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
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
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
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Battle Cry � there�s a lot to see here.,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Battle Cry [VHS] (VHS Tape)It is surprising how a sprawling war film like this contains so little action. But, don't be disappointed. This film focuses on characterization and characters are plentiful be they ever so stereotypical. James Whitmore as Sgt. Mac, Aldo Ray, Tab Hunter, L. Q. Jones and Perry Lopez as Marine recruits and Dorothy Malone, Anne Francis and Nancy Olsen as their love interests all give standout performances. Max Steiner's patriotic and rousing score is in its full glory. This film is high on good old-fashioned sentimental entertainment. By the film's end the viewer comes to realize many of the sacrifices that were made during this time in history and some of the gloss wears off. As an aside, a deceased acquaintance of mine who served in the US Army 1st Division during the Second World War from North Africa, D-Day to Germany's surrender, found this film to be the best representation of W.W.II military life. That was an exceptional compliment and recommendation for this film... Read more
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing adaptation of Leon Uris' Marine novel,
This review is from: Battle Cry (DVD)Based on a novel by Leon Uris, Battle Cry tries to show the life of a Marine outside of the action. In the months following Pearl Harbor, thousands of young Americans volunteer in the armed forces ready to be trained as soldiers. In the Marines, a veteran sergeant, Mac, begins the work of turning a squad of these young boys into battle-ready men who won't think twice about killing. The movie follows the training and the personal lives of Mac's communication squad, especially their relationships with wives, girlfriends and each other, all the while as the Allies island-hop across the Pacific. The scenes of Marines interacting with the women they like/love work pretty well, but that's not my complaint here. Uris' novel had very effective battle scenes, but in the movie they're glossed over with 20-30 seconds of narration. Characters we're supposed to care about are killed off-screen with barely a mention or a throwaway comment to explain it. It's disappointing because the movie... Read more
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
War Double Feature: Battle Cry/Battleground...,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Battle Cry/Battleground (DBFE) (DVD)
War Double Feature: Battle Cry/Battleground is a good value for the
money. For those involved, gritty performances, good scenes of humor,
angst, and pain. I stumbled onto Battle Cry on Cable late over several
nights, and just couldn't get through the whole movie (what can I say?
I have to work so I can buy these DVD's!!). So, I purchased it for
$10/US. The fact that "BattleGround" was an extra was a bonus in my book!
Finally, as my Dad was an World War II and Korea Army Infantry Man, I
know that he would have gotten "a kick" out of the close-order drilling
displayed in the movie. The guys in the scenes in both movies were on their job!!
My rating: Five stars!
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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!!