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So Proudly We Hail & American Guerilla In The Philippines

28 Dec

So Proudly We Hail – produced and directed by Mark Sandrich. WWII Drama. 129 minutes Black And White 1943.

★★★★★

American Guerilla In The Philippines – directed by Fritz Lang. WWII Drama. 105 minutes Color 1950.

★★★

How marked they are in excellence from one another!

Both are about the final days of occupation of the Philippines in WWII. So Proudly We Hail is the story of the nurses left on Bataan and in the great tunnel at Corregidor, while the Japanese bombed their hospital and strafed the wounded. The great thing about it is that it is completely convincing, although it was all made in California in 1943. And another great thing about it is that it was made in black and white, more proper to the mood of war than the glaring distraction of Technicolor in which American Guerilla In The Philippines was shot on site and which turns the Philippines into a tourist attraction. Technicolor does not lend itself to war.

Fritz Lang’s direction of American Guerilla In The Philippines is flatfooted. And the story itself is flaccid, for it follows the sketchy, thick-headed doings of a group of GIs left behind in Leyte and finally mobilized by the native Philippine commander to radio spy reports on the Japanese to San Francisco. It has the considerable and only merit of having as its leading actor Tyrone Power, an always welcome presence, with his warmth and personal beauty.

So Proudly We Hail stars Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard – and Veronica Lake whose personal sacrifice I vividly remember from the time the film first came out in 1943. Everyone in the film is wonderful. The story is informative and suspenseful. The ladies’ romances hold one’s attention and convince. The movie is a vivid picture of the time and events it records.

So Proudly We Hail lives today. It is a great story about brave and resourceful women, and a fine film. If you are in any way drawn to the films of The Golden Age, you can hardly do better.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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