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Bataan

Overview

MGM, which had been known for the handsomeness of its movies, got down and dirty with Bataan, a morale-boosting feature done in cooperation with the government's Office of War Information, under producer Irving Starr and director Tay Garnett. The Warner Home Video DVD is a good account of the movie, though it all reveals some considerable aging of the materials. The first 3/4 or so of the movie look great, and give an unimpeded high-resolution look at great action filmmaking, from Robert Taylor's tough-as-nails ...
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This DVD (Black & White / Mono) is Not Available through BN.com

Overview

MGM, which had been known for the handsomeness of its movies, got down and dirty with Bataan, a morale-boosting feature done in cooperation with the government's Office of War Information, under producer Irving Starr and director Tay Garnett. The Warner Home Video DVD is a good account of the movie, though it all reveals some considerable aging of the materials. The first 3/4 or so of the movie look great, and give an unimpeded high-resolution look at great action filmmaking, from Robert Taylor's tough-as-nails portrayal on down, and allows one to appreciate fully Warren Newcombe's special effects (nearly the equal of the Lydecker brothers at Republic, except in one poor shot involving a plane) and Sidney Wagner's photography. But the last 20 minutes shows increasing amounts of wear in the source material, which translates out as scratches and other marks on the image, and the final section has a distinct double vertical line going up and down the screen just off the center -- either whoever was doing the digital transfer either didn't pay attention or was told to ignore it, but the result is an uneven DVD release. It's still a worthwhile disc, even without any extras (other than an optional French language soundtrack and English and French subtitles), especially given the range of excellent performances. The Dolby digital mono sound is distinct up and down the volume range, and the price is right, but the last quarter of this disc isn't something you want to use to demonstrate the format -- it would be difficult to imagine Turner Entertainment (which used to own this library) allowing Bataan out with those visual flaws.
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Special Features

Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; Languages & subtitles: English & Fran├žais
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Bataan is blatantly one-sided. It is racist, blurs the facts, and when watched today, looks as real as a puppet show. Yet, in 1943, this film admirably stood for two very important things: the undeniable heroism of the United States Armed Forces and the advent of the WWII combat film. Before Bataan, Hollywood handled the war through "safe" service comedies and spy pictures. Bataan fearlessly embraced combat, setting the bar for subsequent films and initiating its new genre. The film's successful formula defined the characteristics of the WWII combat film -- including the multi-ethnic unit that has a religious man, a learned man, an experienced man, and a neophyte; the stated objective; the internal group conflicts; and the talk of home. Even the most novel WWII films owe debt to Bataan -- simply compare the characters in Saving Private Ryan to those in this influential picture. Bataan's attitude and appearance are not impressive, but its importance in film history renders it eternally watchable and forever interesting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/16/2000
  • UPC: 012569505629
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:54:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Taylor Sgt. Bill Dane
George Murphy Lt. Steve Bentley
Thomas Mitchell Cpl. Jake Feingold
Lloyd Nolan Cpl. Barney Todd, Danny Burns
Lee Bowman Capt. Henry Lassiter
Robert Walker Leonard Purckett
Desi Arnaz Felix Ramirez
Barry Nelson F.X. Matowski
Phillip Terry Matthew Hardy
Roque Espiritu Cpl. Jesus Katigbay
Kenneth Spencer Wesley Epps
Alex Havier Yankee Salazar
Tom Dugan Sam Malloy
Donald Curtis Lieutenant
Ernie Alexander Wounded Soldier
Lynne Carver Nurse
Bud Geary Infantry Officer
Mary McLeod
Dorothy Morris Nurse
Phil Schumacher Machine Gunner
Technical Credits
Tay Garnett Director
Robert D. Andrews Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Irving Starr Producer
Sidney Wagner Cinematographer
George White Editor
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Some Gave All

    Based on the actual events on the Bataan peninsula (Philippines) in World War II, this is a surprisingly realistic film for its time. It deals with a group of American soldiers assigned to destroy a key bridge to halt the Japanese advance. Robert Taylor is excellent as tough Sgt. Bill Dane. Look for Lloyd Nolan in a gritty hand-to-hand fight with an enemy soldier. These American G.I.'s 'hold at all costs' and remind us that not all soldiers came home to a ticker tape parade.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews