Bataan (film)

Bataan (film)

Infobox Film
name = Bataan

caption = Original Promotional Poster
director = Tay Garnett
producer = Irving Starr
writer = Robert Hardy Andrews
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; United States Office of War Information
starring = Robert Taylor
George Murphy
Thomas Mitchell
Robert Walker
Desi Arnaz
Lloyd Nolan | released = flagicon|United States 3 June, 1943

flagicon|Sweden 24 April, 1944
flagicon|Finland 4 March, 1945
runtime = 114 min.
language = English, Spanish, Latin
music = Bronislau Kaper, Eric Zeisl
amg_id = 1:4271
imdb_id = 0035664
cinematography = Sidney Wagner
editing = George White|

"Bataan" (1943) is a war film about the defense of the Bataan Peninsula at the start of World War II. It was made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Tay Garnett and produced by Irving Starr, with Dore Schary as executive producer. It starred Robert Taylor, Lloyd Nolan, Thomas Mitchell and Robert Walker.

Historical setting of the film

The Battle of Bataan followed the Japanese December, 1941 invasion of the Philippines and lasted from January 1 to April 9, 1942. In this action, the unified United States and Philippine forces retreated from Manila onto the nearby, mountainous Bataan peninsula for a desperate last stand. There was hope that a relief would arrive, but none could be mustered. After 3 months of desperate fighting, the starving and malaria-ridden forces surrendered and were led on the infamous Bataan Death March.


The US Army is conducting a fighting retreat. A high bridge spans a ravine on the Bataan peninsula. After the army and some civilians cross, a group of thirteen hastily-assembled volunteers from different units is assigned to blow it up and delay Japanese rebuilding efforts as long as possible. The soldiers are a mixed lot, including a Mexican-American California National Guardsman in the Tank Corps (Desi Arnaz), a black engineer demolitions expert (Kenneth Spencer), a conscientious objector in the Medical Corps (Phillip Terry), an engineer (Barry Nelson), a Philippine Scout (J. Alex Havier), a cook (Tom Dugan), and a naive young sailor (Robert Walker). Sergeant Bill Dane (Robert Taylor) and Corporal Jake Feingold (Thomas Mitchell) are regular infantry, while Corporal Barney Todd (Lloyd Nolan) is a signalman.

They dig in on a hillside and blow up the bridge, but their commander, cavalry Captain Henry Lassiter (Lee Bowman), is killed by a sniper, leaving Dane in charge. One by one, the defenders are killed, with one succumbing to malaria.

Army Air Corps pilot Lieutenant Steve Bentley (played by future Senator George Murphy) and his Filipino mechanic, Corporal Juan Katigbak (Roque Espiritu), work frantically to repair an airplane. They succeed, but Bentley is mortally wounded. He has them load explosives aboard, takes off and deliberately crashes his plane into the bridge's foundation.

The last few soldiers repel a massive frontal assault. Two more are killed by Japanese soldiers who feign death. Finally, the last survivor, Sergeant Dane, stoically digs his own marked grave beside those of his fallen comrades, waits in it, and fires at the onrushing enemy as the final credits roll.


The presence of a racially integrated fighting force prevented the film's showing in the United States' South.

Scenes from the 1934 RKO film "The Lost Patrol", directed by John Ford, were reused in this film.

ee also

*"Back to Bataan", a 1945 RKO film directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring John Wayne which returns to the same setting and theme.


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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