Synopsis: On a Japanese-occupied island during World War II, only two soldiers remain alive after a mission attempt goes horribly wrong. Trapped on the island, they must escort a scientist and his daughter to the other side of the island where their ship awaits. They must battle nature, hard terrain, and advancing Japanese troops.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Stuart Heisler
Production: United Artists
90 min

Put those away.

They'll smell those

all the way to Tokyo.

Twenty-five years in the Marine Corps

to breed that voice of command.

Twenty-six years, son.

And still learning.

Yeah, I knew some of the guys

you practiced on.

You fellas.

Always kiddin'!

Major Scott wants

to see you, Sarge.

Look, old-timer, don't call him Major,

and don't call me Sarge.

We got trouble enough

without you pointing us out to the Nips.

Ain't one war

enough for you, Reynolds?

He won't fight.

We had one like that

in our football team.

They never fight when they know

you know about 'em.

Happy Times Three, this is control.

Report. Over.

Control, this is Happy Times Three.

In position. Ready to go. Over.

We scrimmage at 1100, number Three.

Happy Times. Control out.

All five platoons

are in position and ready to jump.

Think we can manage

to sound like a division?

Thought you said

I wasn't gonna go.

You're not.

If that decision has anything

to do with Guadalcanal...

Fletcher, in this business,

it seems to me very little has

anything to do with anything else.

Orders for your assignment came down

from intelligence in Australia.

Wanna tell me now?

It's a big walk.

You, Burke, Biggerman, Reynolds.

Whatever it is,

I don't need Reynolds.

Burke, Biggerman, and Reynolds

came out of your Guadalcanal outfit.

They know their business.

- Look, I don't-

- You look.

Ever since that Guadalcanal mess,

you've been waiting for somebody

to pat you on the shoulder

and say, "That's all right. "

That isn't gonna happen.

You're a regular Marine and a non-com.

Fight your own battles inside and out,

but don't bring me personal troubles

when I give you an order.

Yes, sir.

All right, Fletch.

Let's talk to your men.


Save your legs.

This isn't for scuttle-butt.

What you're going to hear

you keep to yourselves. Understood?

You are now here.

Thirty miles...

from the Island of Bougainville.

For your information,

in three days,

Bougainville is going to be the target

of a full-scale assault.

That's the reason

for this diversionary action.

We've got six

small raiding parties here.

If each raiding party can manage

to be in ten places at once,

maybe we can draw down some of

the Japanese troops from Bougainville.

All that is point number one.

Point number two concerns you...

and only you.

Before the Japs moved in,

a French planter lived here.

His name was Bouchard.

Mark that.

A few days ago,

somebody calling himself Bouchard

radioed a message from this island.

He sent us the layout of

the Jap minefields around Bougainville.

Your job is to find out

if that message is fact or fiction.

If the message was legitimate,

the invasion convoy can act on it-

save a lot of lives.

But if it's a trap...

...God help the men

in those ships.

Why wouldn't it be legitimate?

A radio operator reads code,

not people's minds.

Maybe the guy

who signed himself Bouchard

is really Sisahamshi Bushahashi.

Maybe Bouchard is dead.

What if he is dead?

Then maybe the Japs

will be expecting you.

These are things I don't know.

But I know this.

Unless that message

is nailed down and verified,

the convoy will follow

its original plan of attack.

The slide rule boys figure

that with good luck

we'll only lose 18%

of the fleet in the Jap minefields.

That's a lot of dead men.

But it's better than being sucked

into a trap and losing the whole works.

So, unless I get

the high sign from you...

...count on 18% casualties

before they even hit the beach.

But if it was Bouchard who sent

that message, and he told us the truth...

...they'll sail in

without losing a man.

Well, that's it.

Where do we look?

Our position is here,

right on this knoll.

There's the river,

the draw of the jungle,

that's the main ridge

of the island.

That's your river.

There's the draw.

Beyond that the jungle.

There's the main ridge

of the island.

Bouchard's plantation is-or was-

on the other side of that ridge.

And if we find him?

You've got your walkie-talkie.

Let us know, and we'll

pass the word on to the convoy.

Code name is Happy Times.

After you find him-

if you find him-

all groups will rendezvous

at 0600 hours.

Supposing we're late, Major...


There's only one pickup.

The navy isn't running a shuttle bus.

In or out, up to you.

In just about an hour,

our gangs will start looking for trouble.

After that, the Japs will be hunting

for all of us, so you'd better get started.

It's important.

"Happy times"?

Happy, happy.

I reckon we'd better get ready

to go find this Bouchard.

One thing-

why did you pick me?

Scott's orders.

Like a happy Sunday in Tokyo.

We've got a different job.

Our job is Bouchard.

Let Scott and his men

make the noise.

How do we get

by this here beach party?

Circle 'em low and fast.

Somebody pitched the first ball!

If that tank gets into action,

it'll cut our Marines to pieces.

Biggerman, if we give you a cover,

do you think you can drop a grenade

down the turret of that tank?

I reckon.


I thought you said

we had a different job.

Things change.

- We should've taken 'em at the river.

- He didn't want you to get your feet wet.

The Japs'll...

...get to a radio.

They're lookin' for us.

The way he died...

Why did he have to die that way?

The grenade made it fast.


He was burned to death!

Some day we'll have

a nice, long talk about it.

You said the Nips weren't our job.

You made him die!

Shut up!

Ask him.

Ask him why he changed his mind.

Yeah, Fletch.

Why did you change your mind?

I called the turn as best I could.

Like the canal?

You don't belong in this war.

You oughtta be making pins

for hand grenades!


Maybe you're right.

But right now

we're looking for Bouchard.

We don't even know

where we are, Fletch.

We'd better find out before night.

Scott said Bouchard's plantation

was on the other side of that main ridge.

It's crazy.

If there is a plantation,

if he's there, if he's alive. If! If!

If Bouchard's alive, he'd have had food

and ammunition when the Japs came in.

He'd have had to hide it.

He couldn't have taken it very far.

Let's find that ridge.

- Better let me handle-

- Never mind!

I'm not that old.

All around us.

Wait, wait.

It's our only chance.


Fletcher. The scorpion...

The grenade hole.

Finish it.

I just couldn't stand it-even on Burke.

I thought it was gonna sting.

Finish the hole.


What are we doing here?

Why don't we get going?

Because soon we'd be dead.

They'll stay there a while,

try again later.

Sure. On roller skates.

What did all those years in the Marines

do to you-burn your nerves out?


Maybe we gave them the slip.

Maybe they won't come.

They'll come.


Just because you were afraid

back there in the jungle...

...because you were crazy afraid... reason to call yourself a coward.

Sure. Now you can become

a member of the clay pigeon club.

Not clay pigeons, Sonny.

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