They Were Expendable (1945)

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    There are 102 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by WaynamoJim.

    • Hi Arthur,
      I forgot that is was Shooting star, because your story about reading Wayne biography in a bus with Dickens fun was really amasing. Dickens is one of my all times favorites, but i like your story because I'm often feel myself in the same situation. My great interest to Duke seems to the most of my friends as something curios and funny. Mostly becouse my profession and education are all around serios literature.

      It is interesting points you make about Ford and Wayne. I didn't count his films that way. But Duke himself never blamed him for that.

      And we can be sure thankful to Ford for some of most memorable Duke performances. And I myself like Ford films very much. And have a great interest for his works.

      About incedents I've read in Dan Fords book, how Duke ran after one prop man with the hammer and Ford stopped him.

      But what do you think about the Shooting Star. I'm many times cought myself with impression of unsure is it right or wrong. But I didn't read much about Duke. It is the only real biography, other book I have about him is memories.

      Vera :rolleyes:
    • Originally posted by arthurarnell@Sep 26 2006, 10:03 AM
      If you read some of the incidents in the picture particularly with regard to the incident of the sghattering of the windscreen, I don't think that the picture was a happy experiencefor Duke




      What happened with the windscreen? I had not heard this part of the story before.


      "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
    • Hi Tbone

      During the making of the film the PT boat was supposed to be strafed by a Japanese plane.
      To get the effect small ball bearings were going to be used with shatterproof glass. One of the crew forgot to put the shatterproof glass in place and when the ball bearings hit the normal glass the windscreen shattered in Duke's face. He went after the culprit with a hammer in his hand.
      Ford seeing the incident said that's one of my crew you're after to which Wayne repled it also my face.


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Hi Vera

      What you say is true it is one of the few books wroteabout John Wayne while he was still alive. I think there are parts that Wayne wasn't happy with, and some of it I think is innaccurate, but it is not as bad or as inaccurate as Carpoze's book which I read and thought was abysmal.


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Hi Vera,

      Arthur has mentioned the windscreen incident,
      which was part of Ford's constant, riding of Duke.
      Ford resented the fact, that Duke's only uniform
      was one issued by the wardrobe department.
      It was Stagecoach re-visited, with the golden boy,
      in this case Montgomery doing no wrong.
      Everything, Duke did, was wrong, with Ford,
      constantly calling him a 'clumsy B*******',
      and a 'big oaf'.
      Ford even said that Duke did not how to walk, or talk like a sailor,
      which really upset Duke, cause if nothing else.he moved well!!
      It was total humiliation, about the saluting,
      which resulted in Montgomery,
      leaning over Ford's chair and saying,
      Don't ever talk to Duke like that. You ought to be ashamed

      As Arthur has pointed out, the film was not a happy
      experience for anyone concerned with it
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Hi

      It is also a strange quirk of Fords that he told everyone that he had never watched the completed version of They Were Expendable, even years after he swore that he didn't like the film and therefore hadn't bothered to watch the complete version.

      You make of that what you will.


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Originally posted by arthurarnell@Sep 27 2006, 08:40 PM

      It is also a strange quirk of Fords that he told everyone that he had never watched the completed version of They Were Expendable, even years after he swore that he didn't like the film and therefore hadn't bothered to watch the complete version.

      You make of that what you will.


      It is strange. may be he was dissapointed by something. Was there some unused, cut material?
      Vera :rolleyes:
    • Hi Vera,

      Apparently in later life Ford admitted that he never wanted
      to make, this film, but was ordered to do so,
      by the studio bosses who had supported his war documentaries.
      He didn't have any confidence in MGM to come up with
      a substantial war film, and his distaste for non-serving
      Hollywood actors, including Duke)
      had to be overcome!!
      Fort had an accident, towards the end of filming, and gave directional roles to Montgomery,
      a final swipe at Duke and his War service record.

      The film was artfully made, but the timing of it's release was unfortunate!!

      From my Initial review,

      Unfortunately, the war was over, when the film was released in December 1945,
      the public were tired of war.The film flopped.
      Had it been released a few months earlier, it would have been considered
      morale boosting, and part of the war effort,it's success, would have been much greater.

      Did you know, that there are no Japanese Soldiers or Sailors,
      seen anywhere in the film!!!!!

      Best Wishes
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Originally posted by ethanedwards@Sep 23 2006, 02:23 AM
      Hi Vera,

      Unfortunatley, the ones left behind,
      were left to the mercy, or lack of mercy
      of the invading forces.
      Many suffered at the ends of enemy,
      as P.O.W.s, with many never making it.
      However, of course, many did survive,
      until the islands were re-taken,
      and live to tell their stories.

      Best Wishes

      Vera, Bill, Keith, and anybody else interested.

      If you want to see what happened to one of the death camps at the end of World War 2, try getting a copy of the movie "The Great Raid". Its the true story of a group of US Army Rangers who snuck into a camp near Cabutuaan in the Philipines during the last days of the war in the Philipines. The action and story itself is true to what actually happened but the parts involving the love story are just Hollywood sticking its nose into the film. I would still recommend it and I have seen it 3-4 times and I like it. The raid is the single largest prison camp rescue ever with over 500 soldiers/sailers being rescued, truly a incredible feat.

      I have a book on which the movie was based on and it is a excellent book. Its is called "Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II's Most Dramatic Mission" by Hampton Sides.

      What the Japanese did was nothing short of the worst things that were done to the holocaust victims, except that most of these people were soldiers and sailors. The japanese thought that you should die fighting and never surrender even if it was inevitable thnat you couldn't win. They treated all those people on the Bataan Death March as cowards and had no respect for them at all.
      Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
      -John Wayne
    • Hi Todd,

      Thanks for that information.

      I haven't seen the film you mentioned,
      but will certainly look out for it.
      There are certainly many web-sites
      (similiar to the one I posted for Vera)
      relating to the 'March' and the
      details in those, makes for pretty horrific reading!

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: They Were Expendable (1945)

      I think that in a way, They Were Expendable really ended with a victory, in that the top brass finally saw the value of the PT boats...but obviously the circumstances were tragic. Interesting too that Ward Bond's crutch was for the real leg injury he sustained when hit by a car. Before the scene where he was shot in the PT boat, Bond is never seen walking in the film...because he couldn't without the crutch. We just watched the film for the third it was good.

      "...all of this and General Price that baby sister makes it back to Yell county" --Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
    • Re: They Were Expendable (1945)

      "They were expendable" doesn't make me very interested in the subject (all these films plus some others in a row are starting to make that effect, though!), but it sure has style that films like Back to Bataan completely lack. Whatever Ford was in personal life, as a filmmaker he was a thoroughbred artist. In this he makes poetry out of war and shows beauty in most unexpectable things.

      Does the question about the leading lady in a 1932 movie make any sense to somebody - or is it just absurd humour?
      I don't believe in surrenders.
    • Song in They Were Expendable

      Hey again everyone!

      I just remembered something else I wanted to tell all y'all. I doubt anyone else still cares or remembers, but my very first post here was to ask what song was playing when Duke dances with Donna Reed in They Were Expendable.

      About a year ago, I eventually found out from a woman I know. She has a friend who used to work with the great John Ford. (Neat, huh?)

      It's called "Marcheta" and at the following website you can hear some of it sung by a good old-fashioned cowboy in his own right, Mr. Gene Autry. Finding this out was one of those sigh of relief moments for me. :present:

      I would have replied to my original thread but it's too durned old. Alas.

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