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| | |-+  Samuel Fuller's Merrill's Marauders
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Author Topic: Samuel Fuller's Merrill's Marauders  (Read 1500 times)
Ben Tyreen
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« on: June 03, 2008, 11:00:46 AM »

 I bought this DVD recently, a significant upgrade over my old VHS tape, and thought I'd review it.  Director Sam Fuller didn't direct a ton of movies, but this film is one of his best and in some ways it sets the tone for The Big Red One, albeit in a different WWII theater.

 Merrill's Marauders is the story of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), 3,000 American volunteers, who helped spearhead the retaking of Burma during WWII.  The Marauders march deep behind enemy lines to take out a Japanese railhead and airstrip, traveling through some of the toughest jungle there is.  For a WWII movie, it's kinda short, only 98 minutes, but Fuller gets the point across in that running time.  By the end of the movie, you feel exhausted for the men and do start to wonder how these men actually got the job done.

  The movie also boasts one of the most touching scenes I've come across in a war movie.  After a costly firefight at a Japanese railhead, the men are sprawled all around a Burmese village, catching a brief rest.  One of the soldiers, Claude Akins' Sgt. Kolowicz, draws the attention of one of the boys in the village who starts scratching Kolly's beard.  An old woman comes out and hands him a bowl of rice which causes him to break down and start weeping.  Definitely one of my favorite Akins parts.

  Across the board the cast is good led by Jeff Chandler as General Frank Merrill, who has to keep driving his men beyond their limits.  Most of the story is told through a scout platoon, led by Ty Hardin's Lt. "Stock" Stockton with Peter Brown as a sniper, Akins as the tough sergeant, Will Hutchins as the always-hungry soldier who nobody likes, Charlie Briggs as Muley, the packer, and Pancho Magalona as Taggy, the Filipino volunteer.

  I suspect the DVD is the French version that WB is marketing in the States, but it's pretty good.  Some closeups look funny, like the pan-n-scan version was stretched out, but generally it's a pretty clear picture.  Trailer included which is a pleasant surprise after all the bare-bones DVDs I've seen recently.  Excellent WWII story, 8/10. Afro




« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 11:02:14 AM by Ben Tyreen » Logged


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PowerRR
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 04:27:26 PM »

I've seen his film Shock Corridor. It was pretty damn good.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 04:40:18 PM »

His Naked Kiss is even better

title sequence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3cD7N3Mleo

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 04:47:38 PM »

Yeah, anyway . . . thanks, Ben, for your review. I think I saw MM on TV decades ago. After reading what you wrote, it definitely sounds like I need to give it another view.

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