“Bataan (MGM's answer to Paramount's Wake Island) is a tense, tragic, compelling film about 13 Americans fighting a suicidal rearguard action to delay the Japanese offensive on the Philippine peninsula and allow the retreating Allied forces to make good their escape. Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Nolan and Barry Nelson are present in typically stereotyped roles - a Jew, an Italian, a Pole, a WASP, even a black man (a rarity during the '40s). The New York Times found the performances spotty, but cited the film as ‘a harrowing picture... a surprisingly credible conception of that terrible experience... a picture about war in true and ugly detail.'”

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