Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday Film - The Great Raid

Today, we will review "The Great Raid" which is great piece about a direct action raid undertaking in WWII. However, I will forewarn you, this one didn't exactly hit a home run with the Counter Jockey Ladies' Auxiliary.

Pudge writes:

The Great Raid-
I know it seems like all I do is say, “great movie, definitely worth watching” but, I’m going to say it again. I can’t help but pick good movies apparently. I really enjoy reading, watching, or studying about the Pacific Theater during WWII because I don’t think there is as much well-known information about it as there is the European theater.

Even though these are the guys that added the last straw. This movie is about the 6th Ranger Battalion and how they conducted a raid deep in enemy territory to rescue American and Allied prisoners of war. It follows LTC Mucci, the Battalion Commander, and CPT Prince as they plan and conduct the raid to free POWs at Cabanatuan.

From my perspective, I really enjoyed seeing the Alamo Scouts and resistance fighters. I just wished they could have highlighted these guys more. A lot of Special Forces’ begins where right here in the Philippines during this time. Guys that said, piss off, we won’t surrender and headed for the hills to lead their own fight. It is amazing to see what these ‘irregulars’ can do if allowed and how they can perfectly augment a regular Army unit.

I think my favorite part has to be at the beginning when a man on horseback rides up to the headquarters tent and LTC Mucci asks one the guards, “find out who the cowboy is.” This cowboy is a LT that got left three years earlier and had been running resistance fighters quite successfully.

I’m not a big fan of the added romantics but it did introduce us to Margaret Utinsky. She played a huge role in the insurgency’s underground and did her damn best to help the POWs when she could. Did I mention that I like unconventional warfare?!

I watched this movie with my father-in-law who is not only a huge history buff but also a retired girl scout hat wearing card holder. He thoroughly enjoyed the movie as well and stated that the plan portrayed was almost exactly how the plan played out in real life. Always makes me happy when this happens.
One day I’m sure Mack and I will stumble upon a bad movie. But until then, let’s see what Counter Jockey himself has to say.

Mack writes:

So, one of the things I really really liked about this movie was how a critical op was depicted being launched based on time sensitive actionable intel with hasty planning. That happens. And I felt like the film did a good job in showing how the unknowns of such an undertaking can contribute to the burden of command. 

As Pudge mentioned, I really appreciated the showing of the combined Filipino/American Resistance. A lot of good dudes laughed when General Wainwright relayed the surrender order alongside General MacArthur's orders not to resist, promoted themselves, and went into the hills. And they get overlooked by history. Because a guy with five stars on his collar really didn't like being upstaged by a bunch of enlisted guys and junior officers. 

Oh, and the Alamo Scouts are really cool. As is the mention of General Krueger, America's forgotten four star who was also a mustang. General Krueger is ably portrayed by CPT Dale Dye, USMC (ret) whom served as the military adviser on the film. 

Something I remarked on that has born credence from oral histories is how different the uniform and gear of the 6th Ranger BN would have looked to the POWs they liberated. 

Oh, and we're a gun blog!

I think my favorite part of the movie is when some of the Filipino Scouts tear into the Japanese relief force with a water cooler M-1917 .30 cal machine gun. And just keep shooting them. Which is an accurate reflection of both the performance of the weapon and the role for which it was envisioned. 

Probably one of the most important and badass missions in the history of the Rangers. RLTW and all that. 

So, I enjoyed the movie for the most part. It just seemed to drag a little bit. But everyone with an interest in American military history needs to watch it. 

Five out of Six Budweiser long necks. And yes, I just made up a rating system. Thanks for stopping buy. 


  1. Hey Mack and Pudge;

    I watched that movie again on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. It again reminded me why it was such a good movie. I really enjoyed it when I watched it and it showed why they had to launch the raid after another camp burned their POW's in the bunkers alive. The Movie also showed the sacrifices the Philippines made, they never lost faith in the final Victory.
    Try to check out "Wild Geese" btw

  2. Mr. Garabaldi,

    I enjoyed the movie showing how much a resistance movement can do with so little. How it can continue to fight even without overt support. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to watch "Wild Geese."


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