Review: ‘Wake Island’

The heroic defense of Wake Island in December 1941 by some 385 US marines has not only been reproduced as a screen feature almost minutely faithful to the facts but without stooping to cheapness in any way.

The heroic defense of Wake Island in December 1941 by some 385 US marines has not only been reproduced as a screen feature almost minutely faithful to the facts but without stooping to cheapness in any way.

Wake Island makes it clear those men didn’t fight and die in vain. True, the Japs took Wake, but the Marines took the Japs for at least four warships and hundreds of men.

Brian Donlevy is excellent as the ever-going and unexcitable major who commanded the post, while coming nearest to stealing personal glory away from the story itself are Robert Preston and William Bendix as a kind of Quirt and Flagg combination. Albert Dekker overdoes things just a bit as a tough construction superintendent, while Macdonald Carey shows fine restraint as a flier who is trying to even the score for the death of his wife in the Pearl Harbor attack.

Par obtained a very faithful reproduction of Wake on the shores of the Salton Sea in the California desert. It has all the desolateness of the real thing.

1942: Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Supp. Actor (William Bendix), Original Screenplay

Wake Island

Production

Paramount. Director John Farrow; Producer Joseph Sistrom; Screenplay W.R. Burnett, Frank Butler; Camera Theodor Sparkuhl; Editor LeRoy Stone; Music David Buttolph

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Brian Donlevy Robert Preston Macdonald Carey Albert Dekker Barbara Britton William Bendix
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading