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DVD Reviews: They Were Expendable

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 28 June 2003
Distributed by:
Warner Home Entertainment
Running Time: 135 Minutes

Now let’s get one thing straight, with all due respect to the editor, I do not enjoy old movies most of the time.  Whether the viewer sees otherwise is their agenda.  To this reviewer there is not much to be enjoyed from these older films.  Sure there is good humour and interesting action in some parts. This film failed to grab my attention above the threshold of somewhere between bored stiff and just plain bored. 

John Wayne dons his cute little sailor’s outfit and stars in this film as Rusty along with a few other familiar old faces.  It is 1941 and the subject of bombing Pearl Harbour is discussed and the dynamics between the interpersonal relationships amongst the sailors is presented in a tangible yet mundane manner.  Rusty is part of a fleet of smaller and versatile gunboats, which he is not so happy about and ends up staying on them and consequently staying alive.  With the bombing of Pearl Harbour and most ships being destroyed by the Japanese, Rusty plays his role as Commander on the gunboats and does a number of missions.  Like blowing up Japanese destroyers in the dark with torpedoes fired from their boats. 

Apart from the story sounding interesting or “Swell” as the actors love repeating ad nauseam, the entire movie threatens the depression of the stop button on the remote as well as the psyche.  There is a bit of romance between Rusty and Sandy (Donna Reed) done exceptionally poorly, failing to captivate the imagination of the audience…..at all.  

If anyone mentions this movie as being a classic, which it is not I would argue to the end that this is a poor and lifeless piece of cinema that would be most useful for it’s use as a door stop at your mother in laws.  Or it can be used as a frisbee in the park or if you want to award this film as a booby prize on some sort of competition!  Here you go, a old boring, crap, dull, lifeless movie to watch! 

If you do happen to love John Wayne and I do know some people who do then bombs away, get it, watch it and then place it along side your Bee Gee’s collection.  If you are a fan of modern cinema and are a little more progressive, then seeing this film would be a waste of time.

They Were Expendable Features

  • Interactive Menus

  • Scene Access

  • Theatrical Trailer


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