Saturday, November 1, 2014

LIVE: Corregidor (1943)

I don’t recognize any of these actors.  One of the screenwriters is a woman.  It is dedicated to “the heroes of the U.S. and Philippine armed forces.”  It’s Dec. 6, 1941 in the Philippines.  Dr. Royce (a woman doctor!) arrives with a black mammy.  Her boyfriend Dr. Jan looks old enough to be her father.  He’s not the marrying type.  He brings up a love rival named Michael to put her off – fail. There is continuous terribly sappy music.  Royce and Jan get married and live happily never after.  The Jap bastards bomb the wedding ceremony!  Mammy gets killed – there goes the comic relief.  Royce and Jan embark on a 600 mile trek to Manila.  Along the way, they have several encounters with Japanese soldiers on sound stages.  Suddenly they are at Corregidor.  Michael is already there.  He’s a doctor, too.  Now our love triangle is in place.  The Japanese air force is continually bombing them.  Lots of close-ups of their pilots.  Wide variety of planes in the footage.  We are introduced to another couple – nurse Dutch and soldier Pinky.  Pinky and Sarge are on the front line.  Sarge picks up the torch of comic relief.  Lame soldier banter.  Almost every scene has two people talking.  The Japanese land and there is a big battle with the Japs shooting from the hip.  Bayonet melee.  Attack repelled.  Dutch is wounded and she and Pinky are married.  Surprise – no kiss.  Jan tries to get Michael and Royce together.  He gives a speech about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Chuck dies.  Naval bombardment and landing craft.  Similar battle.   Sarge uses a bolo.  Some hilarious deaths.  Music blaring.  Jan is wounded while operating and dies.  This simplifies things. Royce is ordered to leave with the other women.  She doesn’t want to go, but Michael insists.  They kiss.  Pinky shoots down a Jap plane, but is killed in the process.  The final assault.  Lots of explosions.  We lose.  But we’ll be back!

This movie is definitely a curio.  It’s an Old School B-war movie.  The acting is bad, especially the no name who plays Jan.  The music is relentless.  The love triangle is weird with Jan being extremely tolerant.  The dialogue is surprisingly not terrible, just boring.  This is a noisy movie with high volume sound effects.  There are no derogatory Japanese references and the enemy are not demonized.  The movie is not laughably bad, which is a problem because at least then it would have been entertaining.


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