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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Battle Cry (DVD)...This film should be called Bedroom Cry... A couple of minutes for Guadalcanal... a couple more for Tarawa... and a dozen or so for Saipan...
...The vast amount of combat in Leon Uris' book wrung out to a tiny patch. The romantic problems of the characters the main focus... Like turning Pearl Harbor into a "chick flick"... Battle Cry wallows in domestic problems...
...The parts of the film involving training... from basic to the long marches in New Zealand are well staged... though basic is a touch brief and "sanitized..."
...The cast is generally far better than the material... James Whitmore as Mac... was actually a Captain in the Marine Corps in WWII... L.Q. Jones (as he would later be) was perfect as... L.Q. Jones... and Raymond Massey lends his enormous talent to a cameo... Tab Hunter was playing a "vanilla" character to begin with... Gunman's Walk far better place to see his best acting work...
...Aldo Ray was pretty much a... Read more
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Two Great War films,
This review is from: Battle Cry/Battleground (DBFE) (DVD)
I'm pleased WB released these two great War films in one case with Battleground being my favorite War film. This DBFE contains 2-Disks with each movie having their own which is like their individual releases. Battleground (1949) is presented in Full frame, b&w and runs for about 118mins (1hr 58mins). Battle Cry (1954) is presented in Widescreen (2.55:1), color and runs for about 148mins (2hr 28mins). Both movie contain English audio and subtitles, along with subtitles of French and Spanish. Overall this is a great DBFE and I would recommend this.
Strong Story, Combat Lite,
This review is from: Battle Cry (Amazon Video)
This is talky, but I was in the mood for all these great actors of the era: Aldo Ray in a tough but touching role as the GI who never found love; Van Heflin as the commander who thinks his men can do anything; the great Tab Hunter as the loverboy turning into a man. Fun stuff, strong episodic story line.
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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!!