Follow TV Tropes


Film / Bataan

Go To

Bataanis a 1943 American black-and-white World War II propaganda film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, produced by Irving Starr (with Dore Schary as executive producer), directed by Tay Garnett. Starring Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Thomas Mitchell, and Lloyd Nolan, the film follows a ragtag group of soldiers trying to hold back the Japanese army.

Tropes that appear in this film:

  • Actually, I Am Him: Todd reveals himself as Danny Burns while dying of his wounds.
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: A prop example. The IMFDB page shows that Dane's Colt 1911 pistol is a mocked-up Colt Detective Special revolver.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted; Epps is one of the last soldiers to die.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Salazar is hanged by the Japanese, who leave his body close by for the rest to find.
  • Dig Your Own Grave: Dane in the last minutes of the film.
  • Dwindling Party: The 13 soldiers are picked off one by one over the course of the film.
    • Captain Lassier: Shot by a Japanese sniper.
    • Pvt. Francis X. Matowski: Shot in the head, falling into the ravine.
    • Cpl. Juan Katigbak: Stabbed with a katana.
    • Pvt. Sam Malloy: Mowed down by a Japanese fighter.
    • Pvt. Yankee Salazar: Hung offscreen by Japanese soldiers, with his body left for the other soldiers to find.
    • Pvt. Felix Ramirez: Dies from malaria.
    • Lt. Steve Bentley: Flies his plane into the bridge to destroy it.
    • Pvt. Matthew Hardy: Dies from fever and gunshot wounds.
    • Cpl. Jake Feingold: Shot by Japanese soldiers.
    • Pvt. Wesley Epps: Partially decapitated by a katana.
    • Seaman Leonard Purckett: Shot by a Japanese sniper.
    • Cpl. Barney Todd/Danny Burns: Stabbed by a Japanese soldier.
    • Sgt. Bill Dane: Killed Offscreen by Japanese soldiers.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Malloy manages to shoot down a Japanese fighter before being killed.
  • Advertisement:
  • Faking the Dead: Todd is killed by a Japanese soldier who was pretending to be dead.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Katigbak's corpse isn't shown through the fog. The only part of him that's seen is the katana that killed him.
  • Have We Met?: Dane has a suspicion that Todd is a soldier named Danny Burns, who committed a murder that sullied Dane's reputation. Todd reveals his identity while dying of his wounds.
  • Heroic Suicide: A mortally-wounded Bentley loads his plane up with dynamite and flies it into the bridge, blowing it up.
  • Hold the Line: The entire film is spent trying to keep the Japanese Army from crossing a ravine until General MacArthur can regroup. The last few minutes of the film escalate the situation into a Last Stand, which is taken Up to Eleven with Dane left all alone, digging his grave and firing away while surrounded by the Japanese as the credits roll.
  • Jerkass: Todd is a bully who clashes with everyone.
  • Kill 'Em All: The entire cast of the film is dead by the end of the film.
  • New Meat: Leonard Purckett is a naive, bright-faced seaman (lowest Navy rank).
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: All the soldiers are separated from their commands and put together to stop the Japanese.
  • Rule of Three: The bridge is blown up three times: Once at the beginning, once by Dane and Todd throwing grenades, and a third time with Bentley’s plane.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The final shot of the film is of Dane firing his gun into the camera at offscreen Japanese soldiers.
  • Sergeant Rock: Bill Dane is a tough-as-nails sergeant who steps up as leader.
  • Sole Survivor: Purckett is the only surviving crewman of his ship when it sunk.
  • The Southpaw: Barney Todd, as shown when chucking grenades. This becomes a plot point when Dane thinks he's seen Todd before...
  • Straight for the Commander: Captain Lassier is the first soldier killed.
  • Taps: Purckett wanted to play this at Captain Lassier’s funeral, but Dane tells him no, otherwise the Japanese will start counting how many Americans die.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: There are 13 soldiers who are left to hold the Japanese. None are left by the end of the film.
  • Wartime Wedding: It’s revealed Captain Lassier married a nurse shortly before his death.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Dane breaks one of the rifles he uses during the Final Battle.
  • You Are in Command Now: Dane after Captain Lassier is killed.


Example of: