Sinatra's sole attempt at direction prefigures Boorman's Hell in the Pacific by stranding a World War II planeload of American marines on the same tiny island in the Solomons as a band of marooned survivors from a Japanese battalion. The carefully constructed mood as the two groups warily circle each other - spasmodically clashing in battle, tentatively setting up lines of contact, gradually establishing an all too brief time out of war - is stupidly fractured by two flashbacks obviously designed to provide a love interest; and the anti-war message is naively overplayed. Nevertheless, Sinatra displays great competence as an action director, and a sequence where the Americans attempt to capture a boat laboriously built by the Japanese is beautifully choreographed, ending with a memorable shot of both sides staring in silence as a hand-grenade destroys their only means of escape. Excellent performances, too (with the Japanese mercifully allowed to speak Japanese).
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Twist, Katsuya Susaki|