Back to Bataan


1h 37m 1945
Back to Bataan

Brief Synopsis

An Army colonel leads a guerrilla campaign against the Japanese in the Philippines.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
The Invisible Army
Genre
Drama
Action
War
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
Boston and Honolulu premiere: 25 Jun 1945
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Santa Anita--Baldwin Estate, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,496 or 8,505ft

Synopsis

On 30 January 1945, the United States Army frees the prisoners being held by the Japanese at the Cabanatuan camp in the Philippines. The groundwork for that liberation began years earlier when Colonel Joe Madden, an American army officer who possesses a strong bond to the Philippine people and a commitment to maintain their independence, is assigned to organize a band of guerrillas to resist the encroaching Japanese army.

Before leaving his troops, Madden puts Captain Andreas Bonifacio, the grandson of a venerated Philippine leader, in charge. Bonifacio is despondent because his former sweetheart, Dalisay Delgado, now works as a spokesperson for the Japanese and advocates Philippine surrender. As Madden assembles his guerrilla army in the jungle, the Japanese overrun a nearby village and close its school. When a Japanese captain orders Buenaventura Bello, the principal, to haul down the American flag, Bello refuses and is hung from the flag pole for his insubordination. Miss Barnes, the schoolteacher, flees into the jungle with Maximo and the other students and there meets Madden.

Her words of inspiration and defiance inspire the guerrillas in their mission to blow up a gasoline dump at a Japanese airfield. Later, word comes of the fall of Bataan and capture of Bonifacio. Madden finds and frees the wounded Bonifacio, however, and Miss Barnes nurses him back to health. Madden and his men then liberate Maximo's village, and after executing the Japanese captain, they place an epitaph on Bello's grave. Although Bonifacio recovers from his wounds, his faith in the Philippine cause is not restored. Madden, aware that Dalisay is working undercover as a messenger in the Philippine independence movement, sends Bonifacio to Manila with a message. There, Bonifacio is surprised to discover that his contact is Dalisay. After she lectures him about the importance of resisting Japanese aggression, Bonifacio returns to the jungle and reluctantly agrees to rejoin the fight until he can leave the country with Dalisay.

As Madden and his machete-wielding army recapture Japanese-held villages, Colonel Kuroki decides to mollify the Philippine people by staging an elaborate ceremony to declare their independence. Madden and his men plan to sabotage the ceremony, and Maximo begs to join them in the attack. Madden refuses but, after giving the boy his colonel's eagle as consolation, orders him to take charge of the other children. As the Japanese begin to broadcast the ceremony, Madden and his men attack and Dalisay denounces the Japanese invaders. After Bonifacio rescues her from the stage, they all retreat into the jungle. Maximo prepares to flee, but is captured by Japanese soldiers and beaten until he agrees to lead them to the guerrilla headquarters. As the boy and his captors drive along a mountain road, Maximo grabs the steering wheel and sends the vehicle plunging from a cliff.

Witnessing the accident, Madden and his men rush to the truck, and Maximo dies in the arms of Miss Barnes. Ordered to forge ahead, Madden puts Bonifacio in charge of the guerrillas and departs. In the passing months, the guerrillas are bouyed by word that the "Yanks" are landing. After making their way to the beach at Leyte, Bonifacio, who still lacks faith, is amazed to find the beach filled with people awaiting the arrival of an American submarine delivering guns. The appearance of the submarine restores Bonifacio's conviction, and he vows to fight until the end. The submarine also brings Madden and Lt. Commander Waite of the United States Navy, who announces that General MacArthur plans to land American troops on the beach at Leyte. Assigned to block the road from Japanese troops until the beachhead is secured, Madden and his men hide underneath the water in a rice paddy near Japanese headquarters, using reeds to breath. At the proper moment, they spring to the surface to attack. As the guerrillas battle the oncoming Japanese tanks, the Americans arrive with reinforcements. With the defeat of the Japanese, the American flag is hoisted back up the flagpole, and the Philippine people achieve their hard-won freedom.

Photo Collections

Back to Bataan - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to help publicize Back to Bataan (1945), starring John Wayne and Anthony Quinn. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Back to Bataan - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters from RKO's Back to Bataan (1945), starring John Wayne.

Videos

Movie Clip

Back To Bataan (1945) - So Long Skinny Stirring fantasy, John Wayne the fictional Col. Madden is summoned by John Miljan as General Jonathan “Skinny” Wainwright who, months after the film was released, and after three years in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines, would be celebrated across the U.S. as the returning “Hero of Corregidor,” preparing to surrender, in Edward Dmytryk’s very current RKO propaganda piece, Back To Bataan, 1945.
Back to Bataan (1945) - We're Licked Colonel Madden (John Wayne) already knows Filipino rebel comrade Andreas Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn) will overcome his doubts, so he suggests a small mission in Back to Bataan, 1945.
Back to Bataan (1945) - You Will Haul Down The Flag! In case any viewer had doubts about the depravity the enemy or colonial loyalty, a Japanese officer (Abner Biberman) hangs a defiant Filipino schoolmaster (Vladimir Sokoloff), Beulah Bondi the compassionate American teacher, in Edward Dmytryk's Back to Bataan, 1945.
Back To Bataan (1945) - Why Do You Fight? Joining news footage and narration from the script that was under constant revision due to events in the Pacific, back to 1942 where Fely Franquelli is Dalisay, the Philippine broadcaster working for the Japanese invaders, and John Miljan plays the real General Jonathan Wainwright, early in Back To Bataan, 1945, starring John Wayne.
Back To Bataan (1945) - An Old Filipino Trick Lawrence Tierney has arrived as U.S. Navy Cmdr. Waite, briefing long-serving John Wayne as Col. Madden and Anthony Quinn as Filipino Scout Captain Bonifacio et al on plans to re-take key positions ca. 1945, precipitating another legit reference to local military history, in RKO’s Back To Bataan, 1945.
Back To Bataan (1945) - Crude Native Cigarettes Corregidor,1942, John Wayne as U.S. Col. Madden, hears from General Wainwright (John Miljan), and Anthony Quinn as Bonifacio, ranking officer of the allied Philippine Scouts, whose girlfriend is now the radio propaganda voice for the Japanese, who made a reckless heroic decision earlier that day, in another gripping confrontation, in Back To Bataan, 1945.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
The Invisible Army
Genre
Drama
Action
War
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
Boston and Honolulu premiere: 25 Jun 1945
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Santa Anita--Baldwin Estate, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,496 or 8,505ft

Articles

Back to Bataan


It's ironic that Edward Dmytryk and John Wayne teamed up to bring America Back to Bataan, a rousing piece of World War II propaganda that had patriotic audiences cheering in 1945. Dmytryk, the director, was a political leftist who would eventually, and tragically, buckle to the intense pressure to name names during the McCarthy era. Wayne, of course, was an iconic action hero who formed the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, an organization that did more than its share to encourage the Communist witch hunts. Talk about mixing oil and water.

Wayne plays Col. Joseph Madden, a rugged American who valiantly fights in the South Pacific with Capt. Andres Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn) of the Philippine Scouts. The soldiers on Bataan are in a hopeless situation. The Japanese are wearing them down, and badly needed supplies can't reach them. To make matters worse - and to supply the required love interest - Bonifacio's girlfriend, a former Filipino movie star named Dolici Delgado (Fely Franquelli), has been broadcasting on Japanese radio, trying to get the men to surrender.

Bataan will surely fall, so Madden is ordered to put together guerilla resistance among U.S. and Filipino troops. When the Japanese army finally moves in and starts brutalizing the citizenry, an American school teacher (Beulah Bondi) escapes and joins Madden and his men. The plot gets surprisingly convoluted from there, as Madden attempts to aid a secret group of Filipino revolutionaries, through the help of the increasingly doubtful Bonifacio. It all leads to a showdown between the Japanese and Madden's men, and if you think the U.S.A. gets whipped, you either don't read history books or have never seen a John Wayne movie.

The situation in the South Pacific was changing from day to day during production. For instance, Gen. MacArthur returned to the Philippines, as he promised, and prisoners were released from the infamous camp, Cabanatuan. Both of these incidents were quickly incorporated into the script. Dmytryk also tried to accurately portray modern military service through the assistance of a Colonel Clarke of the U.S. Army, who was a character in his own right.

One afternoon, while the production was shooting in San Bernadino, Clarke disappeared. When he finally materialized several hours later, he explained that he always checked the signs at the entrance to any town where he'd be staying, to see if there was a local Lions or Rotary club. If a club happened to be having its weekly or monthly lunch while he was there, he'd show up unannounced and inevitably be asked to speak about his military experiences - if the club members paid a small fee. And the gambit worked in San Bernadino.

Clarke was extremely vocal about his distaste for Gen. MacArthur, a stance that surely didn't endear him to Wayne. He liked to tell the story of the time he was wounded and was shipped to a nearby base in a submarine that contained the General's personal furniture, rather than American soldiers. Clarke also inexplicably insisted to Dmytryk that actual Filipino guerillas would never be as filthy as the ones depicted in the film. He even complained to his superiors in Washington when Dmytryk refused to alter the look. But Dmytryk had photographs that showed the guerillas in ragged, mud-covered uniforms that were far shabbier than the ones worn by the extras.

Wayne and Dmytryk, for their part, got along very well, even though, as Dmytryk states in his autobiography, Wayne "was already beginning to consider himself some kind of political thinker, but we all make mistakes." Dmytryk later realized that, because of his work with the Alliance, Wayne already knew some very damaging things about the director's political past. Dmytryk also recalled Wayne's unexpected physical grace, and a few drunken attempts by their mutual manager's nephew to get the Duke to punch out Johnny Weissmuller. That surely would have been a brawl for the ages: The Great American Cowboy vs. Tarzan.

Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
Screenplay: Ben Barzman
Producer: Robert Fellows
Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca
Editing: Marstan Fay
Music: Roy Webb
Production Design: Geoffrey Kirkland
Principal Cast: John Wayne (Col. Joseph Madden), Anthony Quinn (Capt. Andres Bonifacio), Beulah Bondi (Bertha Barnes), Fely Franquelli (Dolici Delgado), Richard Loo (Maj. Hasko), Lawrence Tierney (Lt. Cmdr. Waite).
BW-95m. Closed captioning.

by Paul Tatara

Back To Bataan

Back to Bataan

It's ironic that Edward Dmytryk and John Wayne teamed up to bring America Back to Bataan, a rousing piece of World War II propaganda that had patriotic audiences cheering in 1945. Dmytryk, the director, was a political leftist who would eventually, and tragically, buckle to the intense pressure to name names during the McCarthy era. Wayne, of course, was an iconic action hero who formed the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, an organization that did more than its share to encourage the Communist witch hunts. Talk about mixing oil and water. Wayne plays Col. Joseph Madden, a rugged American who valiantly fights in the South Pacific with Capt. Andres Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn) of the Philippine Scouts. The soldiers on Bataan are in a hopeless situation. The Japanese are wearing them down, and badly needed supplies can't reach them. To make matters worse - and to supply the required love interest - Bonifacio's girlfriend, a former Filipino movie star named Dolici Delgado (Fely Franquelli), has been broadcasting on Japanese radio, trying to get the men to surrender. Bataan will surely fall, so Madden is ordered to put together guerilla resistance among U.S. and Filipino troops. When the Japanese army finally moves in and starts brutalizing the citizenry, an American school teacher (Beulah Bondi) escapes and joins Madden and his men. The plot gets surprisingly convoluted from there, as Madden attempts to aid a secret group of Filipino revolutionaries, through the help of the increasingly doubtful Bonifacio. It all leads to a showdown between the Japanese and Madden's men, and if you think the U.S.A. gets whipped, you either don't read history books or have never seen a John Wayne movie. The situation in the South Pacific was changing from day to day during production. For instance, Gen. MacArthur returned to the Philippines, as he promised, and prisoners were released from the infamous camp, Cabanatuan. Both of these incidents were quickly incorporated into the script. Dmytryk also tried to accurately portray modern military service through the assistance of a Colonel Clarke of the U.S. Army, who was a character in his own right. One afternoon, while the production was shooting in San Bernadino, Clarke disappeared. When he finally materialized several hours later, he explained that he always checked the signs at the entrance to any town where he'd be staying, to see if there was a local Lions or Rotary club. If a club happened to be having its weekly or monthly lunch while he was there, he'd show up unannounced and inevitably be asked to speak about his military experiences - if the club members paid a small fee. And the gambit worked in San Bernadino. Clarke was extremely vocal about his distaste for Gen. MacArthur, a stance that surely didn't endear him to Wayne. He liked to tell the story of the time he was wounded and was shipped to a nearby base in a submarine that contained the General's personal furniture, rather than American soldiers. Clarke also inexplicably insisted to Dmytryk that actual Filipino guerillas would never be as filthy as the ones depicted in the film. He even complained to his superiors in Washington when Dmytryk refused to alter the look. But Dmytryk had photographs that showed the guerillas in ragged, mud-covered uniforms that were far shabbier than the ones worn by the extras. Wayne and Dmytryk, for their part, got along very well, even though, as Dmytryk states in his autobiography, Wayne "was already beginning to consider himself some kind of political thinker, but we all make mistakes." Dmytryk later realized that, because of his work with the Alliance, Wayne already knew some very damaging things about the director's political past. Dmytryk also recalled Wayne's unexpected physical grace, and a few drunken attempts by their mutual manager's nephew to get the Duke to punch out Johnny Weissmuller. That surely would have been a brawl for the ages: The Great American Cowboy vs. Tarzan. Directed by: Edward Dmytryk Screenplay: Ben Barzman Producer: Robert Fellows Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca Editing: Marstan Fay Music: Roy Webb Production Design: Geoffrey Kirkland Principal Cast: John Wayne (Col. Joseph Madden), Anthony Quinn (Capt. Andres Bonifacio), Beulah Bondi (Bertha Barnes), Fely Franquelli (Dolici Delgado), Richard Loo (Maj. Hasko), Lawrence Tierney (Lt. Cmdr. Waite). BW-95m. Closed captioning. by Paul Tatara

TCM Remembers - Lawrence Tierney


A SCREEN TOUGH GUY WHO WAS MEANER THAN A JUNKYARD DOG

Lawrence Tierney, one of the screen's toughest tough guys, died February 26th at the age of 82. He first startled audiences with his impassioned work in the 1940s but Tierney's rowdy off-screen life eventually pushed him out of the limelight. Though he kept working in small parts, Tierney found a new generation of fans with a few memorable roles in the 80s and 90s.

Tierney was born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in New York and was a track star in school before becoming interested in acting. (His two brothers also became actors though they changed their names to Scott Brady and Ed Tracy.) He went through the usual period of stage appearances before getting bit parts in little-remembered films. His first credited role was in Sing Your Worries Away (1942) but Tierney quickly made his mark playing the title role in Dillinger (1945). A string of memorable roles followed in films like San Quentin (1946), The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947), Born to Kill (1947) and the Oscar-winning circus drama from director Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) in which Tierney played the villain responsible for the epic train wreck toward the film's conclusion. However, Tierney had a knack for real-life trouble and was arrested several times for disorderly conduct and drunken driving. By the end of the 50s he only found sporadic acting work, sometimes not working for several years between films. During this period his best-known work was in Custer of the West (1967) and Andy Warhol's Bad (1977).

Slowly in the 1980s, Tierney landed small but frequently noticable parts in Hollywood films such as Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Naked Gun (1988). He appeared on TV shows like Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Seinfeld (as Elaine's father). In 1992 that changed when Quentin Tarrantino cast Tierney as the crime boss in Reservoir Dogs, an unforgettable part that gave him new fans. While the subsequent roles or films didn't get any bigger, Tierney was finally a recognized name. One of his oddest roles was the half-hour Red (1993) based on the infamous mid-70s Tube Bar tapes where a real-life bar owner responds with startlingly over-the-top remarks to prank phone calls. (If that sounds familiar it's because The Simpsons based Moe's responses to prank calls on these tapes. Tierney provided a voice in the 1995 Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud.") Tierney's last film appearance was in Armageddon (1998)!

By Lang Thompson

CHUCK JONES, 1912 - 2002

Animator Chuck Jones died February 22nd at the age of 89. Jones may not have boasted quite the name recognition of Howard Hawks or John Ford but he was unquestionably one of the greatest American directors. His goals might have been primarily to entertain, which he did so wonderfully that his 50 and 60 year old cartoons seem fresher than most anything produced in the 21st century. But Jones displayed a sense of movement, timing and character barely equalled elsewhere. Literary critics have a saying that while there are no perfect novels there are certainly flawless short stories. Several of Jones' cartoons reach a perfection that Hawks and Ford could only have dreamed about.

Jones was born September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Washington but grew up in Hollywood. As a child he would watch films by Charlie Chaplin and others being made in the streets, absorbing the process and supposedly even appearing as an extra in Mack Sennett shorts. After graduating from L.A.'s Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts), Jones started selling pencil drawings on street corners. He soon landed a job in 1932 with ground-breaking animator Ub Iwerks as a cel washer (somebody who removes ink from the expensive celluloid frames so they could be reused). The following year Jones began to work for Leon Schlesinger Productions which was sold to Warner Brothers. There he directed his first film, The Night Watchman in 1938.

Jones would stay at Warners for almost 25 years until it closed the animation division. Here is where Jones did some of his most-beloved work, putting Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, Marvin Martian and numerous others through many of their most memorable exploits. Who can forget Bugs and Daffy's hilariously convoluted arguments about hunting season in Rabbit Seasoning (1952) and Duck Rabbit Duck (1953)? Or the Coyote's tantalized, endless pursuit of the Road Runner? What's Opera Doc? (1957) sending Elmer and Bugs to Bayreuth? A cheerfully singing and dancing frog that, alas, only performs for one frustrated man? Daffy tormented by the very elements of the cartoon medium in Duck Amuck (1953)? That's only a fraction of what Jones created while at the Warners animation studio, affectionately known as Termite Terrace. This building on the Warners lot boasted an array of individualist talents that Jones, like Duke Ellington, could pull into a whole. There was voice artist Mel Blanc's impeccable timing, writer Michael Maltese's absurdist love affair with language, music director Carl Stalling's collaged scores and perhaps best of all a studio that knew enough to just leave the gang alone so long as the cartoons kept coming.

After Warners shuttered its animation division in 1962, Jones moved to MGM where he worked on several Tom & Jerry cartoons, his inimitable lines always immediately apparent. In 1966 he directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas from Dr. Seuss' book, one of the finest literary adaptations. A feature version of Norman Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth followed in 1969. Along with his daughter Linda, Jones was one of the first to see the value of original animation art and in the late 70s began a thriving business. (For more info see http://www.chuckjones.com.) Jones made cameo appearances in Joe Dante's Gremlins (1984) and Innerspace (1987). In 1989, he wrote a touching and funny memoir, Chuck Amuck, that's pretty much essential reading.

Jones won an Best Short Subject Cartoons Oscar for The Dot and the Line (1965), having earlier been nominated twice in 1962. His Pepe LePew film For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) and public-health cartoon So Much for So Little also won Oscars though not for Jones himself. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary Oscar "for the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century."

By Lang Thompson

GEORGE NADER, 1921 - 2002

Actor George Nader, best known for the B-movie anti-classic Robot Monster, died February 4th at the age of 80. One-time co-star Tony Curtis said, "He was one of the kindest and most generous men I've ever known. I will miss him." Nader was born in Pasadena, California on October 19, 1921 and like many other actors started performing while in school. His first film appearance was the B-Western Rustlers on Horseback (1950) and he made other appearances, often uncredited, before the immortal Robot Monster in 1953. This dust-cheap, charmingly inept film (originally in 3-D!) features Nader as the father of Earth's last surviving family, everybody else having been wiped out by a gorilla in a diving helmet. Shortly after, Nader landed major roles in RKO's Carnival Story (1954) and with Curtis in Universal's Six Bridges to Cross (1955), bringing a beefy charm that earned him numerous fans. As a result, in 1955 Nader shared a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He then appeared in numerous lower profile studio films before closing out the decade playing Ellery Queen in a short-lived TV series. He relocated to Europe in the sixties where he found steady work. As secret agent Jerry Cotton, he made a series of spy thrillers which earned him a cult reputation in Europe, starting with Schusse aud dem Geigenkasten (aka Operation Hurricane: Friday Noon) (1965). The eighth and final entry in the series was Dynamit in gruner Seide (aka Dynamite in Green Silk) (1968). His film career ended in the mid-70s when a car wreck damaged his eyes so that he could no longer endure a film set's bright lights. Nader began writing novels, most notably the recently reprinted Chrome (1978), an acclaimed science fiction novel with openly gay characters.

By Lang Thompson

TCM REMEMBERS HAROLD RUSSELL, 1914 - 2002

Oscar-winning actor Harold Russell died January 29th of a heart attack at age 88. As a disabled veteran whose hands had been amputated in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Russell won Best Supporting Actor but also an honorary award "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." This made Russell the only person to receive two Oscars for the same role. Russell was born in Nova Scotia on January 14, 1914 but grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. He joined the US Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor and while training paratroopers lost both hands in an accidental explosion. He then made a training film where director William Wyler saw Russell. Wyler was so impressed that he changed the character in The Best Years of Our Lives from a man with neurological damage to an amputee so that Russell could play the part. After winning the Oscar, Russell followed Wyler's advice and went to college, eventually running a public relations company and writing his autobiography. He made two more film appearances, Inside Moves (1980) and Dogtown (1997), and appeared in a few TV episodes of China Beach and Trapper John MD. Russell made waves in 1992 when he decided to sell his acting Oscar to help cover expenses of his large family. The Motion Picture Academy offered to buy the statue for $20,000 but it sold to an anonymous bidder for $60,000. About the other statute, Russell said, "I'd never sell the special one. The war was over, and this was the industry's way of saying thank you to the veterans."

By Lang Thompson

TCM Remembers - Lawrence Tierney

A SCREEN TOUGH GUY WHO WAS MEANER THAN A JUNKYARD DOG Lawrence Tierney, one of the screen's toughest tough guys, died February 26th at the age of 82. He first startled audiences with his impassioned work in the 1940s but Tierney's rowdy off-screen life eventually pushed him out of the limelight. Though he kept working in small parts, Tierney found a new generation of fans with a few memorable roles in the 80s and 90s. Tierney was born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in New York and was a track star in school before becoming interested in acting. (His two brothers also became actors though they changed their names to Scott Brady and Ed Tracy.) He went through the usual period of stage appearances before getting bit parts in little-remembered films. His first credited role was in Sing Your Worries Away (1942) but Tierney quickly made his mark playing the title role in Dillinger (1945). A string of memorable roles followed in films like San Quentin (1946), The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947), Born to Kill (1947) and the Oscar-winning circus drama from director Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) in which Tierney played the villain responsible for the epic train wreck toward the film's conclusion. However, Tierney had a knack for real-life trouble and was arrested several times for disorderly conduct and drunken driving. By the end of the 50s he only found sporadic acting work, sometimes not working for several years between films. During this period his best-known work was in Custer of the West (1967) and Andy Warhol's Bad (1977). Slowly in the 1980s, Tierney landed small but frequently noticable parts in Hollywood films such as Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Naked Gun (1988). He appeared on TV shows like Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Seinfeld (as Elaine's father). In 1992 that changed when Quentin Tarrantino cast Tierney as the crime boss in Reservoir Dogs, an unforgettable part that gave him new fans. While the subsequent roles or films didn't get any bigger, Tierney was finally a recognized name. One of his oddest roles was the half-hour Red (1993) based on the infamous mid-70s Tube Bar tapes where a real-life bar owner responds with startlingly over-the-top remarks to prank phone calls. (If that sounds familiar it's because The Simpsons based Moe's responses to prank calls on these tapes. Tierney provided a voice in the 1995 Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud.") Tierney's last film appearance was in Armageddon (1998)! By Lang Thompson CHUCK JONES, 1912 - 2002 Animator Chuck Jones died February 22nd at the age of 89. Jones may not have boasted quite the name recognition of Howard Hawks or John Ford but he was unquestionably one of the greatest American directors. His goals might have been primarily to entertain, which he did so wonderfully that his 50 and 60 year old cartoons seem fresher than most anything produced in the 21st century. But Jones displayed a sense of movement, timing and character barely equalled elsewhere. Literary critics have a saying that while there are no perfect novels there are certainly flawless short stories. Several of Jones' cartoons reach a perfection that Hawks and Ford could only have dreamed about. Jones was born September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Washington but grew up in Hollywood. As a child he would watch films by Charlie Chaplin and others being made in the streets, absorbing the process and supposedly even appearing as an extra in Mack Sennett shorts. After graduating from L.A.'s Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts), Jones started selling pencil drawings on street corners. He soon landed a job in 1932 with ground-breaking animator Ub Iwerks as a cel washer (somebody who removes ink from the expensive celluloid frames so they could be reused). The following year Jones began to work for Leon Schlesinger Productions which was sold to Warner Brothers. There he directed his first film, The Night Watchman in 1938. Jones would stay at Warners for almost 25 years until it closed the animation division. Here is where Jones did some of his most-beloved work, putting Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, Marvin Martian and numerous others through many of their most memorable exploits. Who can forget Bugs and Daffy's hilariously convoluted arguments about hunting season in Rabbit Seasoning (1952) and Duck Rabbit Duck (1953)? Or the Coyote's tantalized, endless pursuit of the Road Runner? What's Opera Doc? (1957) sending Elmer and Bugs to Bayreuth? A cheerfully singing and dancing frog that, alas, only performs for one frustrated man? Daffy tormented by the very elements of the cartoon medium in Duck Amuck (1953)? That's only a fraction of what Jones created while at the Warners animation studio, affectionately known as Termite Terrace. This building on the Warners lot boasted an array of individualist talents that Jones, like Duke Ellington, could pull into a whole. There was voice artist Mel Blanc's impeccable timing, writer Michael Maltese's absurdist love affair with language, music director Carl Stalling's collaged scores and perhaps best of all a studio that knew enough to just leave the gang alone so long as the cartoons kept coming. After Warners shuttered its animation division in 1962, Jones moved to MGM where he worked on several Tom & Jerry cartoons, his inimitable lines always immediately apparent. In 1966 he directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas from Dr. Seuss' book, one of the finest literary adaptations. A feature version of Norman Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth followed in 1969. Along with his daughter Linda, Jones was one of the first to see the value of original animation art and in the late 70s began a thriving business. (For more info see http://www.chuckjones.com.) Jones made cameo appearances in Joe Dante's Gremlins (1984) and Innerspace (1987). In 1989, he wrote a touching and funny memoir, Chuck Amuck, that's pretty much essential reading. Jones won an Best Short Subject Cartoons Oscar for The Dot and the Line (1965), having earlier been nominated twice in 1962. His Pepe LePew film For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) and public-health cartoon So Much for So Little also won Oscars though not for Jones himself. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary Oscar "for the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century." By Lang Thompson GEORGE NADER, 1921 - 2002 Actor George Nader, best known for the B-movie anti-classic Robot Monster, died February 4th at the age of 80. One-time co-star Tony Curtis said, "He was one of the kindest and most generous men I've ever known. I will miss him." Nader was born in Pasadena, California on October 19, 1921 and like many other actors started performing while in school. His first film appearance was the B-Western Rustlers on Horseback (1950) and he made other appearances, often uncredited, before the immortal Robot Monster in 1953. This dust-cheap, charmingly inept film (originally in 3-D!) features Nader as the father of Earth's last surviving family, everybody else having been wiped out by a gorilla in a diving helmet. Shortly after, Nader landed major roles in RKO's Carnival Story (1954) and with Curtis in Universal's Six Bridges to Cross (1955), bringing a beefy charm that earned him numerous fans. As a result, in 1955 Nader shared a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He then appeared in numerous lower profile studio films before closing out the decade playing Ellery Queen in a short-lived TV series. He relocated to Europe in the sixties where he found steady work. As secret agent Jerry Cotton, he made a series of spy thrillers which earned him a cult reputation in Europe, starting with Schusse aud dem Geigenkasten (aka Operation Hurricane: Friday Noon) (1965). The eighth and final entry in the series was Dynamit in gruner Seide (aka Dynamite in Green Silk) (1968). His film career ended in the mid-70s when a car wreck damaged his eyes so that he could no longer endure a film set's bright lights. Nader began writing novels, most notably the recently reprinted Chrome (1978), an acclaimed science fiction novel with openly gay characters. By Lang Thompson TCM REMEMBERS HAROLD RUSSELL, 1914 - 2002 Oscar-winning actor Harold Russell died January 29th of a heart attack at age 88. As a disabled veteran whose hands had been amputated in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Russell won Best Supporting Actor but also an honorary award "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." This made Russell the only person to receive two Oscars for the same role. Russell was born in Nova Scotia on January 14, 1914 but grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. He joined the US Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor and while training paratroopers lost both hands in an accidental explosion. He then made a training film where director William Wyler saw Russell. Wyler was so impressed that he changed the character in The Best Years of Our Lives from a man with neurological damage to an amputee so that Russell could play the part. After winning the Oscar, Russell followed Wyler's advice and went to college, eventually running a public relations company and writing his autobiography. He made two more film appearances, Inside Moves (1980) and Dogtown (1997), and appeared in a few TV episodes of China Beach and Trapper John MD. Russell made waves in 1992 when he decided to sell his acting Oscar to help cover expenses of his large family. The Motion Picture Academy offered to buy the statue for $20,000 but it sold to an anonymous bidder for $60,000. About the other statute, Russell said, "I'd never sell the special one. The war was over, and this was the industry's way of saying thank you to the veterans." By Lang Thompson

Quotes

I send out 100 men, they find nothing. I send out ten men, they don't come back.
- Maj. Hasko

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Invisible Army. The opening credits include film clips of actual prisoners-of-war freed from the Japanese prison camp at Cabanatuan on January 30, 1945. An onscreen prologue states, "This story was not invented. The events you are about to see are based on actual incidents. The characters are based on real people..." A Hollywood Reporter news item adds that Col. George S. Clarke, the film's technical advisor, was the commander of the U.S. Infantry Philippine Scouts. According to materials contained in the RKO Archives Script Files at the UCLA Arts Library-Special Collections, a draft of the script dated September 10, 1944 originally ended with the American officer "Madden" leading an attack against the Japanese. According to a news item in the LA Daily News, John Wayne, who played "Madden," and producer Robert Fellows opposed making the American officer the hero, arguing that a Filipino character should be the film's hero. The Daily News article and a news item in Hollywood Reporter note that the film was nearing completion in 1944 when the Americans landed on the island of Leyte to launch their invasion of the Philippines and defeat the Japanese. At that time, RKO decided to change the film's ending to coincide with current events. The Daily News states that the studio hired Ben Barzman to write the new ending in which the Filipino officer, "Capt. Bonifacio," experiences a renewal of his faith on the beach at Leyte and leads his forces to victory. Barzman, however, is not credited in any of the manuscripts contained in the RKO Archive Script Files. Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart adds Robert Stevens to the cast, his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that some of the location scenes were filmed at the Baldwin Estate near Santa Anita, CA. Anthony Quinn was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox to appear in this picture. According to a news item in Hollywood Citizen-News, the proceeds from the Los Angeles premiere were donated to a special war fund. This picture was unrelated to the 1943 M-G-M film Bataan .

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video May 31, 1989

Released in United States on Video September 27, 1989

Released in United States Summer May 31, 1945

Re-released in United States on Video May 9, 1995

Broadcast in USA over TBS (colorized version) February 3, 1990.

Re-released in United States on Video May 9, 1995

Released in United States Summer May 31, 1945

Released in United States on Video May 31, 1989

Released in United States on Video September 27, 1989 (colorized version)