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(aka 'Les Maraudeurs attaquent')
Fuller admitted that he was obsessed by war and that he wouldn't have made war movies unless he'd seen combat (he did, with distinction). This movie plays like a gutsy draft of his cherished project, The Big Red One, and looks as if it could have influenced Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (compare the steady destruction of the entrenched Japanese as the men advance on them). Merrill's men are in Burma on a pitiless mission that we are dragged into emotionally, then almost physically, by Fuller's up-front direction, as we gradually realize its suicidal nature.
Fuller's superb patrol movie - taut, bleak and damning - was a self-confessed 'rehearsal' for his long-gestating The Big Red One, following a World War II American platoon in Burma on a suicidal trek, suffering from what the unit doctor diagnoses as AOE - 'accumulation of everything' - and burdened by madness, exhaustion, and the demonstrable irrationality of their wasted energies. Fuller draws potent ironies from his casting of young cowboy 'heroes' (including Bronco and Tenderfoot), and mobilises his camera in violent sympathy with the men's physical and psychological effort.
Theatrical Release: March 16th, 1962
DVD Review: Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Warner Home Vidéo - Region 2 - PAL|
|Runtime||1:33:57 (4% PAL speedup)|
Average Bitrate: 5.62 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital mono)|
Solid 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer here from Warner Europe - progressive, fairly sharp and few artefacts. Colors look true with no apparent manipulations. There is a slim black border circumventing the frame meaning horizontal resolution is slightly impaired and could have been marginally improved with a tighter transfer, but as it stands it still looks very good overall especially for a single-layered DVD. There are optional French subtitles and an optional French DUB to go along with the original mono English track.
No extras and I'm sad to see PAL DVDs adopting the forced 'Don't Steal' opening advertisement with that annoyingly loud music.
This is another Fuller film that I enjoyed immensely. The director pulls no punches and dialogue like this is 'golden':
Bannister: "Do you know what I'm going to do after the war? I'm going to get married and have six kids. Then I'm going to line them up and tell them what Burma was like. And if they don't cry, I'll beat the hell out of them... "