The Purple Heart

Synopsis: This is the story of the crew of a downed bomber, captured after a run over Tokyo, early in the war. Relates the hardships the men endure while in captivity, and their final humiliation: being tried and convicted as war criminals.
Genre: Drama, History, War
Director(s): Lewis Milestone
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
99 min

(# "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)")

(# "Hail to the Chief")

Ludwig Kruger, Mnchener Abend Zeitung.

Boris Evenik, Bolgarsko Slovo, Sofia.

Peter Voroshevski, Red Star, Moscow.

- Credential not in order. So sorry.

- Not in order. So sorry.

Good morning, Comrade Santos.

Francisco de los Santos,

El Mundo, Buenos Aires.

I am Francisco de los Santos,

El Mundo, Buenos Aires.

Thank you.

Hoffentlich wird's interessant.

Good morning, comrades.

Johanna Hartwig, DNB news agency, Berlin.

Nogato, Toma, Domei, Tokyo.

My name is...

Good morning, Seor Voroshevski.

- Aren't you going to attend the trial?

- No. My credentials are not in order.

- And I wouldn't be surprised if yours aren't.

- Absurd!

Manuel Silva. Dirio de Notcias, Lisbon.

Credentials not in order.

So sorry.

Just a minute. I am an accredited

correspondent the same as the others.

To file complaint,

consult Bureau of Enlightenment.

Is there something you don't want me to see?

What sort of trial is this?

- Why won't they admit them?

- I wonder.

All these precautions, these soldiers...

Is this to be a military trial?

How can it be? This is a civil court.

I can tell better when I see the judges.

"You are invited to represent your newspaper

at a most important hearing

in the Tokyo district court."


I was picked up yesterday by the police,

examined for two hours,

and last night my rooms were searched.

- So were mine.

- And mine.

I knew it when I found

the plumbing was out of order.

You'd think they'd know that I wouldn't plug

my own drainpipe with secret documents.

It happened to all of us.

You should not be offended.

Toma's right. After all,

we must remember that Japan is at war.

General Mitsubi.

Admiral Yamagichi.

Commander of the Imperial Fleet.

(speaks Japanese)

The judges of this court

will now exercise their powers

according to law in the name of the emperor.

Up! Stand!


- Who is it?

- Mitsuru Toyama.

The greatest political power in the empire.

He's the head of the Black Dragon Society.

You have prepared all evidence?

Yes, Excellency.

All witnesses are present?

All witnesses are present.

Have the defendants

brought into the courtroom.

(speaks Japanese)

(# "Army Air Corps Song")

The prisoners will respond as...

Hats off! Hats off!

The prisoners will respond

as their names are called.

Captain Harvey Ross.

Captain Ross.

Lieutenant Kenneth Bayforth.

Lieutenant Bayforth.

Lieutenant Angelo Canelli.

Lieutenant Canelli.

Sergeant Martin Stoner.

Sergeant Stoner.

- Lieutenant Peter Vincent.

- Lieutenant Peter Vincent.

Sergeant Jan Skvoznik.

Sergeant Skvoznik.

Lieutenant Wayne Greenbaum.

Lieutenant Greenbaum.

Sergeant Howard Clinton.

Sergeant Clinton.

You may be seated.

If it isn't asking too much, sir,

we'd like to know what this is about.

- You wish to make inquiries?

- Yes, I do.


- Are we being put on trial?

- That is correct.

- On what charge?

- You will be informed in due time.

Excuse my ignorance, but back home if

we were on trial, we'd be entitled to a lawyer.

You will have adequate counsel

to defend you.

Thank you, sir.

Oh, yeah. We'd appreciate someone

from the Swiss legation or the Red Cross.

Your counsel

has already been appointed by the court.

Itsubi Sakai.

You may have a brief conference

with the defendants.

My name is Sakai. Princeton, class of '31.

My name is Greenbaum.

City College of New York, class of '39.

- Sir, may I say something to the court?

- Go ahead, Greenie. We're all in this together.

Do you mind?

- Your Honour, I object.

- Speak.

I've had some experience with law,

and I know that no civil court in the world

has any jurisdiction over prisoners of war.

I refer you to the Geneva Treaty, and I quote:

"Combatants captured

are entitled to that protection

which their own state

is unable to afford them."

"Their lives, ceasing to be jura publica

under the dominion of belligerency,

have become jura universalia from one point

of view, and jura privata from another."

"Thus, by a double portal,

they re-enter the sphere of normal relations."

"Though separated

from any political community,

they once more belong

to humanity and to themselves."

"And as of their lives, so of their liberties."

"It is of their combatant liberty alone

that belligerency can dispose."

So you see, Your Honour,

you can't try us in a civil court,

and I therefore move the charges

be dismissed, whatever they are.

He's right.

This court has no jurisdiction over them.

The crime of which you are guilty

is a violation of international law.

The emperor's government finds no basis

on which you may seek immunity

under the Articles of War.

The procurator will read the indictment.

"Whereas the defendants have been identified

as members of the armed forces

of the United States of America,

an enemy with which

the Japanese Empire is at war,

and whereas on the 18th day of April

in the year of 1942,

the cities of Tokyo, Yokohama,

Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka

were bombed by enemy aircraft."

"Whereas the above-mentioned members

of the armed forces of the United States,

while bombing the above-mentioned cities,

diverted from military objectives

and dropped bombs

upon non-military installations,

such as schools,

hospitals and temples of worship."

This is false.

"And whereas they flew at low altitudes

and directed machine-gun fire into

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Jerome Cady

Jerome Cady (August 15, 1903 – November 7, 1948) was a Hollywood screenwriter. What promised to be a lucrative and successful career as a film writer - graduating up from Charlie Chan movies in the late 1930s to such well respected war films as Guadalcanal Diary (1943), a successful adaptation of Forever Amber (1947) and the police procedural Call Northside 777 (1948) - came to an abrupt end when he died of a sleeping pill overdose onboard his yacht off Catalina Island in 1948. At the time of his death, he was doing a treatment for a documentary on the Northwest Mounted Police. There was a Masonic funeral service for him. He received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for Wing and a Prayer in 1944. A native of West Virginia, Cady started as a newspaper copy boy. He was later a reporter with the Los Angeles Record, before joining the continuity staff of KECA-KFI, Los Angeles in June 1932. He spent time in New York in the 1930s with Fletcher & Ellis Inc. as its director of radio, returning to Los Angeles in 1936. He joined 20th Century Fox in 1940, having previously been employed at RKO between radio jobs.. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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