The Great Raid
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|The Great Raid|
|Directed by||John Dahl|
|Produced by||Lawrence Bender|
|Written by||Carlo Bernard|
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
|Cinematography||Peter Menzies Jr.|
|Edited by||Scott Chestnut|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Running time||132 minutes|
The Great Raid is a 2005 war film about the Raid at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines during World War II. It is directed by John Dahland stars Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Fiennes, James Franco, Connie Nielsen, Motoki Kobayashi and Cesar Montano. The principal photography took place from July 4, to November 6, 2002, but its release was delayed several times from the original target of fall 2003. The film is adapted from two books,William Breuer's The Great Raid on Cabanatuan and Hampton Sides' Ghost Soldiers.
The film opened in theaters across the United States on August 12, 2005, three days before the 60th anniversary of V-J Day.
The real-life efforts of Filipino guerrillas are also specifically highlighted, especially a stand at a bridge that delayed Japanese reinforcements. These units fought alongside Americans against Japanese occupiers during the war.
In 1944, American forces were closing in on the Japanese-occupied Philippines. The Japanese held around 500 American prisoners who had survived the Bataan Death March in a notorious POW camp at Cabanatuanand subjected them to brutal treatment and summary execution. Many prisoners were also stricken with malaria.
The film opens with the massacre of prisoners of war on Palawan by theKempeitai, the Imperial Japanese military's secret police (though factually, it was committed by the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army).
Meanwhile at Lingayen Gulf, the 6th Ranger Battalion under Lt. Col Mucci is ordered by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger to liberate all of the POWs at Cabanatuan prison camp before they are killed by the Japanese. The film chronicles the efforts of the Rangers, Alamo Scouts from the 6th Army and Filipino guerrillas as they undertake the Raid at Cabanatuan.
Throughout the film, the viewpoint switches between the POWs at Cabanatuan, the Rangers, the Filipino resistance and the Japanese.
In particular, the film covers the resistance work undertaken by nurse Margaret Utinsky, who smuggled medicine into the POW camps. The Kempeitai arrested her and sent her to Fort Santiago prison. She was eventually released, but spent six weeks recovering from gangrene as a result of injuries sustained from beatings.