In direct contrast to the flag-waving, jingoistic propaganda films typical of Hollywood during WWII, John Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE is a somber and moving account of America's defeat in the Philippines early in the war. Filming this grim failure, Ford beautifully and poetically captures
the heroism and bravery of the men and women who fought there--and does so without impassioned speechifying or gushing patriotism. Instead, Ford commemorates the quiet and uncomplaining devotion to duty, the will to serve, and the nobility of sacrifice of those left in an untenable situation.
Based on the exploits of Lt. John Bulkeley, commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron No. ...