Published on June 20th, 2008 | by Chris0
Battle Cry (1955)
"The men who fought. The women who waited. And the stolen moments they shared."
For those of you wanting the short-and-sweet version of this review, here it is: 1955's Battle Cry is short on Battle, and long on Cry. In it, we follow a squad of Marines from enlistment in 1942 all the way through Saipan in 1944. Or do we? I gotta say, I feel gipped!!
Instead of following the Marines in action, we mostly are treated to a few shorter stories involving the mens' involvement with various persons of the female persuasion. It looked like it could be an interesting picture, but the whole "soap opera" nature of the film left me throwing up my hands and going "WTF?! Where's the war, man!"
From the Private who gets involved with the USO director, who just happens to be married, but winds up going back and marrying his high school sweetheart, to the Corporal who falls for the girl he runs into on the ferry night after night, only to find out that she's actually kinda-sorta-seeing one of the other guys in the squad....
...and then they get shipped off to someplace like, I dunno, Guadalcanal, only to be a part of the mop-up efforts, for about five minutes of screen time, and then its back to the romantic melodrama. Rinse and repeat.
Had I known what to expect going in, I probably wouldn't be as let down as I was. I mean, after *two and a half hours* of the same, "I love you! boohoohoo" stuff it starts to get, well, a little comical. Throw in a good heaping-helping of mid-fifties cheesiness and you've really got the makings of a cinematical enigma.
The squad's only real action comes at Saipan, where the commander whines to his CO to get his men a slot on the beachhead, instead of (yet again) in the reserve forces. How very gung ho.
I'm not going to run it all down for you, if you're interested in romantic dramas, this might suit you more than anything. Yeah, alright, I'll concede that we do get a good look into the oft-forgotten relationships that are a part of any war. But I just couldn't take it.
Curiously, Battle Cry, at least to me, seemed to be very racy and risque for its time. A couple of scenes inparticular should strike you as out-of-place for the mainstream cinema of the day. I will also concede that none of the romantic interests were in any way difficult to watch, if you get my drift, which surely made the 2.5 hours a little more bearable.
The death knell for my opinion of the picture was when Pvt. Danny gets hit on Saipan, and we witness his wifey back home shooting up out of bed screaming in some sort of psychic moment. Eyes were a-rolling, let me tell you.
Cut the film down a bit, put in a little more Battle and a lot less Cry, and you've got a good picture. Battle Cry just wasn't my cup-a-joe.
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Van Heflin, Aldo Ray and Tab Hunter in Raoul Walsh's hard-hitting-action epic of Marine Corps heroism in the WWII Pacific, based on Leon Uris' gritty best-seller. Year: 1955 DVD Features:Interactive MenusOther:Raoul Walsh profileScene AccessTheatrical Trailer
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Warner Home Video
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
- Van Heflin
- Aldo Ray
- Mona Freeman
- Nancy Olson
- James Whitmore
- Van Heflin, Aldo Ray and Tab Hunter in Raoul Walsh's hard-hitting-action epic of Marine Corps heroism in the WWII Pacific, based on Leon Uris' gritty best-seller. Year: 1955Running Time: 149 min. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR Age: 085392432820 UPC: 085392432820 Manufacturer No: 24328
Summary: 1955's Battle Cry is short on Battle, and long on Cry. In it, we follow a squad of Marines from enlistment in 1942 all the way through Saipan in 1944. Or do we? I gotta say, I feel gipped!!