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: WarnerBrothers
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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good film. When I was a boy of 10 ..., September 17, 2014
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Very good film. When I was a boy of 10 and wantched this film in 1966, I'd give it 5 stars. Now it gets 4 becuase the costumes, hairstyles and makeup of some civilians are 1960ish. The special effects are OK at best and there are no English subtitles on the Japanese dialogues. You get the jist of what is going on, but you are not 100% sure.

That said, the story is excellent and the roles played by the "Chairman of the board" and Clint Walker were also very good. The Japanese actors were very good themselves. This is really a pretty decent anti war film and I for one am glad to see it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Sinatra starring role/director....great movie, September 10, 2016
G. Martin (Richmond, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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One of the few 1960's war flicks that I saw that was filmed in color. This was a masterpiece. Frank Sinatra gave a very stunning performance, even though he was too old for the part of a Navy Corpsman. Somehow, I don't think a 40-50 year old playing the role of a Navy Corpsman would be very convincing back then in WWII but hey, it could happen. This was a great cast and the Japanese actors were spot on with how they portrayed their roles. I really loved this movie back in the late 60's when I first saw it and it still holds my captivation now. Performances by Clint Walker as the commander and Tommy Sands as the smart mouthed Lieutenant were very well done. A setting where two opposing sides in a great war set aside their differences to work together to survive, an interesting concept in a war picture directed by Frank Sinatra. OK, the whole airplane dogfight scene at the beginning of the movie is very campy and toy like with the models, along with the C-47 crash-landing on the... Read more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... on primetime television around the late 70s that was recommended by a friend, May 31, 2017
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This review is from: None But The Brave (1965) (DVD)
Seen this movie first on primetime television around the late 70s that was recommended by a friend. Sinatra is quite the director and the story brings the anti-war sentiment with a brisk take without being overly melodramatic. Good performances all around though I did notice the Japanese actors dialogue were voice-overs. A very satisfactory addition to my movie collection.
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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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