Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... See full summary »
In the spring of 1942, following the blockade run that took General Douglas MacArthur and his staff from the Philippines to the safety of Australia, the survivors of a bombed and sunk PT boat make their way to shore. The skipper tells his men they have top priority passes if they can make their way to Del Monte airfield two hundred miles away, and advises them to split up into pairs. Ensign Chuck Palmer and crewman Jim Mitchell finally reach Tacloban on the island of Leyte. In an American mission school, Palmer meets Jeanne Martinez, who is urgently trying to see the officer in charge with a request for help for a relative, and he also learns that the Japanese have captured the airfield. Palmer tries to make Australia by a boat that sinks in a tropical storm, and has to swim for shore. All through 1942, Palmer and the other survivors dodge enemy patrols while living off the land.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Director Fritz Lang only made the film to pay his bills. In later years, he actively denied even making it. See more »
Ensign Palmer said the navy rank of Ensign was equal to an army Major. This is not true since an Ensign is pay grade O-1 and Major is pay grade O-4. An Ensign would be equal to an Army Second Lieutenant. See more »
A great director like Fritz Lang is reason enough to see any film, regardless of its reception. It is hard though to not expect much when you see Lang's name attached. Also Tyrone Power, while not one of my favourite actors, is always watchable, although not every film he starred in was great (though few were "bad" strictly speaking). They were the two reasons for me watching 'The American Guerilla in the Philippines', as well as appearing in my more like this section with no prior knowledge of it.
Watching it, 'American Guerilla in the Philippines' didn't strike me as a bad film and there are a fair share of good elements. It also didn't strike as a particularly good film with an equal amount of bad things, and the main reason to see it in the first place is if you are wanting to see everything that Power and Lang did, so completest sake really. Power doesn't come off too badly here, being in a role that suits him (that actually has been the case more than once in his overall lesser films), but this is not a good representation of Lang in one of his weaker efforts.
There are good things here in 'American Guerilla in the Philippines'. It is shot beautifully in striking Technicolor, which enhances the already beautiful Philippine locations extremely well. The music is suitably rousing and lush, while the action sequences are truly exciting (especially the climax).
Power plays his role with the right amount of brooding charisma, he is not too lightweight for it and his strengths are at least played to. Tom Ewell does surprisingly too playing against type, while the Japanese officer is chilling in parts.
However, the dialogue, which can be too talky, often ranges between bad and painful and in the non-action scenes 'American Guerilla in the Philippines' tends to go dead pace-wise. The romance is particularly tedious in this regard, and not helped by a Micheline Presle and hardly any chemistry between her and Power, it doesn't add very much either and seemed to be there because it is seemingly obbligatory to have one. The acting from the rest of the cast is rather amateurish
It is hard to believe that this came from the same director who directed masterpieces like 'M' and 'Metropolis', am really trying to be fair here but it is hard not to compare. It is always nice to see a director do something atypical and there have been numerous instances of that happening and the film being good and even great, but Lang was well and truly out of his depth here shining only in the action scenes with the romance especially betraying that notion. The story execution is very hit and miss, leaning towards miss with the momentum mostly not being there and the same can be said for any tension. There is even some patriotism thrown in and it felt heavy-handed and unnecessary.
Concluding, watchable for the technicolor and Power but a big disappointment by Lang standards. 5/10
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