The Gallant Hours

1960, Movie, NR, 115 mins

Review

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James Cagney was the perfect choice to play Admiral Halsey. Not only did the actor resemble the naval hero, he became him in this very truthful documentary-style film about the five weeks between October 18 and December 1, 1942. Although Halsey and Japanese Admiral Yamamoto (Goto) admire each other's military expertise, the American has a personal grudge against his Japanese counterpart, and, using superior strategy, Halsey outwits Yamamoto in the battle of Guadalcanal. THE GALLANT HOURS is the story of a great victory, yet there is almost no battle action on-screen. Instead, director Montgomery focuses on the human side of the war, taking the time to show the inner workings of a great leader. The going is a little slow for what was thought to be a "war" movie, but it is this leisurely pace that makes the film all the more believable. Nevertheless, there is a bit too much narration and the personal side of Halsey's life is overlooked, but these are minor complaints given the overall excellence of the film. leave a comment

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