Battle Cry

"Good"

Battle Cry Review


Battle Cry is a colorful and overpacked CinemaScope-era World War II epic that, at two hours and 29 minutes long, feels about as long as the Battle of the Pacific it depicts. What sets it apart from other WWII flicks is its emphasis on the psychology of soldiering rather than the logistics of battle. It's not about the assault on the beach. It's about how the soldiers have been trained to feel about the assault on the beach. The result: too much talk and not enough flamethrowing for a film that covers the war's bloodiest battles.

We begin with a trainload of Marine recruits who are so stereotypical that the solemn narrator even introduces them by their stereotype labels: the dumb north country lumberjack Andy (Aldo Ray), the All-American boy Dan (Tab Hunter), the hoodlum, the sensitive bookworm, the "Injuns" recruited for Navajo code talking, and so on. They've left behind an assortment of families and girlfriends who will haunt their thoughts and test their faithfulness throughout 10 weeks of basic training in San Diego and the ocean journey to Hawaii and beyond.

Commander Sam Huxley (Van Heflin), known as High Pockets by his men, is a tough taskmaster committed to making his squad the best and to volunteering for all the toughest assignments, which he never gets. He's outraged that his men are sent in "with brooms and dustpans" to do mop up work after earlier waves of Marines do the real fighting. They see Guadalcanal, but only the tail end of it. On a break in New Zealand he forces the squad to undertake a 60-kilometer hike in record time just to prove they're tougher than the other Marines who are resting nearby. The men hate High Pockets but respect him, and they finish the hike only because they want to see if they can make him drop. He doesn't.

Subplots abound, most notably with the love lives of the innocent (and engaged) Dan, who is tempted by, well, a temptress, and Andy, the dumb lumberjack, who falls hard for a New Zealand beauty, impregnates her, marries her, and then flirts with the idea of desertion. And why not? Would you have rather spent World War II on Iwo Jima or on an idyllic Antipodean mountaintop sheep farm?

When the squad finally gets a plum assignment to join the first assault wave on Saipan, we see some exciting battle action for the first time. Of course, after more recent films depicting war's true horror, this is tame stuff. It's the kind of war choreography where a bomb explodes and ten soldiers keel over as if they'd died from an attack of the vapors. It probably had a lot more impact back in the day on a big CinemaScope screen. Happily, the soldiers do finally get to use some cool flamethrowers.

The Americans win, of course, and the movie wraps up, slowly, with lots of tearful reunions and homecomings. All and all, a long and somewhat exhausting slog for both them and us.



Battle Cry

Facts and Figures

Run time: 149 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 2nd February 1955

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Raoul Walsh

Producer: Jack L. Warner

Starring: as Major Sam Huxley, Aldo Ray as Andy Hookens, Mona Freeman as Kathy, as MSgt. Mac, as Mrs. Pat Rogers, as Major General Snipes, as Pvt Dan 'Danny' Forrester, as Rae, as Mrs Elaine Yarborough, as Pvt Speedy, as Pvt Joe Gomez aka Spanish Joe, William Campbell as Pvt 'Ski" Wronski, Jonas Applegarth as Pvt Lightower, L.Q. Jones as Pvt. L.Q. Jones

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.