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This review is from: Wake Island (region 2 import) Brian Donlevey, Robert Preston (DVD)
This film was made the year after Pearl Harbor, a paean to a team of men who were willing to give their lives to hold a Pacific island at the outbreak of the war. It is an odd combination of war propaganda, solid drama, and character comedy.
It starts in Nov. 1941 and they are strapping young men bored out of their minds and looking for trouble or any activity. THere are no women. From the start, vivid personalities come out, the kind of guys who were my masculine ideal when I started watching TV in the late 1950s. For me, this is a great pleasure and a gateway to many memories with friends, as I sat around with them on overnights and afternoons with potato chips. Of course, that means that this might not be for everybody, but I think there is far more to the film than that.
I do not wish to play the spoiler, but once the war begins, they are called to the most traumatizing duty. To do so, they pull together to terrible purpose and are indeed heroic. The picture of war with the Japanese is horrifically vivid, not with the realism we expect in films today, but very close. It is a good viewing experience and often very fun. Their fate is a surprise, truly unexpected. At another level, the film seeks to further the cause of the war. While this can be rather insipid in its lack of subtlety and nuance, it doesn't get in the way of a good story.
Recommended. There is a lot here, better than most of the potboilers that rolled off the hollywood assembly line.
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Initial post: 3 Mar 2015 20:07:34 GMT
I. Mcdougall says:
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