Two World War II-themed films are combined on this collection.
BATAAN: A group of doomed Americans and Filipinos hold a bridge against invading Japanese. Supposedly based on a true incident, over-the-top patriotism made it a Hollywood blockbuster of the war era, despite a pretty fake-looking jungle.
BACK TO BATAAN: In BACK TO BATAAN, John Wayne plays Colonel Joe Madden, a rough tough officer serving under General MacArthur during the Second World War. When American forces are forced to pull out of Bataan, Madden volunteers to stay behind and organize the Filipino residents into a top flight guerilla force that will keep the Japanese on edge until MacArthur's promised return. There's some romance amid the suspense and sweaty action as an attractive Manila resistance liason (Fely Franquelli) falls for Wayne's second-in-command, Captain Andres Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn), an earnest fighter trying to live up to his folk hero father's reputation. Madden, however, is to busy for women, preferring to spend his time communicating by radio to his valiant men as they count the boats and plant the mines.
The Duke is nicely understated in this atypical role, a nice counterbalance to costar Quinn's typically impassioned performance. War film buffs should enjoy the film's appealing blend of action, nail-biting suspense, and jingoistic patriotism. Director Edward Dmytryk would later go on to direct THE CAINE MUTINY and THE YOUNG LIONS.