Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring:||Jeffrey Hunter … George R. Tweed
Marshall Thompson … Jonn Sonnenberg
Barbara Perez … “Joe” Cruz
Ronald Remy … Chico Torres
Paul Edwards Jr. … Al Turney
Rolf Bayer … Chief Schultz
|Director:||Richard Goldstone, John Monks, Jr.|
|Producer:||Gold Coast Productions|
This is the account of an American sailor whose orders to be shipped stateside were changed by the Japanese invasion of Guam, and who survived in hiding for over two and a half years before being rescued.
George Tweed (Jeffrey Hunter) and his unit are the only seamen on the island who decide to hide rather than surrender, thus forcing the Japanese to use a lot of manpower trying to find them.
This film was made about the same time as “PT 109” and is comparable in theme, style, amount of violence (small) and amount of profanity (a few d* and h* words). I think it’s actually a better story, but the hero of this one didn’t become President.
There’s an anti-racist theme woven into the story. One member of Tweed’s unit despises the Guam natives and calls them names even though they’re risking their lives by helping the Americans; his behavior is presented as wrong. There’s also a Japanese-American lady, the operator of the local version of the Long Branch Saloon. Even though she might have been “interned” by the Americans as a potential saboteur (a little part of a big black mark on the WWII record of the United States) if the Japanese invasion hadn’t come when it did, she’s still pro-American at heart and engages in underground activity AGAINST the Japanese. The obvious point is that we cannot judge a person by outward appearance.
Overall, this is a worthwhile film, but parents of preteens should preview it.