Expend This Classic War Flick

By: Mike McCrann
11.7.2010

The legendary John Ford won four Academy Awards for Best Director (which, by the way, is still a record), but war classic They Were Expendable may be his finest work.

Released in December 1945 after the end of WWII, Expendable is the study of a loss not a gallant victory. Portraying the fall of Bataan, this film focuses on two military men, Robert Montgomery (father of Bewitched beauty Elizabeth) and John Wayne, who are running a PT Boat Unit in the Philippines.

Donna Reed plays the gallant nurse Sandy who falls in love with Wayne.

This sad, elegiac film is one of the richest and emotionally charged films about war and loss ever made. The acting is tremendous and the cinematography is brilliant. John Ford was actually released from the Navy in order to make it.

Though not a big hit during its initial release—the world was weary of the war, and a film about a loss was not what most people wanted to see—They Were Expendable remains a great film in every aspect. Wayne and Montgomery are tremendous and Donna Reed has never been more luminous. The scene where she is invited to dine with the men while wearing pearls and her dull uniform is unforgettable.

If you think you know all there is to know about Donna Reed and John Wayne from their later years, check out this epic tone poem.

Expendable_dvd The legendary John Ford won four Academy Awards for Best Director (which, by the way, is still a record), but war classic They Were Expendable may be his finest work.

Released in December 1945 after the end of WWII, Expendable is the study of a loss not a gallant victory. Portraying the fall of Bataan, this film focuses on two military men, Robert Montgomery (father of Bewitched beauty Elizabeth) and John Wayne, who are running a PT Boat Unit in the Philippines.

Donna Reed plays the gallant nurse Sandy who falls in love with Wayne.

This sad, elegiac film is one of the richest and emotionally charged films about war and loss ever made. The acting is tremendous and the cinematography is brilliant. John Ford was actually released from the Navy in order to make it.

Though not a big hit during its initial release—the world was weary of the war, and a film about a loss was not what most people wanted to see—They Were Expendable remains a great film in every aspect. Wayne and Montgomery are tremendous and Donna Reed has never been more luminous. The scene where she is invited to dine with the men while wearing pearls and her dull uniform is unforgettable.

If you think you know all there is to know about Donna Reed and John Wayne from their later years, check out this epic tone poem.

Expendable_2

Tags: MOVIES, PEOPLE
READER COMMENTS ()