Manila Calling Film Details
Overview: During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, a few Americans and a Filipino guerrilla unit seize a Japanese jungle base and use the radio transmitter to broadcast anti-Japanese propaganda, prompting retaliatory Japanese attacks.
Tagline: THE FIGHTING EPIC OF AMERICA’S FIRST GUERILLA FIGHTERS
Review: MANILA CALLING 1942 This pretty good 20th Century Fox B-production delivers plenty of flag-waving action and the like. The film is set in the Philippines just after the fall of Bataan. A group of American construction workers and a few Filipino soldiers are making their way through the jungle to the coast. They hope to snag a boat and sail to Australia or the like. They are armed with a collection of weapons gleamed from various sources, hunting rifles, ex-Army rifles and a few captured Japanese weapons. The group includes, Lloyd Nolan, Cornel Wilde, James Gleason, E. Cook Jr, Jean Louis Heydt, Harold Huber, Ted North, Martin Kosleck and Ralph Byrd. As they go through the bush, they destroy anything that might be of use to the oncoming Japanese Forces. The group comes up on a small plantation which serves as a radio station for the surrounding area. The men jump a detachment of Japanese troops manning the radio station, killing most, and running off the rest. The men however discover that there is little in the way of food and supplies. The few Japanese who had escaped now take up spots in the jungle and snipe at the Americans. They also blow up the water supply. Now we have an unexpected arrival at the plantation. Carole Landis, a hard bitten showgirl shows. She is also on the run from the Japanese. Needless to say, Landis, who is built like the proverbial brick ., is easy on everyone’s eyes. In the meantime, some Japanese reinforcements have arrived and try an attack. The Americans and Filipinos manage to beat back the assault, but lose several of their number. The Japanese now have a fighter strafe the hilltop station. The men get in a lucky shot and bring the aircraft down for a crash landing near the station. Cornel Wilde figures the Japanese have the group surrounded. He suggests they put the radio station to good use and broadcast to the locals. He figures it will help morale among the Filipino people who might be listening. The group is all for it and soon has the radio up and running. One of the group, Harold Huber, has also repaired the Japanese fighter. He just happens to also be a pilot. Huber figures he can take one of the wounded men and Miss Landis and make for the coast. Needless to say the Japanese are not amused with the whole set-up. Snipers and the odd attack are whittling away the numbers of the group. Cornel Wilde is soon plugged and Lloyd Nolan steps up. He sends Huber off with the wounded and Miss Landis. Landis however refuses to go, and stays to help man the radio. The Japanese by this time have whistled up some heavy duty assistance. A squadron of bombers appears and starts to plaster the station. Of course the film ends with Nolan, Kosleck and Landis broadcasting as the bombs start to rain down. This one is a pretty good wartime flag-waver, with lots of action and a better than expected story. It was nice to see Martin Kosleck in something besides a Nazi uniform. Kosleck was everyone’s Nazi of choice when casting wartime films. I also would watch anything with the buxom Carole Landis. She never quite hit true stardom before her early death at age 29. Landis, (The Blonde Bomber) never seemed to give a bad performance. The director here is Herbert Leeds. Leeds was best known for several Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto and Michael Shayne films. The cinematographer was long serving, Lucien Andriot. Andriot started in films in 1909 and finished in 1960. He was a competent pro who worked on several hundred productions These include the wartime films, Paris AFTER DARK, SECRET AGENT OF JAPAN, THE SULLIVANS and THEY CAME TO BLOW UP America,
Duration: 81 min
Genre: Drama, War
Also known as: Habla Manila,Fala Manilha,Manila Calling,Calling Manila,Manila cheamă