Corregidore (March 29, 1943)
Released on March 29, 1943: A Doctor and his Doctor wife are working in the Phillipines when the Japanese attack, and are fought by courageous American and Phillipine soldiers.
Directed by William Nigh
Written by Doris Malloy, Edgar G. Ulmer and George Wellington Pardy
The Actors: Otto Kruger (Doctor Jan Stockman), Elissa Landi (Dr. Royce Lee-Stockman), Donald Woods (Dr. Michael), Frank Jenks (Sergeant Mahoney), Rick Vallin (Corporal Pinky Mason), Wanda McKay (nurse Jan 'Hey-Dutch' Van Dornen), Ian Keith (Captain Morris), Ted Hecht (platoon Lieutenant), Charles Jordan (Bronx), Frank Jaquet ( the Priest), I. Stanford Jolley (agitated soldier at barricade), John Grant (calm soldier at barricade), Ruby Dandridge (Hyacinth), Alfred Noyes (Hyacinth).
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As I write this I live in Niles, Ohio, a small town between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio. Downtown there is a memorial library and museum to our 25th President, William McKinley, who was born in a house about a block from the library, and who attended school briefly at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He was the U.S. President from 1897 till 1901 when he was assassinated while greeting people in Buffalo, New York. It was during his time in office that America began its relationship with the Phillipines, where our movie today takes us. In 1898 Americans were hearing stories about Cubans and Americans living in Cuba that were being persecuted by the Spanish. At that time Spain ruled Cuba, the Phillipines, Guam and Puerto Rico, among other countries in this age when big countries colonized smaller countries to control and benefit from the trade between them. At this time McKinley's Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, advised that America should battle Spain for control of Cuba and other Spanish held lands near our coast. In preparation for a possible war, McKinley had Commodore George Dewey establish our American Asiatic Squadron in Hong Kong, to be near the Spanish controlled Phillipines if necessary. With our victory over Spain in the war that soon broke out, America got possession of Cuba, the Phillipines, Guam and Puerto Rico. McKinley appointed fellow Ohio Republican politician and future President William Howard Taft as the first American Governor of the Phillipines. In 1946 after the end of WWII the Phillipines became an independent nation, but our movie today tells of the Japanese invasion during the Second World War, and the American and Phillipine response.
Our movie opens with beautiful Dr. Royce Lee arriving at the remote Phillipine outpost where Dr. Jan Stockman operates a medical clinic. Soon she entices Dr. Stockman into marrying her, if with reservations. It seems that beautiful Dr. Lee loved Dr. Michael when the three of them were doctors together in the States, but for some reason Dr. Michael dumped Dr. Lee like a hot potato. So Dr. Stockman gets her on the rebound. All looks good for them until the Japanese bomb the outpost and Japanese soldiers start chasing them across the island towards Manilla. The couple hooks up with a handful of American soldiers also heading through the jungle towards Mailla, and they make the treacherous journey together. Once in Manilla, the doctor husband and wife join forces with the army there and serve in the hospital that is tending to the war casualties. Of course, who is already there working in the hospital? Yup, you guessed it. Dr. Michael, who dumped Dr. Lee many years ago. And she obviously is still in love with him and hurt by his lack of love back to her. But the war rages on, with this sub-plot love triangle for diversion.
When you are ready for a good war movie with a nice love plot twisted around it, pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn, drizzle it with plenty of warm, melted butter and enjoy a good war movie about the lives, loves and losses of these American and Phillipine soldiers as they battle the terror of the Japanese attack on the Phillipines at the beginning of the Second World War.