but this one has been one of my favourites since I first saw it on TV as a kid.
It tells the story of American and Fillipino guerillas during the Japanese occupation of the Phillipines and whilst it dwells briefly on the brutality of the Japs, I suspect that the Hayes Office of the time prevented the real depth of cruelty to be shown.
John Wayne is great (playing John Wayne, of course!)
On cold winter weekends, I sometimes watch this with a glass of wine in my hand and a log fire in the hearth.
A must for all war movie buffs.
Buy and enjoy
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars may we never forget Bataan, 31 May 2004
Some of the most horrific events of WWII occurred in the Pacific Theater, and this film touches on what happened in Bataan, where tens of thousands of U.S. and Philippine soldiers died in captivity, either on the infamous Death March, the appalling POW camps, or the hell-ships.
At the beginning and ending, this film briefly shows some of the survivors, though it is "sanitized", and the men have some flesh back on their bones.
John Wayne is terrific as Colonel Madden, who organizes the resistance fighters, and does his own stunts, some of which must have left him muddy and bruised.
Anthony Quinn is also excellent as Captain Bonifacio, the leader of the Filipino guerillas. Both Wayne and Quinn are at their most handsome and heroic, and make a fine cinematic pairing.
Though the script is sometimes stilted, it is based on actual events and people, and was written as history was happening, taken from the daily newspapers to the screen.
Edward Dmytryk's direction is well paced, and Max Steiner's "stock music" was used, along with an original score by Roy Webb.
Much in this film can be said to be "propaganda", as it is "good vs. evil", with no subtleties or gray areas, but these were the days when Hollywood and patriotism were compatible, a sentiment that filmmakers seem to have lost, and a time that seems long gone.
May we never forget the souls who bravely fought for freedom and suffered so much in Bataan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dvd back to batan, 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
i picked that rating because ,the dvd was perfect. all films I have bought was perfect,from zoverstock have been ok.
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4.0 out of 5 stars WW2, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
This is a part of the beginning of the 2nd world war (based on U.S. point of view) that has not been seen often, it gives an additional view to all the film on this subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DVD, 16 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
I also found this movie to be brilliant the action and the story line was just awesome you could not ask for better.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "I send out 100 men, they come back empty-handed. I send out ten men, they don't come back." A succint summary of guerilla war, 11 Dec 2013
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
This very Hollywoodian war time propaganda film made in 1945 is definitely amongst less good Duke's movies, but it is still watchable, because of the topic - the anti-Japanese guerilla waged on Luzon by Filipino and American partisans between 1942 and 1945.

The film begins with the description of a very real event, the archi-famous raid against the Japanese Cabanatuan POWs camp, made by US Army Rangers and Filipino guerillas. At that moment we can see REAL American POWs freed from captivity (and therefore saved from execution by Japanese) and marching to freedom... The film then flashes back to 1942, to the most desperate time of battle of Bataan, when we meet the two main heroes of the film, colonel Joseph Madden (John Wayne) of the U.S. Army and Captain Andrés Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn) from Philipine Scouts. The film then follows them through further events, especially their organisation of guerrilla fighters against the occupying Japanese forces in the Philippines.

This is a war time propaganda film, so it has all the limitations inherent to this kind of movies, but there clearly was an effort to keep some objectivity here. Guerilla wars are even uglier and dirtier than regular war, as civilians unavoidably are trapped between warring factions and being defenseless suffer greatly from reprisals after each and every guerilla success. There are of course traitors and double agents everywhere in every such conflict, which means general suspicion quickly replaces any kind of trust. And there is always the necessity of eliminating the traitors, which is a particularly painful thing when they are family or friends... Also death toll amongst those who take arms and join the guerillas is usually high, as courage and wit can only partly replace the lack of fire power...

There was also a considerable effort of objectivity to show the pride and the strong national feelings of Filipino people, who, even if they supported USA in Pacific War, never forgot that 40 years earlier Americans conquered and colonised them... The fact that resistance on Luzon (and elsewhere in Philippine islands) was mostly composed of Filipinos and for large part also led by their officers is clearly shown here.

This film however suffers greatly from the propaganda served to the viewer every two-three minutes, in a manner as subtle as the mating of rhinoceros... Slogans are piled layer by layer on a thick padding of patriotism and flag-waiving in such a way that by moments watching this film is really difficult. Also the representation of the Japanese is impossibly caricatural, as they are shown as a mixture of stupidity, ugliness and incompetence, all mixed and dissolved in pure evil. Those two things hurt this film A LOT.

That being said, it still remains watchable, especially for all John Wayne fans. And it redeems itself a little bit at the very end, when we can se more REAL American POWs freed from Cabanatuan marching towards their freedom. That very usefully reminds us that even if this film is not entirely succesful, it describes nevertheless a real story of great courage, sacrifice - and victory!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Brutal at times, 19 Sep 2013
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Mr. A. W. Bainbridge (Peterlee Co Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] (DVD)
Though not graphic in its depiction of the violence in the liberation of the Philippines,it shows how the Japanese ruled with a rod of iron,and scant regard for human rights.A good performance from the Duke and Anthony Quinn make this worth watching
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dvd, 20 Mar 2013
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Excellent service. Good condition and viewed many times. An enjoyable film.John Wayne at his best as usual and I would recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good deal, 9 Dec 2012
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Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD]
Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD] by Edward Dmytryck (DVD - 2006)
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