Corregidor  (1943)

 

 

Director:    William Nigh.

Starring:    Otto Kruger (Dr. Jan Stockman),  Elissa Landi (Dr. Royce Lee Stockman),  Donald Woods (Dr. Michael),  Frank Jenks (Sgt. Mahoney),  Rick Vallin (Cpl. Pinky Mason),  Wanda McKay  (Nurse Jane 'Hey-Dutch' Van Dornen),  Ian Keith (Capt. Morris),  Ted Hecht (Platoon lieutenant),  Charles Jordan (Bronx),  Frank Jaquet (Priest),  I. Stanford Jolley (Agitated soldier at barricade),  John Grant (Calm soldier at barricade),  Ruby Dandridge (Hyacinth). 

The Japanese attacked the Philippines about the time they attacked Pearl Harbor.  This story deals with the American and Filipino troops trying to hold off the Japanese attack within a film about a doctor and his staff on the Philippines.

 

Poor movie. Poor quality picture, at least on my DVD.  Very little actual history; more an excuse to praise the defenders of Corregidor.   And the story is also poor.  The movies starts on Manoi, Philippine Islands, December 6, 1941.  Dr. Jan Stockman who is doing research on the disease beri-beri is surprised by the appearance of Royce, the woman he once loved (and still does).  Apparently she has been wooing the doctor for some six years. 

The problem is that Jan does not trust Royce.  He is sure that she still loves Michael, who is now available since his wife died three years ago and he is still working in the Philippines. But Royce keeps working on him until he gives in to her and they marry.

Soon after the marriage ceremony itself, the Japanese bomb the clinic in their invasion of the Philippines.  Jan and Royce head for Manila.  They are attacked by a group of Japanese, but are saved by a group of "left-over" American and Philippine soldiers. 

By boat they travel to Corregidor where their medical skills come in handy for the besieged fortress.  Michael suddenly appears as he is also working as a doctor at Corregidor.  This depresses Jan and he decides to play the martyr and step out of the way of Michael and Royce to get together and be happy.  But Royce protests that she loves Jan, not Michael.  The problem is, do we trust Royce?  Do we trust Michael?  And is Jan going to be an ass the whole time?

I just don't like the adultery theme unless the adulterers are punished or one of the partners is just hopelessly cruel.  But Jan is a good guy, just stupid.  I did not like the love story.  There is a side love story in addition, but it is not enough to compensate for the main adulterous situation.  You can forget this movie.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


Historical Background:

 

Corregidor is a tadpole-shaped island in the entrance of Manila Bay in the Philippines. It was also known as "The Rock", because of its rocky nature and its fortifications. 

1898  --  General Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent of Spain.   The United States, involved in the Spanish-American War, laid claim to the Philippines.

1899 (February 4)  --  the Filipino-American War began when an American soldier shot a Filipino soldier who was crossing a bridge into American-occupied territory in San Juan del Monte

1899--  American victory at the Battle of Manila. 

1900  --  Aguinaldo ordered his army to engage in guerrilla warfare. 

1901  --  the Americans established an occupation government in the Philippines.

1913  --  the guerrilla war subsided when President Woodrow Wilson designated the transition to full independence for the Philippines.

1916  --  the Muslim Filipinos in the south continued to resist, in the Moro Rebellion, finally finished their resistance to American rule.  In all the Americans lost 4,324 dead and 2,818 wounded, while the Filipinos suffered 20,000 dead.  (The civilian deaths have been estimated from 250,000 to 1,000,000.)

1935  --  establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.  MacArthur was present at the ceremonies as a military adviser to supervise the creation of a Philippine Army.  

1935  --  The Philippine National Assembly passed the National Defense Act of 1935 to create an independent Philippine Army.  Fort Mills on Corregidor was used for coastal artillery training. 

1937  --  MacArthur retired from the U.S. Army; President Quezon of the Philippines named him a Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.

1941 (July)  --  for fear of an impending war with Japan, MacArthur was recalled to active duty and named commander of  the United States Army Forces Far East based in Manila. 

1941-42  --  General Douglas MacArthur used Corregidor as Allied headquarters in the Philippines. 

1942 (March)  --  Gen. MacArthur left the Philippines for Australia.  The men on Corregidor fought on by themselves.

1942 (May 6)  --  the fall of Corregidor. 

It was later liberated by the American 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment. 

 

 

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