Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ambush Bay (1966)

Director:Ron Winston

Writers: Marve Feinberg, Ib Melchior

Composer: Richard LaSalle

Starring: Hugh O'Brian, Mickey Rooney, James Mitchum, Peter Masterson, Hary Lauter, Gregg Amsterdam, Jim Anauo, Tony Smith, Clem Stadler, Amado Abello, Juris Sulit, Max Quismundo, Bruno Punzalan, Tisa Chang, Buff Fernandez, Joaquin Fajardo, Limbo Lagdameo, Nonong Arceo

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Their top secret mission paved the way for the man who said "I Shall Return!"

Plot: A Marine unit on a Japanese-held island in the Philippines tries to hook up with local Filipino guerrillas.

My rating: 4.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

It looks good, that's about it.  I'm surprised it's not better.  The pacing is slow, and I can dig it when the film calls for it or it's an interesting picture, but the drag isn't because it's necessary; it's just plain slow.  Most everything about it is mediocre.  The acting is sometimes stilted, leaving me wondering if one more take or two couldn't have gotten a better line reading but there's enough of it that makes me think otherwise.  It's neat seeing Mickey Rooney as a combat soldier and he acts his butt off (as per usual) but he's delivering some of his lines in the best tradition of a 1940s gung-ho picture made to boost the morale of the American people and her soldiers.  I'm not sure how dated that kind of dialogue was in 1966 but, in this film, it only sometimes works.  Don't get me wrong, I love that kind of dialogue when it's in those 1940s pictures or when it works with the film no matter what year.  The music even feels like it's a romantic war film with the lush strings.  I wanted to like this film more but it didn't happen.  My scale, by the way, is such that a 5/10 is obviously right down the middle, an 'OK' at best film.  Anything below that caused me boredom.  The more I look at how much longer is left, the lower it is.  This is one of the lesser major studio 1960s WWII pictures.  You're better of looking elsewhere.  The MGM DVD looks great.  It's got the fullscreen and widescreen (not anamorphic) versions along with the film's trailer as the sole extra.

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