Published on October 3rd, 2007 | by Chris1
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.
Too Late the Hero
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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 InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Manufacturer: MGM Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Michael Caine
- Cliff Robertson
- Ian Bannen
- Harry Andrews
- Ronald Fraser
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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.