Wake Island


(out of 5)

Fact-based account of the American servicemen stationed on Wake Island, a small oasis in the Pacific ocean.  The soldiers are barely kept in line by their commander () while a private contractor () ignores army protocol to carry out his building project, but all differences are put aside when the events of Pearl Harbour happen and the island’s inhabitants must prepare for attack.  A devastating assault by air is followed by the approach of Japanese battleships and the brave American soldiers hold their ground as long as they can, with hope growing dimmer as the body count piles up and more buildigns are turned to rubble.  John Farrow directed this efficient and intelligent war drama that features a wonderful cast (including a funny but not distracting as the stock Brooklyn Joe type) and gorgeous tropical locales as background for the ugliness of battle.  The enemy is, not surprisingly for a movie made so soon after the fact, presented with very little nuance; it would take until 1970’s Tora Tora Tora for anyone to look at the big picture in a major Hollywood film).

USA, 1942

Directed by

Screenplay by ,

Cinematography by ,

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by ,

Film Editing by ,

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (William Bendix as “Smacksie Randall”)
Best Directing (John Farrow)
Outstanding Motion Picture (Paramount)
Best Writing (Original Screenplay) (W.R. Burnett, Frank Butler)

National Board of Review Award
Top Ten Films

New York Film Critics Award
Best Director (John Farrow)

Best Film
Best Actor (Brian Donlevy)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s