Merrill's Marauders


Adventure / Drama / War

IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1,889


Downloaded times
March 21, 2020



Claude Akins as Sgt. Kolowicz
Jeff Chandler as Opening Narrator
John Hoyt as Count Steiken
Will Hutchins as Chowhound
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
901.88 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
98 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.63 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
98 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by silverscreen888 8 / 10 / 10

Gritty, Mostly-Authentic War Film; Jeff Chandler's Last; Powerful

Myitkyina, pronounced "Mitchinah"--remember the name. this is the objective in this gritty, tough-minded, mostly-authentic and unforgettable war movie. There is little Hollywood gilt about the film, as many viewers have noted; it was not made to be thrilling, event-filled or filled with speeches. Its theme is the limits men have, and how approaching or exceeding such limits of mind, body and emotions can affect men in an emergency or wartime situation--in this case the volunteers of Frank D. Merrill's unit in world War II fighting in the jungles of Burma.The unit is first discovered in the midst of a nasty and fatiguing jungle combat with Japanese soldiers; credit, as several reviewers have noted, is given to the brave British troops are carrying the main battle. But this unit has a single mission--to take Myitkyina, crawling there over mountains and through malarial jungles, fighting fierce opposition all the way. Not your average war film, this is the dramatic story of men in combat told by a man who had been there, and whose films are always short on gimmicks and long on the demand for courage--and made about the man who can answer that call the best. Writer-director Samuel Fuller used other writers, notable Charlton Ogburn III and Milton Sperling, but the main part of this late war film is his own. Jeff Chandler, wearing steel-rimmed glasses, played Brigadier General Merrill . He had died of a botched operation in hospital by the time the film was out, at the end of an illustrious career than should have had many more years to run. This is an award caliber performance in any year. As his second, there is Ty Hardin, good enough in the best role of his career as a strong young soldier. Andrew Duggan narrates and plays the unit's doctor with his usual skill; others in the nearly-all-male cast include dependable Claude Akins, Peter Brown, Will Hutchins, John Hoyt as General Stilwell, and Pancho Magalona. William Clothier gets the credit for the very atmospheric outdoor cinematography, and Howard Jackson for the music, which used additional older works by Max Steiner and Franz Waxman. There are prettier war films, and films about war with a more of a varied choice of scenes. But this Spartan production is among the most harrowing looks at the harsh realities of war ever put onto the screen. "They took Myitkyina", says the narrator simply at the end; cue the closing music. Some few films tell us what men are capable of achieving by showing them being tested to the limit. This films tells us that there were men once in British and United States uniforms who passed a severe test with flying colors. And that is quite a lot for any film to accomplish, especially one as engrossing as is this unrelenting narrative of combat.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10 / 10

Jeff Chandler's Sad Farewell

Just as Clark Gable died from the strain of doing those roping scenes with wild horses in The Misfits, Jeff Chandler died because of the work required in the Phillipines location for Merrill's Marauders. What a terrible tragedy and a terrible waste at the same time. The story of Jeff Chandler's death could almost be the subject of a black comedy. He was injured while participating in a pick up baseball game among the cast and crew. According to Marilyn Kirk's biography of him, while playing first base he stretched for a throw to his position and pulled his back out. With about six weeks of shooting left and not wanting to either run up the cost while on hiatus or having the film shelved altogether, Chandler continued in pain as his back got worse and worse. When the film wrapped he went for a needed operation and that was botched. Chandler had just finally got free of his Universal contract and had signed a multi-picture deal with Warner Brothers of which Merrill's Marauders was to be the first. It was an important film to him. Maybe under other circumstances, he might have tended to health issues first. Too bad he didn't live to see it because as Brigadier General Frank Merrill he gives one of his best screen performances. In fact in a crazy way the pain he was enduring in real life probably helped his performance because Chandler in the film is supposed to be under a physical and mental strain. Merrill's Marauders was a picked group of GIs from the Pacific Theater who were on a volunteer mission to be a part of the retaking of Burma. The bulk of the fighting done in the China-Burma-India Theater was done by British and Commonwealth forces. The Commander of the Theater was Lord Louis Mountbatten, but the military genius over all was a very unsung British hero named General William Slim. Joseph Stilwell, the American General in China, is played here by John Hoyt. Stilwell may have been Merrill's commander, but Slim was running the show. Warner Brothers provided a trio of their TV cowboys, Ty Hardin, Peter Brown and Will Hutchins in support of Chandler. And he got good support from Claude Akins and Andrew Duggan as well. Merrill's Marauders is a fine film, but I'm not sure it was worth Jeff Chandler's life.

Reviewed by slokes 6 / 10 / 10

Gut Check Theater

Though a war movie, "Merrill's Marauders" makes its deepest impressions in the scenes between the battles. As a unit of exhausted American soldiers claw their way along a rocky slope, one falls to a screaming death. The others pause a moment to watch, then resume climbing. At one village, a boy gives a crusty sergeant played by Claude Akins a bowl of rice. The sergeant tries to smile, only to break down instead. "When you lead, you have to hurt people," General Merrill (Jeff Chandler) tells his prize officer "Stock" (Ty Hardin). "The enemy, and sometimes your own." Sam Fuller was a war vet as well as a director. In making his war films, he struggled to keep it real while at the same time delivering popular entertainment. "Merrill's Marauders" leans too much in the latter direction, with hokey battle scenes and gung-ho narration. But Chandler and Hardin provide sympathetic rooting interests. The cinematography by William Clothier captures riverine landscapes in all their harsh and wild beauty. The real story of the 5307th Composite Unit and its role in retaking Burma provides a solid backdrop for Fuller's cold view of war and its human toll. Of the 3,000 troops that started out, only 100 remained standing at the end, typhus and Japanese taking equal measure of the rest. Merrill's decision to press forward ("If they've got a single ounce of strength left, they can fight!") is portrayed as a cruel necessity, this much softened from the real GI take on Merrill's boss, Vinegar Joe Stilwell. Stilwell was roundly hated by the Marauders for pushing his boys too hard. This is something we don't see here. Cooperation with the U.S. military required some futzing on Fuller's part, which he did in hopes of following it with a pet project regarding his own World War II experience that would only emerge 18 years later: "The Big Red One". The battle scenes feel forced and phony. Fuller himself would complain nobody dies in war as neatly as in movies, and you see that a lot here. A perversely favorite moment for me is when a soldier named "Bullseye" shoots a Japanese soldier off of a watchtower. The soldier starts to fall, then pauses, grabs a baluster, and performs a neat tuck-and-roll in the direction of an offscreen mat. The one battle scene that works, even with the inane fanfare scoring that is this film's single worst element, is a fight through a maze-like warren of train-support blocks at the railhead town of Shaduzup. Japanese and American soldiers appear and fall in random, endless waves. I don't think soldiers in World War II really called each other "knothead", but moments like those at Shaduzup really connect and help to pull this film over the finish line - however raggedly. Though probably a bit too rah-rah for Fuller's fans, "Merrill's Marauders" packs a punch and some moments of affecting surprise.

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