HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Beach Red Hell In The PacificBuy this film here.
Year: 1967
Director: Cornel Wilde
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Rip Torn, Burr DeBenning, Patrick Wolfe, Jean Wallace, Jame Sánchez, Dale Ishimoto, Genki Koyama, Gene Blakely, Michael Parsons, Norman Pak, Dewey Stringer, Fred Galang, Hiroshi Kiyama, Michio Hamaza, Linda Albertano
Genre: War
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The war in the Pacific, World War II, and an American troop ship is about to land on the beaches of one of the islands there to storm it and wrestle the control from the Japanese, but among those soldiers there is an understandable nervousness, even a simmering panic in some cases, that they may be about to meet their imminent demise. As if that wasn't enough, their potential final moments may be captured on newsreel film by a very persistent cameraman, but for the Captain, MacDonald (Cornel Wilde), he cannot show any weakness though he desperately misses his wife (Jean Wallace) and she is the only thing keeping him going. Then the island looms up, the landing craft hits the shore, and it’s time to go...

Beach Red was a fairly obscure war movie from the era when such subjects were growing ever more contentious as there was a far more controversial conflict occurring in Vietnam. There was no mention of any of that here, yet it would have been on the minds of everyone who watched it in 1967 since director and star Wilde was presenting the heat of battle in a manner that could not help but make the audience contemplate what it would actually be like to be fighting. As with many a Hollywood Vietnam war flick from then on, this was shot in the American productions-friendly Philippines, so there was another connection to have us ponder whether lives had been wasted in that particular turmoil.

In fact, when Beach Red was released it was not controversial for its parallels with current conflicts, but because it was depicting that with more brutality than had really been much seen on the big screen before, at least in Western movies, with limbs blown off and gory wounds to be confronted with. For that reason, among others, what had become a rather forgotten effort for most of its life between then and the late nineties suddenly became a genuine cult movie, because it had patently influenced two major motion pictures based around the Second World War, Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan from Steven Speilberg. The latter especially featured a lengthy opening that looked very like a template taken from this.

While the Malick had philosophical voiceovers and much the same setting, which though Wilde had adapted from the idiosyncratic novel by Peter Bowman, looked to have been a strong inspiration to the much respected director as well. Indeed, so similar to those two better known works was this that it is now impossible to discuss Wilde's project without making some reference to them both, which was a sign that he may have been premature in being aware of both the populist and arthouse audiences wanted from their war movies, but some very important talents caught up with him eventually. Nevertheless, though a fairly well know movie star, his move into directing didn't exactly set the world on fire when it was initially brought to the world, being regarded as another actor getting ideas above his station.

Yet Wilde was something more than that "but what I really want to do is direct" cliché that afflicts the reaction to stars who went behind the camera, as he had a specific, man of action point of view to his films containing an integrity that spoke to being aware there were situations in this life that were perilous and a huge test of the nerve, but that was what made us human, this ability to face up to these trials and tribulations. In this case, he settled on three characters to sum that up, his Captain persona and the young troops who become fast friends, Egan (Burr DeBenning) and Cliff (Patrick Wolfe); as with much of this, a certain earnestness was present which veered close to corny, despite its tempering from the violence, but with that came sincerity, and you felt Wilde was very compassionate towards not simply the Americans but the Japanese too, as we had their Captain (Dale Ishimoto) reminiscing about his own family as MacDonald did. Rip Torn was probably the biggest name in the cast now, a no-nonsense sergeant, but everyone acquitted themselves well. Maybe not a classic, but it had worth. Music by Antonio Buenaventura (the song Wilde's wife Wallace sings may not be to all tastes, and plants this in the sixties).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1162 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: