MacArthur

1977

Biography / Drama / History / War

8
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 63%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 3808

Synopsis


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May 20, 2017 at 09:43 PM

Director

Cast

Gregory Peck as Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Russell Johnson as Admiral King
Branscombe Richmond as Korean Soldier
G.D. Spradlin as General Eichelberger
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
948.26 MB
1280*682
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 10 min
P/S 1 / 8
1.97 GB
1920*1024
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 10 min
P/S 9 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dglink 7 / 10

Standard Biopic of Legendary General

General Douglas MacArthur was a controversial figure in his time, and this 1977 film biography relates the basic events of his public life, which includes open conflicts with two U.S. presidents. Book-ended by a speech to West Pointe cadets, the film flashes back to MacArthur's most famous exploits, which include his defense of Corregidor and subsequent flight to Australia, his decision to defend that country in New Guinea, and the fulfillment of his promise to return and liberate the Philippines. Unfortunately, unlike the earlier movie biography of George S. Patton, "MacArthur" lacks fire in its title performance and creativity in its pedestrian direction. The film resembles a history lesson and utilizes newsreels and extensive expository dialog. Despite combat sequences, the pace is often sluggish, and slows further during the second half, which covers events following World War II. The jump cuts between combat and non-combat scenes seem arbitrary and made to enliven the film and keep viewer attention from lagging.

While Gregory Peck is solid and convincing as the five-star general and bears a strong resemblance to the historical MacArthur, the focus is on the public MacArthur and little is revealed about the man himself. Although Peck hints at emotion during his visit to Death March survivors and a tender reunion with his Filipino driver, he has few opportunities show the human being behind the five stars. Although his wife and son hover in the background, little interaction is shown, and Marj Dusay as his wife has a thankless role that is little more than wall paper. The conflicts with Franklin Roosevelt, played by Dan O'Herlihy, and Harry Truman are detailed; Ed Flanders as the no-nonsense Truman is especially fine, and the actor bears a strong resemblance to the president. While the rest of the cast is professional, none stand out.

"MacArthur" is an unfortunate lost opportunity, because the general was a fascinating historical character who deserved an on-screen treatment on par with George C. Scott's "Patton." Peck was excellent casting, and he had the acting chops to rise to Scott's level, but the script by Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins did not provide him the opportunity. "MacArthur" is a competent and creditable film that serves to introduce film-goers to a heroic giant of the Pacific Theater during World War II, who remains a hero in the Philippines, a country he evidently loved and that he liberated from the Japanese. However, those intrigued by the historical MacArthur will have to dig beyond this broad-brush portrait to discover the man who kept his promise to return and free the Philippines, defied a U.S. president, and nearly became president himself.

Reviewed by SimonJack 9 / 10

Superb biopic of a great American general

Gregory Peck lends an air of authenticity as Gen. Douglas MacArthur in this film. "MacArthur" covers the apex of the career of one of the most famous American wartime commanders. Gen. MacArthur, like Gen. George S. Patton, was one of the few outspoken commanders in wartime whose views and comments often clashed with those of their leaders or the President. Without exception, these outspoken generals were excellent military commanders, brilliant tacticians, very well read and knowledgeable about their enemies, and insightful about the future.

This film takes us from the start of World War II to Pres. Harry S. Truman's removal of Gen. MacArthur from his command during the Korean War. It's interesting that the film doesn't come right out and say that MacArthur is being sacked. Probably many of the younger generations by the end of the 20th century wouldn't know that piece of history, if they even know much about MacArthur.

As a biopic, the film's focus is more on MacArthur's military strategy and political savvy, than on his wartime command. So, it has just small segments of combat here and there. On that score, it doesn't equal the military biopic, "Patton." Still, this is a very good film about one of the great military minds and leaders of America.

A broadcast reporter is on the scene for the New York ticker tape parade (April 2, 1951) given for Gen. MacArthur on his return to America. The reporter says, "I've never seen anything like it. The entire city has come out to celebrate the return of America's greatest hero. Officials estimate from 7 to 10 million people are here on hand, and that surpasses Lindberg and Eisenhower's homecomings put together."

A favorite scene is in the retaking of the Philippines. MacArthur is in a jeep going to check the front lines. A corporal stops him at the front lines and says the only thing ahead is a forward patrol. MacArthur tells the driver to proceed. The corporal says, "I don't believe it. That's the first I've ever seen a commander-in-chief take the point." And, another GI near him says, "Yeah, he's the greatest general since Sergeant York."

In the film, MacArthur talks to the press, and he addresses the U.S. Congress and the cadets at West Point. Here are some quotes. For more, see the Quotes section on the IMDb Web page for this film.

Gen. MacArthur, "How did Shakespeare put it? A general's wife is the general's general."

Gen. MacArthur, "I requested permission to bomb the Yangtze bridges to keep the Chinese out of Korea. They said, 'You might bomb the southern half of the bridges only.' In my 50 years of military service, I have never learned how to bomb half a bridge."

Gen. MacArthur, "For the first time in military history, a commander has been denied the use of his military power to safeguard the lives of his soldiers and the safety of the Army. It leaves me with a sense of irrepressible… shock."

Gen. MacArthur, on appeasement in Korea, "This isn't war. It's half war. It's an immoral compromise with evil."

In response to a question from the press about Korea, Gen. MacArthur says, "I couldn't substitute my policy for Mr. Truman's, because Mr. Truman doesn't have a policy."

Gen. MacArthur, to the U.S. Congress, "But once war has been forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very objective is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war, there can be no substitute for victory. For history teaches us, with unmistakable emphasis, that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and increasingly greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only alternative."

Gen. MacArthur, "The magnificence and the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery."

Gen. MacArthur, "I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day… 'Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.'"

Mrs. MacArthur on Dwight Eisenhower's GOP nomination for president in 1952, "What kind of president do you think he's gonna make?" Gen. MacArthur, "I think he'll make a fine president. He was the best clerk who ever served under me."

Gen. MacArthur, to the West Point cadets, "Today marks my final roll call with you. I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the corps… and the corps… and the corps. I bid you farewell."

Reviewed by vincentlynch-moonoi 5 / 10

Drab

If you were to ask me who was the better actor -- Gregory Peck or George C. Scott -- I would answer without pause, Gregory Peck. Scott was a fine actor, but he did not have the breath of roles that Peck did. Romance, Westerns, suspense, light comedy, drama, and more. I can't think of a time that Gregory Peck let an audience down, except perhaps with this film. But think back of George C. Scott and his thrilling performance as Patton! No such brilliance here.

The cinematography is drab, dull, and monotonous. Even worse is the makeup; in fact, it should have won an Academy Award for the worst makeup in any major in American cinema history. Much of the script plods along. The only real excitement here is the rivalry between MacArthur and president Harry Truman.

And the cast is pretty dull, too. Gregory Peck is a reasonable actor to play MacArthur. Ed Flanders...good, but not a powerhouse...plays Harry Truman. Dan O'Herlihy...also good, but no powerhouse...is good as President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But that's all the notable cast.

Because I like history and am older, I am somewhat familiar with the MacArthur story (and by the way, this film does not delineate MacArthur's early years at all), but if I was not familiar with it, and I watched this film, I would wonder what all the fuss was about.

Not recommended unless, perhaps, you are a military man yourself.

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