1960s None But The Brave (1965)

Published on May 29th, 2008 | by Chris


None But The Brave (1965)

Movie By:
Frank Sinatra

Reviewed by:
On May 29, 2008
Last modified:October 2, 2012


It's Sinatra, baby. Don't you forget it.

NoneButTheBrave19651965's None But The Brave is just a strange movie to me. It's really hard to explain why, but that won't stop me from trying! I mean, to start, the whole thing is produced, *directed*, and stars, in a somewhat secondary role, old blue-eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Not exactly what you'd expect, right? Well it just gets better.

We find a band of Japanese soldiers, stranded on a remote island (like there's any other kind?) in the South Pacific. Early on, we get a glimpse into the mindset of their commander, Lt. Kuroki (Tatsuya Mihashi), in a somewhat sympathetic light, as he deals with his men and the gung-ho style of his second, Sgt. Tamura (Takeshi Katoo).

(Quick Aside: DVD producers!! If you're going to take films like this onto disc, that have a lot of Japanese in them, PLEASE don't remove the subtitles that would have been on the original film and add them to the English subtitles!!! PLEASE!!! It took me a minute to figure out that we really should be understanding the dialog in Japanese. A quick eye-roll, heavy sigh, and remote-button-press later we were good to go, but come on!!!)

Things change for the Japanese when a Marine Corps. transport and its escort are shot down by a Zero just off the island, and the transport crashes with most of the men surviving. Out comes our beloved Frankie as an alcoholic Corpsman, the bulky and authoritative pilot, Capt. Bourke (Clint Walker) and the caricature Gung-Ho Marine, Lt. Blair (Tommy Sands.) Blair has got to be one of the most over-the-top portrayals of your stereotypical jarhead ever, with his accent and constant drill-sergeant style.... He's funny... to the point of being down-right annoying. At least we've got the level-headed Bourke and the understated Corpsman.....

Anyway! After the Marines get encamped, and several battles ensue, a deal is reached where sinatra's Corpsman helps out (!) an injured Japanese soldier by removing his gangrenous leg. With that a certain amount of trust is established between the two camps, and the two commanders realize that they're both in a similar and dire circumstance. The only way for them to survive is to work together.

Of course its never quite that simple, as the Americans work behind the Japanese' back to establish radio contact with their forces. They do, and its agreed that once it looks like the war is back on for these two camps, the fighting resumes, and the entire Japanese contingent is wiped out.

Its painfully clear what the overall message of the film is, that the wars we are sent to fight really are constructs thrown on us by our leaders. As the two camps work together, and build trust, they all become quite good friends. The parallels between the two camps are equally obvious, with both having their level-headed, yet troubled commanders, and their simple-minded warmongering second-in-commands. Unfortunately the war rears its ugly head at the end, and it leaves all but a tiny handful dead. A noble sentiment, to be sure. But the events and people we come across to get there just make None But The Brave somewhat of an enigma to me, especially considering the unexpected source! I really did enjoy it! Really! It just had so many oddities to me to leave me scratching my head. And the mess with the subtitles on the DVD didn't help any!

I'd recommend None But The Brave, just make sure you're aware that *yes* you should be using the subtitles! Or you will really be confused!

I almost forgot another bit of odd trivia, the somewhat unremarkable soundtrack was penned by future master "Johnny Williams!" Just another thing to throw into the mix!

None But The Brave (1965) None But The Brave (1965)
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Frank Sinatra had a strong movie career for years, but he only directed one film: None but the Brave, a 1965 anti-war picture that turns out to be much more interesting and compelling than its reputation would suggest...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio:
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Clint Walker
  • Tommy Sands
  • Brad Dexter
  • Tony Bill


  • A crippled C-47 transport crash-lands on a remote Pacific island. For the Marines aboard, World War II becomes smaller but no less deadly. The atoll is held by a Japanese platoon, also cut off from its command.Debuting director Frank Sinatra stars in


Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Sinatra's None But The Brave, August 18, 2000
Again Frank Sinatra gives another fine performance (he has always been underrated as an actor in my opinion) and he even directed this film! This is an interesting W.W.II film set on an island in the Pacific where small bands of both American and Japanese forces are stranded. This film examines the human sacrifices made in war and questions if there is justification for those sacrifices examined through the camaraderie and reminisces of fellow combatants on both sides. Sinatra, as director, gives Clint Walker a chance to demonstrate his acting abilities in a fine dramatic performance. The stalwart cast also includes Tatsuya Mihashi, Tommy Sands, Tony Bill, Brad Dexter,Takeshi Kato and Sammy Jackson. Listen for an early score composed by John (Johnny) Williams. I always liked this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable,classic film!, August 3, 2010
Kenneth Palmer (San Bernardino,CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: None But The Brave (1965) (DVD)
This DVD is a must for all classic film enthusiasts. Released in 1965, it revolves around the story of a platoon of U.S. Marines during WWII whose transport plane is shot down by an enemy fighter plane over an island in the South Pacific occupied by another platoon of Japanese soldiers. Both groups find are marooned and out of communication with their main forces. They engage each other in a series of battles until both sides decide to arrange a truce in order to save the life of a Japanese soldier suffering from gangrene resulting from his wounds. The late Frank Sinatra plays the Marine's medic, who performs a chilling and suspenseful amputation on the wounded Japanese soldier in an attempt to save his life. Clint Walker is the American no-nonsense commander who negotiates the truce with the enemy commander. Both sides agree that if either unit establishes contact with their main force, the truce will end and combat will resume. This film also possesses a splendid music score... Read more
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this edition, January 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: None But The Brave (1965) (DVD)
Great war flick, and the video/audio were very good, but there are no english subtitles for the japanese dialogue, without which you are stuck with the hard-of-hearing subtitles for the whole movie, including ( SINGING ), (LAUGHING ), etc., which to me is very annoying, or you miss a good part of the movie which is in Japanese. I can't believe this was overlooked in the production of this edition.
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None But The Brave (1965) Chris



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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.

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