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The film's working titles were Blackburn's Headhunters and Blackburn's Guerrillas. The summary and credits above for this unviewed film primarily were taken from information in copyright records. The Variety and other reviews noted that the film was shot on location in the Philippines. In a modern interview, star Keith Andes stated that the film was shot about one hundred miles north of the city Bacio.
The story was based on true events recounted in a book written by Philip Harkins about the World War II exploits of American Donald D. Blackburn, a lieutenant serving in the Philippines at the beginning of the war. According to the Film Daily review, Blackburn "is said to have uttered his defiant 'Surrender-hell'" at Bataan. As noted in reviews, Paraluman was a well-known actress in the Philippines. Surrender-Hell! was her first American film.
As noted in Filmfacts, at the time of the film's release, Blackburn, who acted as technical advisor for the film and had risen to the rank of colonel, was stationed in Vietnam. According to modern historical sources, on November 21, 1970, the then fifty-three-year-old Blackburn, who eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General, oversaw and helped to organize a Special Forces unit in Vietnam that conducted a raid on the Son Tay Prison. The raid was intended to free many American POWs assumed to be confined at the prison.
Although the helicopter raid was a technical success, after many enemy soldiers were killed or subdued, the American forces discovered that there were no Americans left at the camp. The raid was considered the most daring of the war, and many former POWs and veterans groups have stated that the raid had a psychologically uplifting effect on hundreds of Americans POWs who heard of it and realized that they had not been forgotten.
The 1950 Twentieth Century-Fox film American Guerrilla in the Philippines also concerned an American who fought alongside native Filipino forces. That film was directed by Fritz Lang and starred Tyrone Power (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50).