This absorbing film dramatizes five critical weeks in 1942 when Adm. William Halsey (James Cagney) led the U.S. Navy in a daring campaign against the Japanese that culminated in the American victory at Guadalcanal in the South Pacific. Focusing on the strategic battle of wills between Halsey and his Japanese counterpart, Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto (James T. Goto), this docudrama offers a compelling portrait of a bona fide American hero.
Actor/director/producer. In his early career, from the late ‘20s to the early ’40s, Montgomery was an amiable light comedian and dramatic actor, appearing in almost 40 sound films before 1935. He starred opposite Norma Shearer in Private Lives (1931), Joan Crawford in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937), Carole Lombard in Hitchcock’s comedy Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) and was nominated for an Academy Award for Night Must Fall (1937) and Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941). His career took a more serious turn after his stint in World War II. For his first film after returning, They Were Expendable (1945), Montgomery not only starred but assisted John Ford in the direction. He also starred in and directed the Raymond Chandler detective thriller Lady in the Lake, noted for its unique first-person point of view. His attentions then turned to politics and television. Montgomery gave “friendly” testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and by the mid ’50s was a consultant to Republican… read more
For a film made in 1959, it gives a surprisingly evenhanded portrait of the Japanese military. Certainly not the propaganda I was expecting--there is not a single battle scene in the film! Montgomery treats the Japanese with respect. Cagney is brilliant as always. Certainly not a great film, or even that good of one to be honest, but it deserves at least one fan....so there