The Great Raid

Synopsis: Set in the Philippines in 1945 towards the end of WWII, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci and Captain Robert Prince, the 6th Ranger Battalion undertake a daring rescue mission against all odds. Traveling thirty miles behind enemy lines, they intend to liberate over 500 American Soldiers from the notorious Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp in the most audacious rescue ever.
Genre: Action, Drama, War
Director(s): John Dahl
Production: Miramax Films
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min


In 1941.

The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

The US fleet was crippled.

Ten hours later. Across the Pacific.

They attacked the Philippines.

Clearing the way for

an overwhelming invasion of the islands.

Radio announcer:
Japan has undertaken

a surprise offense...

US forces.

Including 10.000 Americans

and 60.000 Filipinos.

Pull back to the Bataan Peninsula.

Without a navy to rescue them

and with their backs to the sea.

They're trapped.

Despite promises to the contrary.

President Roosevelt

and his military high command

decide to focus first on Europe.

And on stopping Hitler.

This strategy effectively

seals the fate of the Philippines

and the men trapped on Bataan.

Under orders and against his wishes.

General MacArthur escapes to Australia.

Vowing to return.

After four months

of fighting without supplies.

Starving American and Filipino troops

surrender to the Japanese Imperial Army.

It is the largest single defeat

in the history of the American military.



Unequipped to house or feed

70.000 prisoners of war.

The Japanese take the weakened soldiers

on a brutal 60-mile forced march.

Men who fall out of line

are bayoneted or shot.

15.000 perish on what would become

known as the Bataan Death March.

The surviving POWs

are herded into various camps

at O'Donnell.

Cabanatuan and Palawan.

The Japanese guards.

Who view surrender as a disgrace.

Treat them viciously.

Thousands die from disease.

Starvation and abuse.

By 1944. however.

The tide of battle changes.

With each new victory.

American forces advance on Japan.

And with each new defeat. The

Japanese army becomes more desperate.

Fueled by propaganda. They believe

that the Americans will show no mercy.

The government in Tokyo

encourages these fears.

Convincing its people they must prepare

to defend their country to the death.

On August 1. 1944.

The Tokyo war ministry

releases a memo

dictating the Japanese army's policy

toward prisoners of war.

It reads:

"It is the aim not to allow the escape

of a single one.

"To annihilate them all.

And not leave any traces. "

(Shouts orders in Japanese)

Go! Go, go!



The landing at Lingayen Gulf

was the largest naval operation

ever undertaken in the Pacific.

Over a quarter million troops

came ashore.

Ready for the final push

into the Philippines.

I was a Stanford graduate who'd

entered the service through the R. O. T. C.

I wasn't interested

in being a career soldier.

I just wanted to do my part

and go home to my wife.

I was a captain

with the 6th Ranger battalion.

My commanding officer

was Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci.

(Swing music)

- You in this hand, Lieutenant?

- Thinking about it, Colonel.

Well, if you're thinking about it,

you already lost.

- Want me to give you a better look?

- No, Colonel, I don't want you...

A West Point graduate. Mucci was

one of the most driven men I'd ever met.

He took on what seemed to many

like a hopeless task -

the job of turning a group of raw.

Untested recruits

into a new unit of elite soldiers.

Originally assigned to handle livestock.

They were mostly farm hands

from small towns in rural areas

with little or no combat experience.

First Sergeant, overlays are ready.

Have you seen Colonel Mucci?

Yes, sir.

He's in the Waldorf, playing poker.

Wouldn't interrupt him right now.

I think he's losing.

Ah, for cryin' out loud. Lieutenant Foley,

get me a new deck. This one's unlucky.

When you stick that pipe in your mouth,

I know you're in trouble.

Just you wait,

you smug son of a b*tch.

Colonel, overlays.

Any idea who that is?

- No, sir.

- (Mucci) Corporal of the guard.

- Yes, sir.

- Aliteri, find out who the cowboy is.


We'd spent months training

and had seen very little action.

As far as the army was concerned.

We were nothing more

than the colonel's personal experiment.

Mucci was determined

to prove them wrong.

- General.

- Henry.

You know Colonel White,

and this is Major Lapham.

Major, this is Lieutenant Colonel

Henry Mucci, CO, 6th Ranger battalion.

Major Lapham is a stay-behind

from the Bataan campaign.

He runs guerrilla units here

in north-central Luzon.

Philippine guerrillas have been the primary

source of intel for MacArthur since the fall.

- It's an honor, Major.

- Thank you.

Major Lapham,

tell Colonel Mucci what you told us.

Five miles east

of Cabanatuan City here,

there's a Japanese POW camp holding

about 500 survivors of the death march.

As we advance on this area,

I believe the Japanese will murder

the prisoners rather than release them.

Major Lapham is probably right. There

was an incident in a camp on Palawan.

150 American POWs were herded

into air-raid shelters and burnt alive

on the news that MacArthur had invaded.

Our axis of advance

is headed right for that camp.

Unless we run into

something unexpected,

we're gonna be in Cabanatuan at the

end of the week, and that may be too late.

Horton, what's G2 got to say about this?

Because of our advances, Jap movements

have become increasingly fluid -

retreating at night, hiding during the day

to avoid our aircraft.

What that means is we can't be sure

where the enemy is.

They're only 30 miles

from our front lines.

There's over 30,000 Japanese troops

in that area alone, Colonel.

Henry, you develop a plan

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Carlo Bernard

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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