They Were Expendable

( 2 )


John Brickley Robert Montgomery believes in PT boats, and as a lowly U.S. Navy lieutenant stationed in the Philippines, that makes him a radical thinker. "Your boats maneuver beautifully," an admiral Charles Trowbridge tells him, "but if I'm going into combat, I prefer something a little more substantial." The gently delivered but stinging dismissal stirs the resentment of Lt. "Rusty" Ryan John Wayne, who tartly tells Brickley that he wants to be transferred to destroyers. The Pearl Harbor bombing makes transfer ...
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John Brickley Robert Montgomery believes in PT boats, and as a lowly U.S. Navy lieutenant stationed in the Philippines, that makes him a radical thinker. "Your boats maneuver beautifully," an admiral Charles Trowbridge tells him, "but if I'm going into combat, I prefer something a little more substantial." The gently delivered but stinging dismissal stirs the resentment of Lt. "Rusty" Ryan John Wayne, who tartly tells Brickley that he wants to be transferred to destroyers. The Pearl Harbor bombing makes transfer impossible, especially with the Japanese preparing to invade the islands. So Brickley and Ryan go to work, first as message carriers between the Philippines and Corregidor, then, finally, as ship hunters. They record some successes, but it's a doomed effort: The Americans are hopelessly outnumbered by the Japanese, and with almost all of the Pacific Fleet destroyed at Pearl Harbor, they know help won't arrive to save them. As the Japanese push the U.S. forces back, Brickley and Ryan and their crews hop from island to island, scrounging supplies and taking casualties but keeping up the fight. Just as it appears that they will be forced to fight on Corregidor against the Japanese, they get rescued; they're ordered home to promote their PT-boat successes, and they take the last plane out, hoping to return and avenge their defeats. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr.
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Special Features

Theatrical trailer; Subtitles: English & Fran├žais (feature film only)
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A major work in the career of John Ford, They Were Expendable reflects the great director's love of the U.S. Navy and admiration of the men and women who fought the Second World War. It's a product of wartime, meant to be stirringly patriotic and occasionally saccharine. It almost qualifies as a U.S. Navy product: Star Robert Montgomery was a PT boat captain and Ford and screenwriter Frank "Spig" Wead were high-ranking Navy men. Yet They Were Expendable is nevertheless an admirably restrained and somber work, especially compared to other jingoistic films of the period. As befits its subject, the Navy's post-Pearl Harbor losses, Ford's deep-focus camerawork is an often gorgeous collection of grays and blacks. Ford had just finished an Oscar-winning documentary, Battle of Midway, when he started this movie, and it shows. Wead's script is an appealingly nuts-and-bolts look at Navy men that mostly avoids obligatory flag-waving; even the subplot romance between John Wayne's Lt. "Rusty" Ryan and Donna Reed's Lt. Sandy Davyss is un-melodramatic. Ford uses realistic Florida locations and sprinkles documentary-like close-ups throughout the film. The close-ups get somewhat precious by film's end, but they're effective. Ford blessedly leaves out his banana-peel humor, and in Montgomery has an actor who centers the movie with an interestingly lean and modulated performance despite having no backstory and almost no emotional outpourings -- he scarcely raises his voice. They Were Expendable offers glimmers of the psychological complexity that marks later Ford films like The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It's a classic that hasn't received its proper recognition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/22/2007
  • UPC: 012569798625
  • Original Release: 1945
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Repackaged / Special Packaging / Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:15:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 14,893

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Montgomery Lt. John Brickley
John Wayne Lt. J.G. "Rusty" Ryan
Donna Reed Lt. Sandy Davys
Cameron Mitchell Ens. George Cross
Ward Bond Boats Mulcahey
Leon Ames Maj. James Morton
Marshall Thompson Ens. Snake Gardner
Paul Langton Ens. Andy Andrews
Jack Holt Gen. Martin
Arthur Walsh Seaman Jones
Donald Curtis Lt. J.G. "Shorty" Long
Jeff York Ens. "Lefty" Tony Aiken
Murray Alper Slug Mahan
Jack Pennick Doc Charlie
Alex Havier Benny Lacoco, Steward
Charles Trowbridge Adm. Blackwell
Robert H. Barrat Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Bruce Kellogg Lt. Elder Tompkins
Tim Murdock Ens. Brown
Louis Jean Heydt Ohio, flyer in hospital
Russell Simpson Dad Knowland
Vernon Steele Army Doctor at Corregidor
Stephen Barclay
Danny Borzage
Al Bridge Lt. Colonel
George Bruggeman
Charles Calhoun
James Carlisle
John Carlyle Lt. James
Jack Cheatham Commander
Frank Donahue
Michael Economides
John Epper
James Farley Mate
Art Foster
Almeda Fowler
Duke Green
Sherry Hall Marine Major
Robert E. Homans Bartender at Manila Hotel
Harold Kruger
Paul Kruger
Jack Lee
Leota Lorraine
Jack Luden Naval Air Captain
William Lundigan
James Magill
George Magrill
William McCormick Wounded Officer at Airport
Frank McGrath Slim
Karl Miller
Henry Mirelez Filipino Boy
Jack Mower Officer
Charlie Murray Jr. Jeep Driver
Forbes Murray Navy Captain
William Neff
Wedgewood Nowell
Franklin Parker Navy Officer
Frank Pershing
Nino Pipitone Bartender's Children
Joey Ray
John Roy
Ernest Sefton
Reginald Simpson
Leslie Sketchley Marine Orderly
Leonard Stanford
Larry Steers
Jack Stoney
Robert Strong
Robert Thom
Roy Thomas
John Trent
Emmett Vogan Navy Doctor
Roque Ybarra
Fred Coby
Larry Dods
Phil Schumacher
William McKeever Riley Boat Crew Member
Jon Gilbreath Sub Commander
Dutch Schlickenmeyer
Tony Carson
Leonard Mellin
Dan Quigg
Michael Kostrick
Bruce Carruthers
Eleanore Vogel
Jane Crowley Officers' Wife
George Economides
Mary Jane French Lost Nurse
Roger Cole
Frank Eldredge
Jack Carrington
Hansel Warner
Bill Nind
Philip Ahn Orderly
Betty Blythe Officer's Wife
William B. Davidson Hotel manager
Pedro de Cordoba Priest
Blake Edwards Boat Crewman
Lee Tung Foo Bartender
Wallace Ford
Michael Kirby Boat crewman
Stubby Kruger Boat crewman
Trina Lowe Gardner's girlfriend
Eve March Nurse
Kermit Maynard Airport Officer
Robert E. O'Connor Bartender at Silver Dollar
Max Ong Mayor of Cebu
Sammy Stein Boat crewman
Harry Tenbrook "Cookie" Squarehead Larsen
Pacita Tod-Tod Nightclub singer
Tom Tyler Capt. on plane
Billy Wilkerson Sgt. Smith
Technical Credits
John Ford Director, Producer
Joseph H. August Cinematographer
Douglas Biggs Editor
Earl K. Brent Songwriter
Malcolm Brown Art Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Frank E. Hull Editor
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
Edward O'Fearna Asst. Director
Cliff Reid Producer
Michael Steinore Sound/Sound Designer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer, Songwriter
Frank Wead Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- They Were Expendable
1. Logos/Title/Credits [1:51]
2. "Make 'Em Look Good" [3:32]
3. "A One-Man Band" [2:12]
4. Songs & Speeches [2:04]
5. "Let Freedom Ring!" [2:12]
6. Mapping Out a War [2:22]
7. Air Raid! [1:51]
8. "Good Shooting!" [3:12]
9. Attack's Aftermath [2:06]
10. Shaken But Ready [2:27]
11. Truth to a Rumor [3:14]
12. "A Swell Diet" [2:36]
13. Green Light to Sink [3:03]
14. Benched by an Arm [2:56]
15. Hospital - Corregidor [3:14]
16. Sabotaged at Sea [3:46]
17. Victories & Losses [2:14]
18. Surgery Under Fire [2:38]
19. Does He Dance? [3:02]
20. They Came Closer [4:07]
21. "Tough Luck, Andy" [2:49]
22. A Beautiful Guest [3:09]
23. The Floor Show [2:00]
24. Alone at Last [2:16]
25. A Secret Mission [4:06]
26. Farewell, Sailor [3:38]
27. Hats Off/Shove Offs [10:21]
28. 3 of 4 Boats Return [4:00]
29. The Silver Cat Award [1:13]
30. Left High & Dry [1:52]
31. Cracker Box Prepping [4:46]
32. "Can Do? Can Try!" [1:23]
33. So Long, Sirs! [2:28]
34. There She Blows! [5:17]
35. Under Heavy Fire [1:12]
36. Washed Ashore [2:13]
37. Poetic Funerals [3:25]
38. Tragic News [3:30]
39. "Make 'Em Pay" [1:51]
40. Reunions/Departures [3:45]
41. Fine Heels/Good Men [5:44]
42. One Plane/One Sandy [2:05]
43. Selective Roll Call [4:56]
44. A Promise/Credits [1:53]
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Disc #1 -- They Were Expendable
   Scene Selections
   Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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