Hell in the Pacific (1968)

Hell in the Pacific (1968)

Director: John Boorman
Starring: Lee Marvin, Toshiro Mifune

An American pilot and a Japanese naval officer find themselves alone on a desert island. If they want to survive, they're going to have to stop fighting and start working together.

Do you like Enemy Mine? Well, this is where it came from, or at very least, it owes a lot to this film. Years ago, I stumbled across it briefly, seeing Toshiro Mifune there on the screen, then Lee Marvin stumble across him and say, "Oh, for a second I thought you were a Jap," to which Mifune simply rolls his eyes. Upon seeing the entire film, I found out that this was actually near the end. There's a lot of scrapping that goes on before the cooperating starts, but just that moment of an American and a Japanese having to work together at the height of the Pacific War stuck in my mind and stoked my imagination. There's an interesting meta level in that both Marvin and Mifune were both actual WWII veterans. I doubt they would've imagine that some twenty years later they'd be acting alongside one of the enemy. This really is a good movie and I love that they leave it unsubbed so that you feel the language barrier. (Not so much in my case as I know Japanese, but for the general audience on either side of the pond, you feel very much in the shoes of the character from your country.) My only problem with the film is the ending. It's like they didn't know what to do with the story and so ended it in about the cheapest way possible. Even so, I highly recommend this film. It's worth seeing.

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