They Were Expendable (1945)

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  • Quote

    Originally posted by ethanedwards@Sep 27 2006, 03:13 AM
    As Arthur has pointed out, the film was not a happy
    experience for anyone concerned with it

    [snapback]34932[/snapback]



    Anyway it became a masterpiece


    :rolleyes:

  • 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.



    Regards


    Arthur

    Walk Tall - Talk Low


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


    Quote

    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
    Keith
    London- England


  • 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!


    Thanks

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

  • 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 time...wow it was good.


    GSP

    "...all of this and General Price that baby sister makes it back to Yell county" --Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.

  • "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.

  • 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:


    http://www.geneautry.com/music…gas_1950tvrecordings.html


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


    http://www.dukewayne.com/thread422.html

  • I thought there would be a longer clip of Mr. Autry singing the song, but to no avail. Perhaps elsewhere on the web.

    I recognize so many names here, but it appears that Chance and smokey are missing along with Baron von Rassilon. Has anyone seen them about? What about itdo (Roland)? :ohwell:

  • Hey, Jen, good to see you again. I posted a welcome back in another thread, but definitely wanted to post here, as I do remember you asking about the song in one of my favorite films. At the time, I searched high and low for it, to no avail, so I'm glad you found an answer. I listened to the Gene Autry clip and ended up buying the 3-disc set! The money is going to a good cause, it's going to support the Western Heritage Museum down in Los Angeles.


    smokey is taking classes, so isn't here very often, but when she comes back, she'll be happy to see you've returned. CHANCE has been busy dealing with "life issues" recently, so hasn't been around too much, but he'll be back. The Baron . . . I don't know what has happened to him. itdo left due to differences regarding political discussion and how they were moderated ( or not). I also think that he was seeking a higher plane of discussion regarding Duke. He was very knowledgeable from a cinematography perspective, and looking for like minds. We do miss him. He also indicated that his job was keeping him busier.


    Chester :newyear:

  • HI Chester:

    I'm glad you liked the Autry discs and that the money is going to a good cause. I hadn't even noticed that.

    I'm sorry to hear about members who aren't around any longer. I agree that itdo was definitely on a different level, which is why I always looked forward to hearing from him. His posts were always very informative and certainly more objective with regard to JW; his thoughts seemed to come from a critical, film-appreciation sort of perspective, and it's always good to have different perspectives. Oh well.

    It always makes me kind of sad when people can't see past their religious or political differences. If I disagreed about something someone here said, I would just choose not to react and let it pass. One of my other great cinematic interests is the musical star Gene Kelly. (I know; he couldn't be much more different from John Wayne, but there you have it.) Though it pains me a bit to say it about someone whose work I admire so much, he was known for being very left-wing and even got accidentally entangled in communism through his first wife, who was far more hard-core liberal than even he was. I used to post quite frequently at a GK forum and occasionally the conversation drifted into politics. I am more right-wing and conservative myself, and I tended to just ignore those conversations. It's not worth getting involved in something ugly, and risk alienating yourself from a great discussion about a common interest. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and I'm not about to change anyone's mind over night, so I let stuff go.

    Just to relate this all to JW, I don't know about any time Duke met with Gene Kelly, though I do know that GK praised him in writing once for how gracefully he moved in spite of (or perhaps because of) his masculinity. He was always trying to prove that dancing could be masculine, and that men who danced should always maintain their masculinity. He didn't like that people always associate dancing with being a sissy.

    Anyway, I digress. Sorry! :blush: Thanks for the update!

  • One of my other great cinematic interests is the musical star Gene Kelly. (I know; he couldn't be much more different from John Wayne, but there you have it.) Though it pains me a bit to say it about someone whose work I admire so much, he was known for being very left-wing and even got accidentally entangled in communism through his first wife, who was far more hard-core liberal than even he was. I used to post quite frequently at a GK forum and occasionally the conversation drifted into politics. I am more right-wing and conservative myself, and I tended to just ignore those conversations. It's not worth getting involved in something ugly, and risk alienating yourself from a great discussion about a common interest. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and I'm not about to change anyone's mind over night, so I let stuff go.

    Just to relate this all to JW, I don't know about any time Duke met with Gene Kelly, though I do know that GK praised him in writing once for how gracefully he moved in spite of (or perhaps because of) his masculinity. He was always trying to prove that dancing could be masculine, and that men who danced should always maintain their masculinity. He didn't like that people always associate dancing with being a sissy.



    I never knew Gene fell on the left side of the political spectrum - in fact, that's the first I'd heard of it. That's what I liked about the older generation of movie stars; they kept their political opinions to themselves. I've read that Burt Lancaster, Gregory Peck and of course
    Paul Newman were/are extremely liberal but you'd never have known it from their movies.

    I've also never thought dancing was sissified - I'd give anything to be able to dance like Gene or Fred could.

    BTW, Jen, Gene has what I think was one of his best movies out on DVD - "The Three Musketeers"

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  • Ah, Stumpy... how great is it that you know about the release of The 3 Ms on DVD (finally)? It's certainly a fun movie, and one of GK's few non-musical films that's a joy to watch and allows him to use his charm. He modeled himself after Douglas Fairbanks in his role as d'Artagnan. It reminds me somewhat of Scaramouche, another fun MGM film from the same time with swashbuckling in it. Stewart Granger is so good in that kind of role.

    I'm glad that you don't see dancing as sissified. A lot of girls would give anything to be able to dance with the two golden era greats.

    Yes, Gene was a lefty, but as you point out, he didn't make a huge deal out of it, along with the other great actors you bring up. He was too smart, and knew better than to alienate at least half of the movie-going public. He did get involved with the HUAC/Joe McCarthy stuff, but at the time, almost everyone in Hollywood did.

    As the famous last line of Some Like It Hot goes, "nobody's perfect."

  • That was the thing with the actors of the past. They just acted for the most part. There politics were there own buisness and they never tried to drag others into a media war. They were respectful enough of each other and never really got into a public war of words.


    The actors of today on another hand think that just because they make movies that they are right in there thinking and that we should listen to them even though most have probably never researched on the stuff they are talking about.

    Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
    -John Wayne

  • The actors of today on another hand think that just because they make movies that they are right in there thinking and that we should listen to them even though most have probably never researched on the stuff they are talking about.



    I remember an incident in the early eighties that was totally ridiculous. In those days, a lot of family farms were going under because of various circumstances. Congress called Jessica Lange, who had played in a movie about family farms called "Country", to testify about the plight of family farms. She probably didn't know any more about family farming than my 3-year-old granddaughter, who lives in a Dallas suburb. But that was so typical of what passes for our political "leadership".

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  • Watched this over the Easter Break. After viewing it again I think I appreciate why it didnt set the box office on fire. It has some nice moments but it does seem a bit disjointed for lack of a better word.


    When you consider the running time at 129 minutes which is long for Ford I would have thought that it would have been structured better.


    I think the downbeat ending didnt help either.


    A Fair to Good movie.



    Mike