The Purple Heart

1944

Action / Drama / History / War

2
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 738

Synopsis


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December 26, 2015 at 04:07 PM

Cast

Anne Baxter as Anne
Richard Conte as Lt. Angelo Canelli
Dana Andrews as Capt. Harvey Ross
Marshall Thompson as Morrison
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
708.98 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.46 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 4 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by clanciai 9 / 10

A true story of conditions at their worst for war prisoners, a kind of prelude to 'The Manchurian Candidate'

Although you wouldn't believe it, this is actually a true story from the beginning of the war (1942), and the fall of Singapore takes place during the course of the trial, which the Japanese interrupt for celebration including judges and attorneys. Four of the eight war prisoners were really executed, while four survived prison camps in China with difficulty (see the review by 'ustye'). It's a great story of hardship in Japanese prison, as the Japanese take out the prisoners one by one to torture them leaving them maimed for life, one losing his mind, another his voice, and so on. Of course, they go dreaming in the necessary therapy of escapism, and those are the finest sequences of the film, contrasting sharply against the prison sterility. The Japanese are not satirized or exaggerated in their manners in spite of this being made during the war, and two of them actually end up as casualties as well. It's an odd film for Lewis Milestone but as well made as any of them, only somewhat more sinister. Dana Andrews, Farley Granger and Richard Crenna grace the cast, but the best speech is actually not Dana's final speech but the previous one by Lt. Peter Vincent (Donald Barry), which is almost Shakespearean in intelligent eloquence. It's a hard film of hard times under inhuman circumstances, and yet it is very edifying and gives much afterthought - however would you act under similar circumstances? Their final decision how to vote for their destiny is a triumph of humanity.

Reviewed by gordonl56 8 / 10

Excellent bit of wartime Cinema

THE PURPLE HEART 1944

The war in the Pacific was into its fourth year when this 20th Century Fox production hit the theatres. It is a dramatization of a show trial of American air-crew that took place in 1942. It shows the capture, torture and trial of eight members of the "Doolittle Raiders". The cast is made up of, Dana Andrews, Don Barry, Richard Andrews, Farley Granger, Sam Levene, Kevin O'Shea, Charles Russell, John Craven, Richard Loo and Tala Birell.

After the April 18th 1942 attack on Japan by 16 B-25 bombers, the aircraft were to fly to airfields in China. None made it there as lack of fuel forced the crews to parachute into the night. All but eight men would make it to safety in Allied parts of China. These eight men were captured by the Japanese and put on trial. Three were executed, one died in a p.o.w. camp and the others were freed in August 1945 after the Japanese surrender.

In the film, the men are placed on trial in front of a group of reporters from various Axis and neutral countries. The Japanese officer in charge, Richard Loo is not above using a spot of torture to get his questions answered. One man is beaten so bad he is brain damaged, another has his arms broken, a third, has his vocal chords damaged and yet another has his hands destroyed. They all refuse to talk.

There is a side plot going on here between the Japanese Army and Japanese Navy officers. One side is sure the B-25's came from China, and the other is convinced they were off a carrier. (Which they did, the U.S.S. Hornet) The Japanese "really" want to know which is correct. The trial goes on with the Japanese producing plenty of obviously faked evidence.

This is more of courtroom film than a war drama, but so what, it is a really hard hitting bit of war-time flag waving. Apparently the U.S. War Department was against the production of this film. It was one of the first films to deal directly with the treatment of POWs by the Japanese. The War Department was worried that it might provoke the Japanese into making reprisals against Allied prisoners.

The film was directed by Lewis Milestone. The three time Oscar nominated and two time winner does solid work here. He is probably best known as the helmsman on the 1931 Oscar winner, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. The man knew how to make a war film, with, A WALK IN THE SUN, NORTH STAR, HALLS OF MONTEZUMA and PORK CHOP HILL as examples of his work in the genre. He also directed OF MICE AND MEN, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, THE RED PONY, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1962) and OCEAN'S ELEVEN.

The cinematographer was three time Oscar winner, Art Miller. The talented Miller worked on, LIFEBOAT, MAN HUNT, THE MOON IS DOWN, WHIRLPOOL, THE PROWLER as well as the superb westerns, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT and THE GUNFIGHTER.

The film was a hit and was heavily promoted during war bond drives at theatres.

Reviewed by tomwal 8 / 10

Review

First, let me start by saying that I was ten years old when this film was made. I knew nothing of the war. In retrospect, I have some confusion and a touch of anger when reading some of todays reviews. Most war films offer a message to make their point. Films such as Platoon,numerous Vietnam epics, Korean War films such as Pork Chop Hill.and The Steel Helmet all deliver messages in fine fashion.As a lad of eighteen, I was influenced by Sands of Iwo Jima to join the Marine Corps.Im sure it had the same effect on a lot of other teen agers. Now to The Purple Heart. Made during the war years. it tells of a bomber crew downed in China after a raid on Tokyo. Dana Andrews is the stalwart Captain who delivers the Message at the trials conclusion. As they march out to their doom, strains of Wild Blue Yonder swell in the background. Sure its propaganda, but things like that were needed during the war years. The cast, including Richard Loo as a Japanese General are uniformaly excellent.Under Lewis Milestones direction, this movie becomes a minor classic. To those who nit pick about the errors in these films, take a break! Enjoy them as a vital part of history. Many of them served a purpose and served them well.

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