AN AMERICAN GUERRILLA IN THE PHILIPPINES is based on the memoirs of a US officer who stayed behind (not that he wanted to) after the American capitulation to the Japanese. For three years, Iliff Richardson helped lead resistance efforts, coordinating disparate Filipino groups and a smattering of American holdouts. Tough as it was, they fared better than those who surrendered.
As the first U.S. film shot on location in The Philippines, in color, it rated a major lead in Tyrone Power and a notable director in Fritz Lang. It’s of interest mainly as a snapshot of the island nation from long ago, and for (some) matter-of-fact handling of the sort of events, circumstances and choices made in perilous duty.
Fans of Lang won’t see much of the noir stylist in this, let alone the guy who wove Metropolis, as his direction lacks flair (he sluffed it off as his least favorite work) and he made (or had foisted upon him) some woeful choices in most of the minor players, who are either US service personnel drafted into play-acting or are likewise inexperienced locals. Dialogue delivery from the amateurs moos like a sick carabao.
Power is solid, and romantic interest Micheline Presle is okay*, but the script has too many absurd coincidences (like all the fresh uniforms that show up miraculously, thousands of miles from a PX) and the ending is a rush-job let-down.
Nice views of the islands, though. From 1950, at 105 minutes, co-starring Tom Ewell, Jack Elam and Carleton Young. It pulled in $5,000,000 from Ty’s fan armada.
*Still too soon for inter-racial romance, it seems, or they couldn’t find someone suitably exotic, so another French gal lands in the wrong end of the Pacific.