April 9th 2014: Bataan

Cast and Crew:    Tay Garnett (Director); Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Desi Arnaz, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Nolan

What It’s About: It is January 1942.  For America, the war is just beginning.  In the Pacific the Japanese are invading the Philippines and driving the American and Filipino forces out.  A group of thirteen men stay behind to blow up a bridge to slow the Japanese advance.  This is the story of their mission.

Why Watch it Today?: The American forces surrendered to the Japanese today in 1942, and the day is memorialized each year on this date in the Philippines.  Bataan is a 1943 propaganda film that recycles the basic set-up of The Lost Patrol, using the plight of a small unit to stand in for all the sacrifices American and Filipino forces made on the peninsula.  Read the League’s full review here.

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