American Guerilla in the Philippines

Finally caught Fritz Lang's 1950 American Guerilla in the Philippines, and it's not bad--straightforward storytelling, nice attention to details (how they improvised a radio station from a movie projector, or booby traps out of bamboo, or a telegraph network out of barbed wire and bottles), some good physical acting by Tyrone Power, nice use of Filipino locales--but this is the director of M and Metropolis and you can't help feeling that he isn't quite all there, that he isn't putting as much of him into the film (even Fury or The Ministry of Fear, which I don't consider his best works, are better). And they should have used someone with a real Filipino accent to play Miguel (Tommy Cook).

For a superior World War 2 film set in the Philippines, I'd pick Gerardo de Leon and Eddie Romero's Intramuros: The Gates of Hell anytime--they had a smaller budget and no-name Hollywood stars, but the war scenes are vividly staged, and the film makes full use of the massive walls of Intramuros as a set and onscreen character; the action even manage to thrill you some. Plus de Leon and Romero had the late Fernando Poe Jr.'s Latino punk presence, which blows Power's dark-browed intensity out of the water.

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