1970s Too Late The Hero (1970)

Published on October 3rd, 2007 | by Chris

1

Too Late The Hero (1970)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On October 3, 2007
Last modified:October 8, 2012

Summary:

It's not hokey enough to be unbelievable, not realistic enough to be unpleasant to watch, the language is kept at a decent level, the writing and acting are good, and the soundtrack is one of the movie's strengths.

Too Late The Hero (1970)Ahhh, sometimes it's refreshing to just watch a good old fashioned action war movie.  No particular message, no relevance to historical facts, or concerns about accuracy, just a good time for a couple of hours.

That's where Too Late the Hero comes in.  American Navy officer Lt. Sam Lawson (Cliff Robertson) gets sent from his cushy office job as a linguist into the jungles of some unnamed South Pacific island to assist the British forces there in destroying a Japanese radio station on the other side of the island.

Little does he know just how bad the situation is there, but he soon finds out, as he's sent off a short 30 minutes after his arrival on this mission.  He's not received well by any of the men, in particular Private Hearne (Michael Caine).  Add to that the seemingly inept leader of the mission, Capt. Hornsby (Denholm Elliot) and you can see where this is going.

The first obstacle is to get across a large clearing to the jungle, but this clearing may as well be a graveyard, as few who try succeed... in either direction.

They manage to slip through, and after the usual episodic events like running across Japanese patrols, losing some of their men, smashing their radio, etc. and so on, they reach the station.  Then the tension starts as the Hornsby improvises, against the better judgement of Lawson.

Once the mission is complete, the remaining team has to make it back to base, but of course the Japanese commander Yamaguchi (Black Rain's Ken Takakura) has other plans, hunting them down and taunting them via loudspeaker until only Lawson and Hearne remain.

I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say it doesn't end exactly like you'd expect.  And Hearne's opinion of Lawson changes much for the better.

Too Late the Hero comes through on just about all fronts.  It's not hokey enough to be unbelievable, not realistic enough to be unpleasant to watch, the language is kept at a decent level, the writing and acting are good, and the soundtrack is one of the movie's strengths.

It's yet another one of those "hidden" gems that I enjoy coming across.

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Description

OscarÂ(r) winners* Michael Caine and Cliff Robertson star in this "rousing" (Film & TV Daily) war drama about two reluctant heroes desperate to survive, even at the cost of their own allies. Thrilling, intense and harrowing, Too Late the Hero "will keep you on edge from start to finish" (Cue)! Lt...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: Too
Manufacturer: MGM Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Michael Caine
  • Cliff Robertson
  • Ian Bannen
  • Harry Andrews
  • Ronald Fraser

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hate saved their skins, friendship made them heroes..., August 7, 2002
By 
Patrick Selitrenny (Switzerland a.k.a. Helvetia Felix) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Too Late the Hero (DVD)
What do you know about psychological warfare? Not much I guess.
Well, this is a war movie with a major twist. It's much less about shelling the enemy or just drill some holes in him, but more about "really" to outsmart him.
An American officer, an Interpreter in Japanese, who's a real artist when it comes to avoid the battlefield, is about to get a long awaited leave when he suddenly is tasked to help a bunch of British raiders in their endeavor to capture and destroy a forward listening Japanese outpost.
Through thick and through thin (literally), men who hate each other as well as hating the American officer (played by Cliff Robertson) have to face a common enemy who masterfully hides in the Jungle.
One by one they get hunted down by the Japanese. Nevertheless, the mission succeeds, but now the remaining force has to return to base. Not an easy task, considering that the Japanese made prisoners and are using them as bait while they communicate with the... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars It was fine and the condition of the DVD was excellent, April 7, 2017
By 
Gerald Gordon (Las Vegas, NV) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Too Late the Hero (DVD)
I was part of this film when it was made and I was curious to see how it held up over these many years. It was fine and the condition of the DVD was excellent. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, March 16, 2017
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This review is from: Too Late the Hero (DVD)
GREAT DVD AND SERVICE!!!!
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Too Late The Hero (1970) Chris

Summary: It's not hokey enough to be unbelievable, not realistic enough to be unpleasant to watch, the language is kept at a decent level, the writing and acting are good, and the soundtrack is one of the movie's strengths.

3.5


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Too Late The Hero (1970)

  1. As is usually the case for a Memorial Day Weekend, several cable/satellite networks will be chock full of classic war movies this coming weekend. Namely Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel, and AMC. I’m sure there are many more but these are “The B

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