Follow TV Tropes


Film / We've Never Been Licked

Go To

A 1943 American World War II propaganda film directed by John Rawlins and starring Richard Quine.

Brad Craig, an American living in the Philippines, enrolls at Texas A&M University, hoping to study agriculture so that he can apply that education to improving life in the Philippine Islands, which he calls home. The first two friends he meets at A&M are a pair of Japanese students, who turn out to be spies. He is suspected of being a spy because of his association with the Japanese students, and ends up joining their spy ring, hoping to sabotage it from inside. Finally, he ends up as a Tokyo Rose-style Japanese propaganda broadcaster, who somehow finds himself broadcasting from the back seat of a Japanese plane during the Battle of Midway. He wrests control of the plane at a key moment in the battle, and crashes it into the Japanese flagship to prevent it from launching planes to intercept a squadron of American planes led by one of his classmates from Texas A&M.


This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • California Doubling - Surprisingly averted. It was shot in College Station, Texas. However, so much the university has changed that it's difficult to identify where exactly films were shot.
  • Call to Agriculture - The protagonist's motivation to enroll at Texas A&M University.
  • Military Academy / Military School - Texas A&M University, which at the time required all male students (the only female students allowed were family members of the faculty) to join the Corps of Cadets, an officer training program.
  • Fake Defector - Brad, which leads to...
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Brad is riding in the back seat of a Japanese plane at Midway, to report on the battle as a Japanese propagandist. He seizes control of the plane and crashes into the flight deck of a Japanese carrier, wreaking havoc at a key moment of the battle.
  • Advertisement:
  • Redemption Equals Death - Brad
  • Serious Business - The traditions of Texas A&M University, including letting the mascot dog First Lady Of Aggieland, Reveille, sleep in his bed because that was the bunk she decided to lay down on. Truth in Television in large part.
  • The Mountains of Illinois - Almost. This being College Station, Texas, there are no rolling hills and cliffs where they practiced with horses, or even basements in homes for that matter. However, there are hills just west of town near Highway 47, and some of the older homes near campus had basements...however, the railroad scene was almost certainly filmed with stock footage.
  • Yellow Peril - A rare double subversion. This being a wartime propaganda film involving the Pacific Campaign of World War II, the few Japanese characters who appear of course turn out to be spies.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit - After being accused of being a spy, Brad defects to the Japanese with the intent of sabotaging their war effort from inside. For this to work, everybody had to think he was a traitor.