Merrill's Marauders (1962)

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    There are 18 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by The Ringo Kid.

    • Merrill's Marauders (1962)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill leads the 3,000 American volunteers
      of his 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), aka "Merrill's Marauders",
      behind Japanese lines across Burma to Myitkyina,
      pushing beyond their limits and fighting pitched battles at every strong-point.
      Written by Martin H. Booda

      Full Cast
      Jeff Chandler ... Brig. Gen. Frank D. Merrill
      Ty Hardin ... 2nd Lt. Lee Stockton
      Peter Brown ... Bullseye
      Andrew Duggan ... Capt. Abraham Lewis Kolodny, MD
      Will Hutchins ... Chowhound
      Claude Akins ... Sgt. Kolowicz
      Luz Valdez ... Burmese girl
      John Hoyt ... Gen. Joseph Stilwell
      Charlie Briggs ... Muley (as Charles Briggs)
      Chuck Roberson ... Officer
      Chuck Hayward ... Officer
      Jack C. Williams ... Doctor
      Chuck Hicks ... Cpl. Doskis
      Vaughan Wilson ... Bannister
      Pancho Magalona ... Taggy

      Writing Credits
      Milton Sperling (screenplay) and
      Samuel Fuller (screenplay)
      Charlton Ogburn Jr. (book)

      Original Music
      Howard Jackson

      William H. Clothier

      Bannister, Merrill's Aide de camp, was played by Lt. Col. Samuel Vaughan Wilson
      (credited as Vaughan Wilson), who was actually one of "Merrill's Marauders" and a survivor of the campaign.

      This movie was released in 1962. At the end of the movie there is a parade review
      that features the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

      In the battle at Shaduzup, the huge triangular sets of concrete blocks in the rail yard,
      where the close-in fighting took place, were originally built to support huge fuel tanks
      used to fill up the engines as they were leaving the yard.

      Jeff Chandler's final film.

      Director Trademark
      Samuel Fuller: [Lemchek] A recurring character name in Fuller's films.

      When Merrill and Stockton converse after the first battle, Merrill's pipe moves
      instantaneously to and from his mouth between shots.

      When the troops are resting in the swamps, mud patches on Bullseye's arms
      appear and disappear between shots.

      When Stock and the rest of his platoon reach the top of the mountain.
      The lower part of the left sleeve on his shirt has been cut away.
      It remains like this for the rest of the film and isn't explained until the last battle Stock
      has a wound on his arm and a bandaged has been applied but no wound was visible until after the final battle.

      When Merrill is writing his letter at the railhead, the closeup shows his writing
      is well up in the top third of the paper, but in the wider shot he is seen writing under the middle of the page.

      Factual errors
      The British officer incorrectly had his slouch hat pinned up on the right side.
      Commonwealth troops have always worn the slouch hat pinned up on the left side to accommodate left shoulder (sloped) arms.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Profile) Classic War Movies- Merrill's Marauders (1962)

      Merrill's Marauders is a 1962 Cinemascope war film directed and co-written by Samuel Fuller
      based on the exploits of the long range penetration jungle warfare unit of the same name
      in the Burma Campaign.
      The source is the non-fiction book The Marauders, written by Charlton Ogburn Jr.,
      a communications officer who served with Merrill's Marauders.
      Filmed on location in the Philippines, the economical historical epic film stars Jeff Chandler (in his final role)
      as Frank Merrill and several actors from the Warner Brothers Television stock company
      who were then the lead actors in American television shows.

      Look out for Duke 'Pals'
      Chuck Roberson, Chuck Hayward
      both credited as Officers

      User Review
      A Movie that Shows Us What Real Heroes are All About
      11 February 2006 | by SgtSlaughter (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA)

      The best way to understand a man's emotions are to look into his eyes. What does the look on his face tell you about his mood? Sam Fuller knows that. This is a movie about the faces of ordinary men in battle. What brings them joy, what makes them angry, what fatigues them. Fuller, a former soldier himself, knows how to convey these emotions in a way few filmmakers ever have been able to.

      In 1944, "Merrill's Marauders", a group of American volunteers, trekked across Burma to destroy several key Japanese bases. There was a legitimate fear that the Japanese would trek through Burma to India and link up with Hitler's forces in Europe. The Marauders played an important part in stopping this link-up, at great cost to their own lives.

      The movie makes us understand what it must have been like to be a soldier in World War II. It's important to realize that the Marauders were expecting a reprieve very early on the campaign, and were pushed far beyond normal physical and mental limitations to complete their mission. Merrill (brilliantly portrayed by Jeff Chandler) has a heart condition himself, but keeps it a secret from his men, who come to loathe him – until he collapses from a stroke, and they realize he has been pushing himself just as hard, if not harder than, his own troops.

      Just what causes the stress they endure? First, the death of their friends. Lt. Stockton (Ty Hardin, in one of his best performances) expresses frustration at having to write letters home to the families of the dead in his platoon. Gradually, the number of families he must write to increases. The men left under his command are trudging through several hundred miles of swamp, fearing detection by the enemy at any given moment. They are without sufficient food, infected with malaria and typhus, and lack enough medical supplies. Then have to fight off or meticulously avoid every enemy unit they encounter. By the end of the film, every man we saw at the start with a clean shirt and freshly shaven face is either dead, or wearing tattered clothes, unkempt hair and most likely wounded or exhausted from disease. These are normal men who miss their homes and families, and want to go home badly – they don't let the audience forget that, because it's almost all they talk about – and rightly so.

      Although some of the battle scenes seem sanitized compared to post 1965-standards (the usual fake-looking "seizure" death scenes, bloodless hand-to-hand combat), the aftermath is shockingly realistic and haunting. There is one scene in which Lt. Stockton slowly walks across a maze of concrete tank-traps, where a pitched close-quarters battle has just been fought, and sees and endless tangled mass of bodies – both American and Japanese.

      Fuller lets his camera linger on these moments. There is one scene where Merrill gives an order to his subordinate and Fuller keeps the camera on the officer's shocked and disappointed face for just long enough to let us start thinking about what is going inside the nameless man's head. Likewise, he makes the Philippine locations come to vivid life, especially the dark, confined sequence in the swamp. Only a few scenes set in pine forests near the end of the film look jarringly out-of-place.

      "Merrill's Marauders" only weakness is in its almost forced jingoistic patriotism. The opening scene, a montage of documentary footage narrated by Andrew Duggan, sets us up for a flag-waving movie about American heroes single-handedly wiping out the Japanese Empire without effort, as has been seen in countless other war films. Likewise, the film's conclusion speaks of the heroism and dedication of the Marauders as if they and the entire U.S. military were immortal saints. These segments seemed tacked on, and I would bet in a minute that the military, who aided in production of the film, required that these scenes be included. Oh, yeah, and the ridiculous music score does not help much, either.

      Am I patriotic? Yes. Do I support the American military? Of course. Who makes a war movie web site in order to cut down war movies? I love 'em. The body of the film is about ordinary fighting men and their dedication to each other. Not to a cause. I'm sure that when men were in the trenches together during WWII (and any other war, for that matter) their primary dedication was to their buddy next to them, not for a glorious cause.

      I have a soft spot in my heart because Frank Merrill was my grandmother's cousin. So I have a bit of a tie to him and the history he and his men made, I suppose. That bit of prejudice doesn't change the fact that this is a great movie, and deserves a DVD release A.S.A.P.
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Merrill's Marauders (1962)

      Its been awhile since I last visited Ty Hardins site but if I recall? this is one of about 3-4 Merrills Marauders images he will sign for you.Also, great shots as always Bill.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Merrill's Marauders (1962)

      In the trivia section--they mentioned this scene (when they assault the tanks) as a battle of some other name--however, they are wrong. This scene is supposed to be a part of the fightinig for Mitkyina (SP?) but pronounced Mitch-in-aw)) rail head/air field/ supply depot.. That was where they assaulted the Japanese Rail head/supply base.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

      The post was edited 1 time, last by The Ringo Kid ().