When World War II Was Just Two: Hell in the Pacific

Apparently, there’s a Toshiro Mifune Blogathon going on here at The Morlocks (you may have noticed it’s the only thing anyone is writing about this week).  Well, I’m here to run through the penultimate position of this esteemed relay before passing the baton to Kimberly as she crosses the finish line tomorrow.  When we Morlocks first discussed this blogathon among ourselves some time back, I did the whole “oh gee, I don’t know what I’ll do” routine and played it off rather well because I knew damn well the whole time what I would do.   How did I know?  Here’s how:  1) I love old school action/adventure movies, where there’s some action, lots of adventure and a minimum of explosions, 2) I love John Boorman directing Lee Marvin (see Point Blank)  3) I love Toshiro Mifune because he’s one of the coolest action/adventure actors in history and 4) there’s only one movie that has all of that plus cinematography by Conrad Hall:  Hell in the Pacific.  Damn, what a movie.

Like None but the Brave before it, Hell in the Pacific reduces the war down from massive invasions and attack forces to a handful of combatants, stuck together in an isolated environment.  The difference here is that it’s reduced to two and two alone:  An American pilot and a Japanese naval officer, played by Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune.  The director, John Boorman, was just coming off his magnificent Point Blank with the very same Lee Marvin the year before and Alexander Jacobs, one of Point Blank’s writers, helmed the screenplay with Eric Bercovici from a story by Reuben Bercovitch.  And the story is as simple and powerful as they come:  Two combatants from different sides, stuck on an island with no means of verbal communication and no modern technology.  The movie requires, nay, demands that the cast contain two actors absolutely adept at making their intentions known without the use of dialogue.  It’s a tall order but Boorman couldn’t have done better than Marvin and Mifune.

When the movie starts, the Japanese officer surveys the island with his binoculars.  He’s already constructed a makeshift camp, including a fresh water catch for rainfall.  He spots a tattered jacket on a tree branch and jumps into action, grabbing his tree-branch spear and heading over to investigate.  The American pilot rouses from his unconsciousness (we can assume he washed up and lodged in the branches on the beach) and soon the two confront each other, seen in the picture at the top of the post.  Each imagines slaying the other but the American retreats and eventually the two play a game of tag in which one catches the other, humiliates or tortures him until he escapes and the roles reverse.  Neither can quite bring himself to kill the other.  Despite their official role as wartime antagonists, deep inside they each know they need the other one alive.

By the middle of the film, a truce in short order is affected and the two, apprehensively, begin to share and work together towards the common goal of getting off the island.  How?  The only means they have:  Take the abundant bamboo on the island and build a raft.  Will they succeed?  Will they get off the island?  Does that even matter?  To answer these questions we must now enter into another undiscovered country, The Spoiler Zone (If you haven’t seen Hell in the Pacific and want to keep it as fresh as possible, now’s the time to back out of this post.  However, let me assure you, the joy is in watching what the two actors do and how they do it, not seeing the mechanics of the scant plot unfold.  Nonetheless, from this point forward, I talk about all of it.  So you’ve been warned:  SPOILER ALERT).

The two enemies do make that raft and sail off, spending a reel of the movie lost at sea, dealing with storms and keeping the raft from falling apart.  I must say, even though they were within distance of the shores of the Rock Islands of Palau (where it was filmed), it was quite stirring knowing that they weren’t in some studio tank during those stormy sea scenes.  By gum, they were on a bamboo raft in the ocean and when you consider the two actors were Marvin and Mifune, it seems quite believable that neither would have a problem with that.  Once they make it to another island they wander around finding no one until finally they discover the shelled out remains of a Japanese stronghold.  The signs are in Japanese so it’s clear it was theirs but the American rations and shell casings and copies of LIFE magazine make it clear that American forces bombarded them out of existence.   The two find a bottle of Sake and some straight razors.  They shave, clean themselves up and sit down to start drinking the night away.   But as they do, the friendship wanes.  As the two get drunker, the American starts demanding to know why the Japanese people don’t believe in God, at least according to him, not to any actual information.  He just seems to recall he heard someone say that once.  Of course, the Japanese officer doesn’t know what he’s saying and doesn’t care.  He’s too busy flipping through that LIFE magazine and viewing pictures of his Japanese brothers-in-arms slain across the pages like centerfolds in a girly magazine.  The friendship goes sour, fast, and the two men stand apart once again.  The Japanese officer, in a nice, clean uniform salvaged from the fort, puts on his tie and jacket to be in the full uniform of his station while the American puts on his backpack and walks away.  The Japanese officer looks at him from across the chasm of the shelled out buildings and then, turns away himself and walks away.  Cut to black.  The end.

Oh no, wait, I forgot, that’s not the end!   

The studio saw that ending, that great and beautifully powerful surrender of the two main characters to their worst natures, and thought, “Hey, wait a minute.  They’re supposed to be friends now.  Or fight or something.  Wait, what just happened?”  And so, the producers altered the ending to something… um… how do I put this?  They made it one of the most awful things anyone has ever done in the history of cinema.  Okay, it’s not that bad but let’s be honest, it truly defines the term “tacked on ending” because it truly is tacked on.  Here’s what they did, under the authority of executive producer Henry Saperstein.    They show Marvin and Mifune getting angry, with Marvin shouting about God, and in the background you start to hear distant shelling coming closer because, for reasons no one on earth can explain, the allies have decided to re-blow up the already blown up and deserted island.   Uh-huh.  So then, just as Marvin is really yelling, they cut to a tacked on shot of a tower blowing up from The Party (yes, the Peter Sellers movie) and… the end.  That’s it.  That was their solution.

I brought up Hell in the Pacific on Facebook and friend, blogger and film critic Peter Nellhaus had this to say:  “I got to meet John Boorman at a special screening of LEO THE LAST for NYU film students in late 1969. Someone asked him about the ending to HELL IN THE PACIFIC. Boorman’s response was, ‘Henry Saperstein is an evil man.’”  I love that Boorman said that but I don’t think Saperstein was evil, of course, just a producer with no feel for the art who should have trusted Boorman and his writers.  He should have trusted the actors too.  Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune make the movie work on all counts.  I’ve always insisted that action defines character in cinema (that is, in a play, a monologue can define character but in a movie, like Casablanca, it’s the actions of Rick and Ilsa that define their characters and develop them for the audience).  Marvin and Mifune define their characters through action beautifully and that last moment, as the two separate, is dependent upon the fact that these two actors have been building up to just this conclusion.  To rob them of that, with a phony explosion, is a crime.

Not to be outdone by the actors, cinematographer Conrad Hall does an absolutely splendid job of finding the right angle and lighting to make each scene work for the actors while being outstandingly breathtaking at the same time.  There isn’t a good transfer of it out there just yet (you can find a 2003 or 4 transfer of it on DVD but it’s not very good and most others are even worse at full frame – ugh) but hopefully, there soon will be.  And instead of giving us that awful studio ending on the movie with the Boorman ending as an extra, put the Boorman ending on the main feature and make the studio ending the extra.  Please.  This is a movie that deserves a great, crisp and clear transfer and big screen showing to celebrate its restoration.  I hope that happens soon because seeing two of the greatest “action defines character” actors in history on the big screen would be a trip to the cinema well worth the time.

0 Response When World War II Was Just Two: Hell in the Pacific
Posted By Rippke : August 8, 2012 12:06 pm

MIFUNE? MARVIN? BOORMAN? THIS MOVIE SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE!
Great piece, Greg! And thank you TCM for featuring my favorite star, Toshiro Mifune for this Summer Under the Stars! Thursday can’t come soon enough!!!

Posted By Rippke : August 8, 2012 12:06 pm

MIFUNE? MARVIN? BOORMAN? THIS MOVIE SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE!
Great piece, Greg! And thank you TCM for featuring my favorite star, Toshiro Mifune for this Summer Under the Stars! Thursday can’t come soon enough!!!

Posted By Heidi : August 8, 2012 12:11 pm

I have seen this movie! Don’t recall what the circumstances were, but I remember being on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next, and then seeing that ending and saying “Wait, what just happened?” much the same way the studio did, but for different reasons apparently. I haven’t thought about it since I saw it, but oh it comes back to me now. I liked then, not knowing who Mifune was, but knowing Lee Marvin. Now, I really would like to see it again. Love Mifune and am looking forward to his movies on TCM.

Posted By Heidi : August 8, 2012 12:11 pm

I have seen this movie! Don’t recall what the circumstances were, but I remember being on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next, and then seeing that ending and saying “Wait, what just happened?” much the same way the studio did, but for different reasons apparently. I haven’t thought about it since I saw it, but oh it comes back to me now. I liked then, not knowing who Mifune was, but knowing Lee Marvin. Now, I really would like to see it again. Love Mifune and am looking forward to his movies on TCM.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 12:58 pm

Rippke and Heidi: I wish there was a better copy of it out there but the Anchor Bay DVD is probably the best one. It’s letterboxed at 2:35 to 1 but the image isn’t very sharp or clear, not as it would be with a full restoration.

Heidi, the ending is definitely ambiguous, with the two abruptly parting ways, but it works well. The studio ending is simply appalling. Another way the studio ending mars the film is that when they’re in the bombed out fortress, you can’t help but wonder (everything looks long deserted), “Is the war over? Is it 1947 or 1948 and they’re still acting like it’s going on?” With the bizarre allied shelling of an already abandoned post, that question is taken away and THAT was exactly the question I had watching it the first time.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 12:58 pm

Rippke and Heidi: I wish there was a better copy of it out there but the Anchor Bay DVD is probably the best one. It’s letterboxed at 2:35 to 1 but the image isn’t very sharp or clear, not as it would be with a full restoration.

Heidi, the ending is definitely ambiguous, with the two abruptly parting ways, but it works well. The studio ending is simply appalling. Another way the studio ending mars the film is that when they’re in the bombed out fortress, you can’t help but wonder (everything looks long deserted), “Is the war over? Is it 1947 or 1948 and they’re still acting like it’s going on?” With the bizarre allied shelling of an already abandoned post, that question is taken away and THAT was exactly the question I had watching it the first time.

Posted By Juana Maria : August 8, 2012 3:09 pm

Greg:On Aug.6,I just wrote on another post how much I wanted this movie written about! Both Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune are favorite actors of mine!! Yes,I have seen this film. I remember it quite well,and it looked good when TCM showed it awhile back. I think the ending is awful! Though it is kinda like a “Twilight Zone” episode! Marvin was in two episodes of that show. “The Grave” & “Steele”.

Posted By Juana Maria : August 8, 2012 3:09 pm

Greg:On Aug.6,I just wrote on another post how much I wanted this movie written about! Both Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune are favorite actors of mine!! Yes,I have seen this film. I remember it quite well,and it looked good when TCM showed it awhile back. I think the ending is awful! Though it is kinda like a “Twilight Zone” episode! Marvin was in two episodes of that show. “The Grave” & “Steele”.

Posted By Emgee : August 8, 2012 3:36 pm

I always thought the ending was a big letdown, a real “Let’s wrap this up”finish. How could the man who made Deliverance and Point Blank do this? Glad to know he didn’t.

Are you sure it wasn’t Peter Sellers?

Posted By Emgee : August 8, 2012 3:36 pm

I always thought the ending was a big letdown, a real “Let’s wrap this up”finish. How could the man who made Deliverance and Point Blank do this? Glad to know he didn’t.

Are you sure it wasn’t Peter Sellers?

Posted By Juana Maria : August 8, 2012 5:32 pm

Emgee:Ha ha ha! Very fuuny,Peter Sellers messed up the end of this movie! Do you say that because the ending is a clip from the Sellers’ movie:”The Party”? Which is quite funny,but I had no idea it had been spliced into this Boorman film. I’m pretty sure Lee Marvin would not have called this film a “dummy movie” despite its flaws. “A dummy movie” is what Marvin labeled “the Dirty Dozen”. I have to admit “The Dirty Dozen” just doesn’t seem the least bit accurate when it comes to warfare! It has always been a blend of “Hogan’s Heroes” and “The A Team” show! I never took those very seriously. Marvin was a real U.S. Marine,he never got a lot medals,except for being injured when he was around 19 yrs. old and fighting in the Pacific. So I can imagine this film in particular must have struck a nerve with him. All those memories mostly for the worst must’ve flooded back to his mind. He was shot in his sciatia,right near his spine! He had to stay in the hospital for quite awhile. I,for one,am genuinely glad he did not get killed or paralyzed during World War II. I don’t know if Mifune fought during World War II. Can anyone help me with some information?

Posted By Juana Maria : August 8, 2012 5:32 pm

Emgee:Ha ha ha! Very fuuny,Peter Sellers messed up the end of this movie! Do you say that because the ending is a clip from the Sellers’ movie:”The Party”? Which is quite funny,but I had no idea it had been spliced into this Boorman film. I’m pretty sure Lee Marvin would not have called this film a “dummy movie” despite its flaws. “A dummy movie” is what Marvin labeled “the Dirty Dozen”. I have to admit “The Dirty Dozen” just doesn’t seem the least bit accurate when it comes to warfare! It has always been a blend of “Hogan’s Heroes” and “The A Team” show! I never took those very seriously. Marvin was a real U.S. Marine,he never got a lot medals,except for being injured when he was around 19 yrs. old and fighting in the Pacific. So I can imagine this film in particular must have struck a nerve with him. All those memories mostly for the worst must’ve flooded back to his mind. He was shot in his sciatia,right near his spine! He had to stay in the hospital for quite awhile. I,for one,am genuinely glad he did not get killed or paralyzed during World War II. I don’t know if Mifune fought during World War II. Can anyone help me with some information?

Posted By Cary Watson : August 8, 2012 9:07 pm

Hell in the Pacific is good, but Boorman’s recollections of it are even better. He wrote about it in his autobiography (Adventures of a Suburban Boy), and I think if you hunt around on YouTube you’ll find a long interview with Boorman about Lee Marvin. Speaking of dream screen teams, has anyone seen Red Sun? It was a Euro-made western that came out in 1971 starring Mifune, Charles Bronson, Alain Delon and Ursula Andress. It’s silly, awkward, but still fun. I’ve got a piece on it here:

http://www.jettisoncocoon.com/2012/01/film-review-red-sun-1971.html

Posted By Cary Watson : August 8, 2012 9:07 pm

Hell in the Pacific is good, but Boorman’s recollections of it are even better. He wrote about it in his autobiography (Adventures of a Suburban Boy), and I think if you hunt around on YouTube you’ll find a long interview with Boorman about Lee Marvin. Speaking of dream screen teams, has anyone seen Red Sun? It was a Euro-made western that came out in 1971 starring Mifune, Charles Bronson, Alain Delon and Ursula Andress. It’s silly, awkward, but still fun. I’ve got a piece on it here:

http://www.jettisoncocoon.com/2012/01/film-review-red-sun-1971.html

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:30 pm

Juana Maria, you’re right, there are aspects like a Twilight Zone episode. Episodes like “Two” for example, with Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery, deal with two people from opposite sides of a war in a bombed out, isolated environment.

Glad to know you like Mifune and Marvin a lot too, they’re both so good in the film.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:30 pm

Juana Maria, you’re right, there are aspects like a Twilight Zone episode. Episodes like “Two” for example, with Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery, deal with two people from opposite sides of a war in a bombed out, isolated environment.

Glad to know you like Mifune and Marvin a lot too, they’re both so good in the film.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:35 pm

Emgee, that tacked on ending defines “Let’s wrap this up.” They start getting mad at each other again and, boom, they’re dead, movie over. I mean, in the original ending, which doesn’t end that much later, maybe a couple of minutes, they settle down a bit, realize they are now and always will be forcing this whole “we’re friends” routine on themselves, and go their separate ways. I’m not how the studio could think ending it abruptly was better. Maybe they just really like that “blow up the set” gag from The Party so much they really wanted to use the footage again.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:35 pm

Emgee, that tacked on ending defines “Let’s wrap this up.” They start getting mad at each other again and, boom, they’re dead, movie over. I mean, in the original ending, which doesn’t end that much later, maybe a couple of minutes, they settle down a bit, realize they are now and always will be forcing this whole “we’re friends” routine on themselves, and go their separate ways. I’m not how the studio could think ending it abruptly was better. Maybe they just really like that “blow up the set” gag from The Party so much they really wanted to use the footage again.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:37 pm

Cary, I’ve not seen Red Sun but I’ll search for more on it. The clip you have from YouTube has, sadly, been taken down. Also going to look for some Boorman interviews on YouTube. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:37 pm

Cary, I’ve not seen Red Sun but I’ll search for more on it. The clip you have from YouTube has, sadly, been taken down. Also going to look for some Boorman interviews on YouTube. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted By Cary Watson : August 8, 2012 9:42 pm

For the Boorman profile of Lee Marvin on YouTube just search “Lee Marvin by John Boorman.“ It`s in 5 parts.

Posted By Cary Watson : August 8, 2012 9:42 pm

For the Boorman profile of Lee Marvin on YouTube just search “Lee Marvin by John Boorman.“ It`s in 5 parts.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:44 pm

Juana Maria, I just saw your second comment and yes, Toshiro Mifune was in the Japanese Air Force during World War II. Both he and Marvin saw action.

As for The Party, the scene comes near the start when Peter Sellers’ character accidentally sets off the dynamite wired to the fort set for the movie within the movie. The footage looks quite different in both lighting and film grain to Hell in the Pacific so it doesn’t even work on the simple level it’s intended to because an instinctive part of the brain, even if it doesn’t know for sure, thinks, “Wait, that looks like it was from another movie.”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:44 pm

Juana Maria, I just saw your second comment and yes, Toshiro Mifune was in the Japanese Air Force during World War II. Both he and Marvin saw action.

As for The Party, the scene comes near the start when Peter Sellers’ character accidentally sets off the dynamite wired to the fort set for the movie within the movie. The footage looks quite different in both lighting and film grain to Hell in the Pacific so it doesn’t even work on the simple level it’s intended to because an instinctive part of the brain, even if it doesn’t know for sure, thinks, “Wait, that looks like it was from another movie.”

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:44 pm

Thanks, Cary,

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 8, 2012 9:44 pm

Thanks, Cary,

Posted By Tom S : August 8, 2012 11:30 pm

The way that Japanese soldiers during WWII- and former Japanese soldiers afterwards- are seen, relative to people who were Nazis or Fascists, is kind of fascinating. On the one hand, the Japanese empire really was involved in unbelievably horrible stuff, consciously and openly- the enslavement of conquered peoples, mass looting, raping, and killing, torture of captives, etc etc etc. On the other hand, it’s easier to handle sort of normal xenophobic nationalistic violence than it is to handle the nightmarish stuff the Nazis (and to a lesser extent the Fascists) were doing, and the philosophy that guided them in doing so.

But at any rate, it’s almost impossible to imagine a version of this movie with an American soldier and a Nazi- one almost doesn’t want to, it’s too dreadful to think about a Nazi soldier’s underlying humanity. And I think if Mifune had been a pilot for the Luftwaffe (and indeed, if Kurosawa and Mizoguchi had been making propaganda for the Nazis rather than the Japanese) American audiences would never have accepted their film work afterwards, or at best only after a tremendously long and arduous process of public shame and self abasement.

Not really sure where I’m going with this, but it is sort of a difficult, interesting issue.

Posted By Tom S : August 8, 2012 11:30 pm

The way that Japanese soldiers during WWII- and former Japanese soldiers afterwards- are seen, relative to people who were Nazis or Fascists, is kind of fascinating. On the one hand, the Japanese empire really was involved in unbelievably horrible stuff, consciously and openly- the enslavement of conquered peoples, mass looting, raping, and killing, torture of captives, etc etc etc. On the other hand, it’s easier to handle sort of normal xenophobic nationalistic violence than it is to handle the nightmarish stuff the Nazis (and to a lesser extent the Fascists) were doing, and the philosophy that guided them in doing so.

But at any rate, it’s almost impossible to imagine a version of this movie with an American soldier and a Nazi- one almost doesn’t want to, it’s too dreadful to think about a Nazi soldier’s underlying humanity. And I think if Mifune had been a pilot for the Luftwaffe (and indeed, if Kurosawa and Mizoguchi had been making propaganda for the Nazis rather than the Japanese) American audiences would never have accepted their film work afterwards, or at best only after a tremendously long and arduous process of public shame and self abasement.

Not really sure where I’m going with this, but it is sort of a difficult, interesting issue.

Posted By Jenni : August 8, 2012 11:57 pm

A bit more info for Juana on Mifune. His parents were Methodist missionaries, from Japan, working in China, where he was born. His father had a photography business, and Mifune learned how to photograph too, and during the war, he was a photographer for the Japanese Air Force. After the War, he got a job at Toho studios, to be a cameraman.

Posted By Jenni : August 8, 2012 11:57 pm

A bit more info for Juana on Mifune. His parents were Methodist missionaries, from Japan, working in China, where he was born. His father had a photography business, and Mifune learned how to photograph too, and during the war, he was a photographer for the Japanese Air Force. After the War, he got a job at Toho studios, to be a cameraman.

Posted By Heidi : August 9, 2012 12:35 pm

Well, I think I must have seen the studio ending. I would have liked the other ending, of them splitting ways. I saw the explosion and wondered what happened. SOrry, didn’t type what I was thinking!

Posted By Heidi : August 9, 2012 12:35 pm

Well, I think I must have seen the studio ending. I would have liked the other ending, of them splitting ways. I saw the explosion and wondered what happened. SOrry, didn’t type what I was thinking!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 3:15 pm

Tom, it’s very difficult and complicated stuff indeed. Considering that what the Japanese did in China is among the most awful things done in history, it is hard to separate out differing levels of horror between them and Nazis but with the Nazis you have an overwhelming sense of racism and bigotry that has made its way into a system for gathering up, ghettoizing and exterminating specific groups of people according to ethnicity and/or religious background. It’s the cold, passionate seriousness of the undertaking that takes one’s breath away. It’s the mass scale, the order and business-like conduct of it and the obsession to the point that when the war was going south for them and they had hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men that could fight for them, they chose instead to continue to kill them and siphon off resources to do it instead of channeling them to the war effort. The whole thing is jaw-dropping by every standard.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 3:15 pm

Tom, it’s very difficult and complicated stuff indeed. Considering that what the Japanese did in China is among the most awful things done in history, it is hard to separate out differing levels of horror between them and Nazis but with the Nazis you have an overwhelming sense of racism and bigotry that has made its way into a system for gathering up, ghettoizing and exterminating specific groups of people according to ethnicity and/or religious background. It’s the cold, passionate seriousness of the undertaking that takes one’s breath away. It’s the mass scale, the order and business-like conduct of it and the obsession to the point that when the war was going south for them and they had hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men that could fight for them, they chose instead to continue to kill them and siphon off resources to do it instead of channeling them to the war effort. The whole thing is jaw-dropping by every standard.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks, Jenni.

Heidi, I get what you’re saying, no worries. Almost every copy (if not, in fact, every copy) has the explosion ending. That actual, original ending is only offered up as an extra on the DVD when, I believe, it should be put back on as the actual ending.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks, Jenni.

Heidi, I get what you’re saying, no worries. Almost every copy (if not, in fact, every copy) has the explosion ending. That actual, original ending is only offered up as an extra on the DVD when, I believe, it should be put back on as the actual ending.

Posted By James : August 9, 2012 3:28 pm

Red Sun occasionally turns up on the Encore Western network on cable television (I’ve recorded it but admit with embarrassment I haven’t watched my DVD-R recording yet).

Posted By James : August 9, 2012 3:28 pm

Red Sun occasionally turns up on the Encore Western network on cable television (I’ve recorded it but admit with embarrassment I haven’t watched my DVD-R recording yet).

Posted By swac44 : August 9, 2012 8:15 pm

Love this film, always happy to read more about it. I have the Anchor Bay copy, but would gladly pick up a blu-ray if one ever surfaces.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the “remake” of Hell in the Pacific, set on an alien planet, Enemy Mine with Dennis Quaid and Lou Gossett Jr. under a lot of rubbery makeup. It’s a clever idea, and the leads are great, but I recall it oversells its message about universal brotherhood somewhat. At least it tried to do something different rather than just make the same film over again with diminishing returns.

Posted By swac44 : August 9, 2012 8:15 pm

Love this film, always happy to read more about it. I have the Anchor Bay copy, but would gladly pick up a blu-ray if one ever surfaces.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the “remake” of Hell in the Pacific, set on an alien planet, Enemy Mine with Dennis Quaid and Lou Gossett Jr. under a lot of rubbery makeup. It’s a clever idea, and the leads are great, but I recall it oversells its message about universal brotherhood somewhat. At least it tried to do something different rather than just make the same film over again with diminishing returns.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 8:35 pm

swac, I enjoyed Enemy Mine when I saw it back upon its release and I almost titled this piece, “Enemy Mine: Toshiro and Lee Go Through Hell in the Pacific” but then, no. Too long and complicated. Another difference with Enemy Mine is that they go through, if I recall correctly (it’s been years), their whole lives together, right? They grow old and die together on the asteroid or whatever they both crashed on. I can’t remember now but I would like to see it again now, come to think of it.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 8:35 pm

swac, I enjoyed Enemy Mine when I saw it back upon its release and I almost titled this piece, “Enemy Mine: Toshiro and Lee Go Through Hell in the Pacific” but then, no. Too long and complicated. Another difference with Enemy Mine is that they go through, if I recall correctly (it’s been years), their whole lives together, right? They grow old and die together on the asteroid or whatever they both crashed on. I can’t remember now but I would like to see it again now, come to think of it.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 8:37 pm

James, I’ve still not seen Red Sun myself. No embarrassment necessary for either of us. There are so many classic films, from all nations, that most cinephiles have thousands of films still awaiting them including hundreds of films from, say, the thirties from all over the world that still get discovered and crop up from time to time. I’ll never be done watching and I’ll never see them all. But I’ll try as hard as I can.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 9, 2012 8:37 pm

James, I’ve still not seen Red Sun myself. No embarrassment necessary for either of us. There are so many classic films, from all nations, that most cinephiles have thousands of films still awaiting them including hundreds of films from, say, the thirties from all over the world that still get discovered and crop up from time to time. I’ll never be done watching and I’ll never see them all. But I’ll try as hard as I can.

Posted By Juana Maria : August 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Greg Ferrara:Thanks for writing me back! Yes,I have seen the “Twilight Zone”episode “Two”,of course! It has CHarles Bronson! I’ll watch pretty much anything with Bronson once! And then again I probably mean closer to fifty times! I’ve been a fan of Bronson since I was quite young. I recommend “Red Sun” and I have seen it on AMCtv and on YouTube,but I’m not sure if it was in English when I watched it on YouTube! Oh well,one of the perks of being multi-lingual! I have seen “Enemy Mine”,I have watched a bazillion times on FOX or whatever local channel we’ve got! No, Quaid doesn’t die! The alien and him become friends,Lou Gossett has a baby alien. Lou Gossett dies during childbirth(only in Sci-fi right?)and then Quaid raises the little alien baby. Then later the bad Earth people show up and want to enslave the little alien and Quaid saves the day. The End.
Jenni:Thanks for the info on Mifune!

Posted By Juana Maria : August 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Greg Ferrara:Thanks for writing me back! Yes,I have seen the “Twilight Zone”episode “Two”,of course! It has CHarles Bronson! I’ll watch pretty much anything with Bronson once! And then again I probably mean closer to fifty times! I’ve been a fan of Bronson since I was quite young. I recommend “Red Sun” and I have seen it on AMCtv and on YouTube,but I’m not sure if it was in English when I watched it on YouTube! Oh well,one of the perks of being multi-lingual! I have seen “Enemy Mine”,I have watched a bazillion times on FOX or whatever local channel we’ve got! No, Quaid doesn’t die! The alien and him become friends,Lou Gossett has a baby alien. Lou Gossett dies during childbirth(only in Sci-fi right?)and then Quaid raises the little alien baby. Then later the bad Earth people show up and want to enslave the little alien and Quaid saves the day. The End.
Jenni:Thanks for the info on Mifune!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 10, 2012 5:38 pm

I totally forgot about the baby part! Now I remember it though. I probably won’t get around to renting it again anytime soon but the next time I come across it on tv, I think I’ll watch it again.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : August 10, 2012 5:38 pm

I totally forgot about the baby part! Now I remember it though. I probably won’t get around to renting it again anytime soon but the next time I come across it on tv, I think I’ll watch it again.

Posted By Juana Maria : August 11, 2012 7:03 pm

Geg Ferrara:You do that Greg,”Enemy Mine” is worth seeing again. Thanks for all your articles!! Your amiga,Juana.

Posted By Juana Maria : August 11, 2012 7:03 pm

Geg Ferrara:You do that Greg,”Enemy Mine” is worth seeing again. Thanks for all your articles!! Your amiga,Juana.

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