Slowly, Warner Archive is restoring and releasing them to Blu-ray, and the 1945 Raoul Walsh production, Objective Burma is another nice addition, as presumably the earlier films are working their way through restoration processes.
As for OB, it’s a quality affair, reviewed by The New York Times as:
“This is without question one of the best war films yet made in Hollywood. There are no phony heroics by Errol Flynn or any of the other members of a uniformly excellent cast. These boys conduct themselves like real soldiers… The Warners have erred only in the film’s excessive length. It runs approximately two hours and twenty minutes, or roughly thirty minutes more than appears to be absolutely necessary. “Objective, Burma” is the hard-bitten story of a group of tough, tight-lipped paratroopers who are dropped deep in the Burmese jungles to wipe out a troublesome Jap radar station. Many of the scenes are the real thing, and the shots of the boys jumping out of the planes look as though they were borrowed from the Army’s film archives. In fact, the whole picture has a strong documentary quality, even in the writing. There is surprisingly little dialogue and what is said is spoken tersely, or with a touch of earthy humor.”
While we wait expectantly for The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Dawn Patrol, Captain Blood, and other historical epics, this one will do nicely.
Beautifully shot in black & white James Wong Howe, and with a score by Franz Waxman, it’s a magnificent candidate for inclusion in any serious film library.
A gorgeous Blu-ray.
For more on the subject, consider Sam Fuller’s Merrill’s Marauders and the documentary The Stilwell Road.
Image – 5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Yes
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