They Were Expendable (1945)

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    There are 97 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • They Were Expendable (1945)

      THEY WERE EXPENDABLE

      DIRECTED BY JOHN FORD
      and ROBERT MONTGOMERY-uncredited
      PRODUCED JOHN FORD/ CLIFF REID
      SCREENPLAY BY Lt. COMMANDER FRANK WEAD
      METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER


      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

      INFORMATION FROM IMDb

      Plot Summary
      The fall of the Phillippines to the Japanese in World War II, and the heroism and tragedy of the defenders, as exemplified by the story of one American PT boat squadron.
      Summary written by Jim Beaver

      Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a squadron of PT-boat crews in the Philipines must battle the Navy brass between skirmishes with the Japanese. The title says it all about the Navy's attitude towards the PT-boats and their crews.
      Summary written by Anonymous

      Based on the real life heroics of Lieutenants John Bulkeley (Brickley) and Robert Kelly (Ryan), the movie accurately depicts the defense of the Philippines by American PT Boats from December 1941 through April 1942 for which Lieutenant (later Vice Admiral) Bulkeley was awarded the Medal of Honor and Lieutenant Kelly the Navy Cross.
      Summary written by Jim Graslie

      Full Cast
      Robert Montgomery .... Lt. John Brickley
      John Wayne .... Lt. (j.g.) 'Rusty' Ryan
      Donna Reed .... 2nd Lt. Sandy Davys
      Jack Holt .... Gen. Martin
      Ward Bond .... 'Boats' Mulcahey
      Marshall Thompson .... Ens. 'Snake' Gardner
      Paul Langton .... Ens. 'Andy' Andrews
      Leon Ames .... Maj. James Morton
      Arthur Walsh .... Seaman Jones
      Donald Curtis .... Lt. (j.g.) 'Shorty' Long/voice on radio announcing fall of Bataan
      Cameron Mitchell .... Ens. George Cross
      Jeff York .... Ens. Tony Aiken
      Murray Alper .... 'Slug' Mahan
      Harry Tenbrook .... Squarehead Larson
      Jack Pennick .... Doc
      Alex Havier .... Benny Lecoco
      Charles Trowbridge .... Adm. Blackwell
      Robert Barrat .... Gen. Douglas MacArthur
      Bruce Kellogg .... Elder Tompkins
      Tim Murdock .... Ens. L. D. Brant
      Louis Jean Heydt .... Captain 'Ohio' Carter
      Russell Simpson .... 'Dad' Knowland
      Vernon Steele .... Army doctor
      Pedro de Cordoba .... Priest (scenes deleted)
      Philip Ahn .... Army orderly (uncredited)
      Steve Barclay .... Naval officer (uncredited)
      Bill Barnum .... Boat crew member (uncredited)
      Betty Blythe .... Officer's wife (uncredited)
      Danny Borzage .... Boat crew member (uncredited)
      Al Bridge .... Lieutenant Colonel (uncredited)
      George Bruggeman .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Charles Calhoun .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      James Carlisle .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      John Carlyle .... Lt. James (uncredited)
      Jack Carrington .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      Bruce Carruthers .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Tony Carson .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Jack Cheatham .... Commander (uncredited)
      Fred Coby .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      Roger Cole .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      Jane Crowley .... Officer's wife (uncredited)
      William B. Davidson .... Hotel manager (uncredited)
      Marjorie Davies .... Nurse (uncredited)
      Patrick Davis .... Pilot (uncredited)
      Gary Delmar .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Larry Dods .... Boat crew member (uncredited)
      Ernest Dominguez .... Filipino boy (uncredited)
      Frank Donahue .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      William 'Red' Donahue .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      George Economides .... Bartender's child (uncredited)
      Michael Economides .... Bartender's child (uncredited)
      Blake Edwards .... Boat crewman (uncredited)
      Frank Eldredge .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      John Epper .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      Jim Farley .... (uncredited)
      Charles Ferguson .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      Leonard Fisher .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Lee Tung Foo .... Asian bartender (uncredited)
      Wallace Ford .... (uncredited)
      Art Foster .... Boat crew member (uncredited)
      Almeda Fowler .... Officer's wife (uncredited)
      Mary Jane French .... Lost nurse (uncredited)
      Jon Gilbreath .... Submarine commander (uncredited)
      Duke Green .... PT-41 boat starboard torpedoman (uncredited)
      Sherry Hall .... Marine major (uncredited)
      Del Hill .... Boat crew member (uncredited)
      Robert Homans .... Bartender at Manila Hotel (uncredited)
      Vincent Isla .... Filipino schoolteacher (uncredited)
      Dick Karl .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Michael Kirby .... Boat crewman (uncredited)
      Michael Kostrick .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Paul Kruger .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Stubby Kruger .... Boat crewman (uncredited)
      Jack Lee .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Donald S. Lewis .... Officer at airport (uncredited)
      Jack Lorenz .... Man in admiral's office (uncredited)
      Leota Lorraine .... Officer's wife (uncredited)
      Trina Lowe .... Gardner's girlfriend (uncredited)
      Jack Luden .... Naval Air Captain (uncredited)
      Ted Lundigan .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      James Magill .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      George Magrill .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Eve March .... Nurse (uncredited)
      Kermit Maynard .... Airport Officer (uncredited)
      Merrill McCormick .... Wounded Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      Frank McGrath .... Slim, bearded CPO (uncredited)
      Leonard Mellin .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Karl Miller .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Henry Mirelez .... Filipino Boy (uncredited)
      Margaret Morton .... Bartender's Wife (uncredited)
      Jack Mower .... Officer (uncredited)
      Forbes Murray .... Navy Captain (uncredited)
      Charles Murray Jr. .... Jeep Driver (uncredited)
      Bill Neff .... Submarine Skipper/Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      Bill Nind .... Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      Wedgwood Nowell .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Robert Emmett O'Connor .... Silver Dollar bartender (uncredited)
      Max Ong .... Mayor of Cebu (uncredited)
      Franklin Parker .... Naval Officer (uncredited)
      Frank Pershing .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      Nino Pipitone Jr. .... Bartender's Child (uncredited)
      Dan Quigg .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Robert Shelby Randall .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      Clifford Rathjen .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Joey Ray .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      William McKeever Riley .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      Jack Ross .... Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      John Roy .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Harold Schlickenmayer .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Phil Schumacher .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      Ernest Seftig .... Naval Officer (uncredited)
      Jack Semple .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Brent Shugar .... Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      Sam Simone .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Reginald Simpson .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Leslie Sketchley .... Marine Orderly (uncredited)
      Ralph Soncuya .... Filipino Orderly (uncredited)
      Leonard Stanford .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Larry Steers .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Sammy Stein .... Sammy, Boat crewman (uncredited)
      Jack Stoney .... Boat Crew Member (uncredited)
      Robert Strong .... Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      Roy Thomas .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Bob Thom .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Dick Thorne .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Pacita Tod-Tod .... Nightclub singer (uncredited)
      Brad Towne .... Man in Admiral's Office (uncredited)
      Jack Trent .... Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      Tom Tyler .... Captain at airport (uncredited)
      Emmett Vogan .... Naval Doctor (uncredited)
      Eleanore Vogel .... Officer's Wife (uncredited)
      Hansel Warner .... Officer at Airport (uncredited)
      Billy Wilkerson .... Sgt. Smith (uncredited)
      Roque Ybarra Jr. .... Bartender's Child (uncredited)

      Writing credits
      William L. White (book)
      Frank Wead (screenplay) (as Frank Wead Comdr. U.S.N. [Ret.])

      Original Music
      Herbert Stothart

      Cinematography
      Joseph H. August (as Joseph H. August Lt. Comdr. U.S.N.R.)

      Other crew
      Robert Montgomery .... director: rear projection plates (uncredited)

      Stunts
      Jack Stoney

      Trivia
      Robert Montgomery was a real-life PT skipper in World War 2. He helped direct some of the PT sequences for the film when John Ford was unavailable due to health reasons.

      Filmed in Miami, the closing shot with the lighthouse is the Cape Florida Lighthouse, in what is today the Cape Florida State Park. The lighthouse withstood and was the scene of an Seminole Indian attack in 1835.

      The movie was based on the real live exploits of John Bulkeley, a World War II Medal of Honor Recipient.

      This movie was based on William L. White's book "They Were Expendable", which covered the exploits of Lieutenants John Bulkeley and Robert Kelly. Lt. Robert Kelly and U.S. Army Nurse "Peggy Smith" sued MGM, John Wayne and Donna Reed for their portrayal of them in the film. Although the film follows the book fairly closely, it does portray Lt. Kelly as impetuous and "hell bound for glory." Nurse Smith is shown romantically involved with Lt. Kelly. Wayne, Reed and MGM settled out of court for a nominal sum (less than $5,000.00). This event prompted movies to start adding disclaimers such as "All characters are fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely by coincidence and any of their actions in actual historical events is not accurate".

      The real-life Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II was equipped with six 77-foot Elco PT boats, all either lost in combat or destroyed to prevent capture. In the film, the Squadron 3 boats are represented by two 80-foot Elco and four 78-foot Huckins PT boats.

      "Dad" Knowlton, the shipwright who repairs the PT boats, has a poignant little scene in which he refuses to leave the place he's lived and worked for forty years, although the Japanese are advancing. Rusty Ryan, John Wayne's character, finally leaves Dad sitting alone on his porch with a rifle in his hands and a jug of moonshine between his knees, as "Red River Valley" plays in the background. How eerily reminiscent of The Grapes of Wrath (1940), which is particularly appropriate because Dad is played by Russell Simpson, whom John Ford directed as Pa Joad in 1940.

      During the shooting of this movie, John Ford had put John Wayne down every chance he got, because Wayne had not enlisted to fight in World War II. Ford commanded a naval photographic unit during the war rising to the rank of captain and thought Wayne a coward for staying behind. After months of heaping insults on Wayne's head, costar Robert Montgomery finally approached the director and told him that if he was putting Wayne down for Montgomery's benefit (Montgomery had served in the war), that he needed to stop immediately. This brought the tough-as-nails director to tears and he stopped abusing Wayne.

      When the officers are gathered around the dining table, they stand for a toast, Rusty misses and the drink goes down the front of his shirt, then quickly cuts.

      In a scene on the docks, a ship named the Lucien P. Libby is in the background. In the biography "John Ford: A Bio-bibliography" by Bill Levy, there is a reference to John Ford being influenced by two teachers during his four years at Portland High School. One was an English teacher, Lucien Libby, who "helped the boy with his writing, encouraged Ford's reading, and stimulated thinking with witty comic teaching."

      First war movie feature of John Ford.

      This is one of a handful of feature film movies that have featured the story of the World War II Battle of Bataan. They include Bataan (1943), So Proudly We Hail! (1943); They Were Expendable (1945) and Back to Bataan (1945).

      The film covers the World War II Battle of Bataan and the place Bataan which is a Central Luzon region province on Luzon island in the Philippines and occupies the whole of the Bataan Peninsula on the island.

      Goofs
      * Factual errors: Both American aircraft shown in the film (a Piper J5A observation plane and a Douglas C-47 transport) carry the national insignia markings of a white star in a blue roundel, which was authorized on August 18, 1942. This is incorrect for the period depicted in the film (early December 1941 through late April 1942), when U.S. insignia was a white star inside a blue roundel with a red ball in the middle of the white star.

      * Anachronisms: By the time this movie was made, the class of PT boat used in the Philippine Islands was not available. They substituted 80-foot ELCOs for the 78-foot ELCOs actually used in Manila Bay.

      * Continuity: When Lt. Sandy Davys attends the 'party', Lt. JG 'Rusty' Ryan takes a big swig of his drink, spilling some of it down his face and shirt, yet in the next scene, he's completely dry.

      * Revealing mistakes: The Japanese air attack at the beginning of the movie shows the aircraft strafing the PT boats. None of the aircraft flying in the scene are carrying bombs, nor are there attachments on the wings for carrying bombs.

      * Continuity: During the aircraft strafing scenes when LTjg Ryan is injured, the planes are attacking from astern of the boats. The bullet strikes on the boat start from the starboard bow and go across the boat to the port side, indicating a frontal attack.

      * Continuity: When Brick is briefing his officers on the route they are to take in evacuating McArthur, he draws the route on the map in a thick, heavy line. Seconds later, when the map is picked up to be folded, the lines are gone.

      * Factual errors: A frame at the end of the movie said, "We shall return - General Douglas MacArthur". In fact, the White House tried to get the general to change his famous quote to "we" but he refused, saying he failed to see the purpose. It should read, "I shall return."

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Florida Keys, Florida, USA
      Florida, USA
      Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
      Melville, Rhode Island, USA
      Miami, Florida, USA

      Watch the Trailer:-

      [extendedmedia]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHtdB97uA08[/extendedmedia]
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 11 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • They Were Expendable is a 1945 American war film directed by John Ford
      and starring Robert Montgomery and John Wayne and featuring Donna Reed.

      The film is based on the book by William L. White, relating the story of the exploits
      of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three, a PT boat unit defending the Philippines
      against Japanese invasion during the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42) in World War II.
      It features the unit's commanding officer and Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley,
      and Lieutenant (j.g.) Robert Kelly, one of his boat skippers.

      The characters of John Brickley (Montgomery) and Rusty Ryan (Wayne)
      are fictionalizations of the actual subjects.
      Both the film and the book – which was a best seller and had excerpts published in Reader's Digest and Life
      – depict actions which did not occur, but were believed to be real during the war;
      the film is noted for its verisimilitude.

      A great war movie, well acted and directed,
      following some, real life stories, as written by Frank 'Spig' Wead.

      Although Duke was relegated in the cast list, Ford's little
      way of reminding Duke, of his 'lack' of military service,
      he acquitted himself well, once again proving his worth,
      of acting a leader, if not one in practice.

      Robert Montgomery, on leave from the forces, and Donna Reed, played well in their parts.
      Ward Bond, re-covering from a shattered leg, which you never see, did well.
      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.

      User Review
      A film about following orders no matter how painful
      31 January 2002 | by chisum (Hartlepool England)

      One reveiwer critices this film about lack of action he misses the point,all the characters are well developed which makes the ending so painfull. The acting is first rate every part is played with a great belief,,there are so many great scenes that touch the heart.The men are bonded together by their actions and when the bonds are broken through death or orders it hurts us all. Donna Reed is gorgeous to look at ,only a small role but well acted. At the end of the film you feel a lump in your throat and a tear forms in your eye,I love this movie.9/10
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • I liked the film allot and would say it was one of the top 2-3 war films that Duke made. Waw not a huge fan of Montgomery but, he did a good job in his part. Now Donna Reed, WOW!! She was very nice looking in that movie.
      The other thing I liked about the film was the PT boat's, we have very few movies that focus on the PT Boats and there crews throughout a entire movie and its nice to see the sailors get some recognition.
      Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
      -John Wayne
    • Wow, this is one of my favorite films! I can't believe I haven't commented on it yet.

      As a retired shallow water Navy vet, with 4 years active and 21 years in the reserves, the majority of time was spent working as a Navy diver in and around smaller piers and small boats. The first time I watched this movie was on TV, on the Turner Broadcasting Network. Mr. Turner had made colorized versons of several JW movies, this one among them. While watching this movie in color, I was impressed by the brilliant blue water and tropical green trees and the story itself. I really appreciated the sense of hopelessness that this movie conveyed, as I'm sure many people who were there actually felt that way.

      Chester :newyear:
    • Here is a summery from IMDb (internet movie data base).
      Plot Summary for
      They Were Expendable (1945)
      Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a squadron of PT-boat crews in the Philipines must battle the Navy brass between skirmishes with the Japanese. The title says it all about the Navy's attitude towards the PT-boats and their crews.

      Summary written by Anonymous

      The fall of the Phillippines to the Japanese in World War II, and the heroism and tragedy of the defenders, as exemplified by the story of one American PT boat squadron.

      Summary written by Jim Beaver {[email protected]}

      Based on the real life heroics of Lieutenants John Bulkeley (Brickley) and Robert Kelly (Ryan), the movie accurately depicts the defense of the Philippines by American PT Boats from December 1941 through April 1942 for which Lieutenant (later Vice Admiral) Bulkeley was awarded the Medal of Honor and Lieutenant Kelly the Navy Cross.

      Summary written by Jim Graslie {[email protected]}

      This might help a little.
    • It's one of the best war movies I ever seen. And one of the greatest things in it that it was done about a fall, not victory. I think it can't be great in box office even during the war, because people always want to see victories (at the end at least) And here is no victory at the end. I always wonder what happened with all these soldiers and sailors left there who wasn't evacuated?
      Regards,
      Senta
    • 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
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England
    • I had many of my family that served in the Pacific in W.W. 2 and the stories that they would tell would make your Hair Stand On End. :fear:

      Vera; But the worst were told to me by a Young Man that Rented a Room from my Grandmother right after the World War 2 in Phoenix, Arizona. His Name was Johnny Cutchback and He was one of the Men that were on the "Japanese Death March" in the Philippines after the Islands Fell to the Japs.

      He had Bayonet Scars all over his Body that the Japs gave to Him to Keep all of the Prisoners moving on the Death March! And He said that if you did not keep moving they would Bayonet You to Death Right on the Spot !!! :(

      We became Hunting Partners in the Mid 1940s. We would sit around the Camp Fire at the end of the days Hunting and He would tell Stories about the Death March and I still have Bad Dreams about the Stories that told me, and that was over 60 Years Ago!!! :fear2:

      Bill :cowboy:
    • How horrible!
      Is it Japaneese Death March which is shown in Back to Bataan?
      I reread pages about They Were Expendable in Dan Fords book and in Duke biography the Shooting Star. Many interesting facts. John Ford knew Bulkeley (his name was changed to Brickley in the script) during invasion at Normandy, he was at his PT boat during it.
      But the most strange fact is that Kelly (whose part were played by Duke) and the nurse went to the court and received money for their claim against this movie.
      I'm really can't understand with what they were not satisfied. The romance between Ryan and Sandy are quite modest.
      Regards,
      Vera :rolleyes:
    • Hi Vera

      As you seem to be very interested in They Were Expendable I've found a later picture of John Bulkeley the man the Robert Montgomery character was based on.



      Regards

      Arthur
      Files
      • File0253.JPG

        (54.36 kB, downloaded 18 times, last: )
      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Hi Arthur,
      Thank you so much. He seems to be very nice man in the photo. I've read that he was very much alike Montgomery. So I think Ford cast Duke not for the learding part not because he wasn't in the service, but mainly because he was better for the other part.

      Had you read The Shooting Star? There is interesting episode when Ford, Montgomery, Duke and Wead was at Fords house descussing the script and Duke feeled so ashamed that he was the only one who wasn't at service and in civilian clothers that he cryed at bathroom. What do you think, is it true?

      Another interesting fact that Ford donated all money for the directing to his project for the veterans. But Duke and other actors kept their salaries for their own.

      Regards,
      Vera :rolleyes:
    • Originally posted by Senta@Sep 23 2006, 03:50 PM
      How horrible!
      Is it Japaneese Death March which is shown in Back to Bataan?

      Had you read The Shooting Star? There is interesting episode when Ford, Montgomery, Duke and Wead was at Fords house descussing the script and Duke feeled so ashamed that he was the only one who wasn't at service and in civilian clothers that he cryed at bathroom. What do you think, is it true?

      Another interesting fact that Ford donated all money for the directing to his project for the veterans.

      Regards,
      Vera :rolleyes:
      [snapback]34803[/snapback]





      Vera,

      Yes it is the Death March, that is depicted in
      Back to Bataan

      Here is a link, not nice reading however, with some information for you

      Bataan Death March



      About Duke crying!
      I've not read that anywhere, but according to John Wayne:American
      Ford kept getting on Duke's back about not saluting correctly, so much so
      that Montgomery intervened to such an extent, that he reduced FORD to tears!!

      Quite correct Vera, Ford donated his entire $300K salary, to build a living memorial,
      for his Field Photographic Unit, a tribute for comrades who had died defending their country.

      Best Wishes
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England
    • Hi Keith,
      Thank you for the link. terrible and sad information. This make end of the film even more tragic.
      I saw the terrible conditions in the Jap war camps in the famous movie The Bridge over the river Kway, even if I don't quite like this movie in the whole.
      Regards,
      Vera
    • Hi Vera

      It strange how threads cross over

      In one of my earlier posts I wrote how I came to get Shooting Star. We visited the town where Charles Dickens lived most of his life and I bought the book in a small bookshop.

      Ref Ford and Wayne around the time They Were Expendable was made it is interesting to look at what was happening around that time and his use of John Wayne.

      In 1939 he made Wayne's name with Stagecoach, he then made three films on the trot starring Henry Fonda. He then used Wayne once again for The Long Voyage Home.
      The eight films without Wayne (all beit some with a military educational theme.
      He then went back to Wayne for They Were Expendable.
      He then treturned to Henry Fonda to make two films. Then a third - Fort Apache featuring both men.

      In an earlier thread I think I put up a case that Ford deliberately ignored Wayne during the early 1940s and used him deliberately in They Were Expendable to humiliate him.
      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

      Regards

      Arthur
      Walk Tall - Talk Low