They Were Expendable (1945)

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  • Not many movies out there about the PT boats, thats what made it a hit with me! It seems a little to long for me, but still a great war movie!

    Well, have to agree with you there WT, but I just kept looking for Ward. I read PT109 before I saw the movie. Book was better, but the movie was OK. When JFK hit the dock because of his motor failing when he threw her in reverse reminds me of when I used to bring our ski boat in to dock beside the houseboat. I did the same thing. Head on into the dock full speed, swing the wheel and throw her into reverse.....just slide the side right up to the dock to moor her. Thank goodness Mom and Dad kept that old Evinrude in good shape cause she never failed me like JFK's did. They also built a mini version of a PT Boat before we and another family built a huge houseboat in our front yard. Had to get a navy trailer to haul her down the long winding driveway, and had to cut down about 10 huge pines, (before the pine beetle came through GA and I had to cut them ALL down on 2 acres!) Anyway, I was just awestruck at what PT Boats accomplished against much larger targets.......boy, you had to have real guts to be a PTer. Mom and Dad used the Elco 80 footer plans and scaled it down, of course no gun emplacements or torpedo racks were used, LOL. That old boat would take any kind of pounding, she was designed for it. KEITH

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • I watched this movie for the first time last night. I didn't like it as much as "Back to Bataan" or "Sands of Iwo Jima", but it was really good.

    It was very obviously a John Ford film, though, and I think that's what made me really like it. His masterful use of snatches of old songs at the right moments is frequently very moving. I noticed that at least twice he included the "Battle Cry of Freedom" moving into the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (which appeared again as the closing song. Epic!!) But especially poignant was the use of "Red River Valley" when the old mechanic stayed behind.

    The other thing about John Ford is that he has such a talented way of subtly bringing out character's emotions (without over-dramatization) and making a film more human. I especially liked the way he showed the women's struggle to remain feminine while having to be tough, as they endured the horrors of war.

    Of course, this was also an excellent acting performance by the Duke, ably seconded by Robert Montgomery. You can still see Duke growing in acting prowess, but his classic persona is already there.

    Overall, I really liked "They Were Expendable" and will be adding it to my film collection. Another score for the Duke and John Ford!