Directed by John Ford
Starring Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Ward Bond, Jack Holt
If you ask me, and you didn’t, John Ford’s They Were Expendable (1945) is the greatest war movie ever made. It’s inspiring, exciting and heartbreaking — all at the same time. Ford and George Montgomery both served in the Navy (Montgomery on PT Boats), and the picture has a grittiness to it that seems so real it’s uncomfortable at times. And Donna Reed in a t-shirt and ball cap is more stunning than in the nicest dress she ever wore in her TV show. She’s just terrific in this.
Folks, They Were Expendable is as good as movies get. I’m sure Joseph H. August’s cinematography will be stunning in high definition. Thanks to Warner Archive for putting this one together. I can’t recommend it highly enough.