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Hell in the Pacific

Intriguing but finally dissatisfying movie in which Marvin and Mifune repeatedly get into macho standoffs as a US Marine pilot and a Japanese naval officer stranded together on a desert island during World War II. Boorman makes the most of a limited situation through strong performances and dramatically employed scope compositions, but it gradually descends into woolly allegory. Obviously on the principle that something was lacking, the British release prints were saddled with an ending in which a bomb from the skies literally blew everything apart. In Boorman's original, rather more acerbic ending, after the two men get happily drunk together, having just discovered civilisation (an abandoned military camp, with stocks of food, cigarettes and drink) they simply walk angrily off in opposite directions, their enmity rewakened by photographs of the war in an old magazine.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Boorman
Screenwriter: Alexander Jacobs, Eric Bercovici
Cast: Lee Marvin
Toshiro Mifune
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