John Ford's Greatest Film at 70 (plus <em>In Harm's Way</em> at 50)
Huffington Post - about 1 year
It was 70 years ago this holiday season that the film I think is legendary director John Ford's greatest -- greater even than The Grapes of Wrath or The Searchers -- was released to an American public just a few months removed from the largest war in world history. They Were Expendable is the largely true story of a gallant defeat that set the stage for the victory to come, the last stand of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet in attempting to defend the Philippines in the wake of Japan's devastating attack on Pearl Harbor.
The film, which features a host of veterans of the war just past, including director Ford, a Navy captain, and star Robert Montgomery, a Navy commander, focuses on the cockleshell heroes of the PT (patrol torpedo) boats, those speedy plywood vessels which began the war as an untried curiosity and ended it as one of the most glamorous, and perilous, of assignments. As a certain future president found out the hard way.
It is also 50 years since In Harm's Way, another Wor
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