The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith (1943)

  |  Short, Drama, War

Tom Smith, an American pilot, is shot down and captured by the Japanese. While imprisoned and awaiting execution, he recalls his life at home in the USA.


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15 December 2006 | olderbutwiser
| Amazing- download it to your PC for a piece of Americana
a 10 minute short that has 4 amazing stars. It portrays the last 20 minutes of the life of Tom Smith(Reeves), a prisoner sentenced to death in a Japanese prison camp-he is a downed pilot. He reminisces about the girl he left behind, the neighborhood kids, and his wise "Gramps" as he inventories his life. You know George Reeves, Lionel Barrymore, and Walter Brennan, but the ingénue love interest of the doomed Reeves is Barbara Britton, who became the Revlon girl of the 1950's and portrayed Laura Petrie in a 1960 Pilot of "Head of the Family" that became the Dick Van Dyke show(Carl Reiner as Rob). She was in soap operas until 1979! Talk about spanning the ages. Reeves is stalwart, stoic and charming, Barrymore is "Gramps" and plays it to a tee, and Walter Brennan is the mailman. The purpose was to sell war bonds. What a treat- and a reminder of times not that long ago. The portrayal of the Japanese was typical of the times but not totally unrealistic as was documented in "The Great Raid". George Bush Sr. was very close to being a prisoner of the Japanese as a downed airman- and how the world would be different now..


Release Date:

9 September 1943



Country of Origin


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