They Were Expendable (1945)

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They Were Expendable (1945) Poster

The PT boat unit Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three defends the Philippines from Japanese invasion during World War II.

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  • John Wayne in They Were Expendable (1945)
  • John Wayne and Donna Reed in They Were Expendable (1945)
  • John Wayne and Robert Montgomery in They Were Expendable (1945)
  • John Wayne and Donna Reed in They Were Expendable (1945)
  • John Wayne in They Were Expendable (1945)
  • Donald Curtis in They Were Expendable (1945)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


John Ford , Robert Montgomery


William L. White (book), Frank Wead (screenplay)

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Did You Know?


When the spare crews are mustering for departure to Army units, Doc passes around his hat to collect tobacco. Visible inside the hat are the initials JP. Doc is portrayed by actor Jack Pennick.


Lt. 'Rusty' Ryan: Wonderful the way people believe in those high powered canoes of yours.
Lt. John Brickley: Don't you believe in them, Rusty?
Lt. 'Rusty' Ryan: And I let you sell me that stuff about a command of my own.
Lt. John Brickley: You're skipper of the 34 boat, aren't you?
Lt. 'Rusty' Ryan: I used to skipper a cake of soap in the ...


A frame at the end of the movie said, "We shall return - General Douglas MacArthur". In fact, the White House tried to get the general to change his famous quote to "we" but he refused, saying he failed to see the purpose. It should read, "I shall return."

Crazy Credits

Closing quote: "We Shall Return" Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army

Alternate Versions

MGM produced a different version, dubbed and with credits in Spanish, probably to be used by television stations. This version omits the final sequence (nearly more than 15 minutes of running time) and the film ends a previous scene with Robert Montgomery and John Wayne saying farewell to the soldiers that had to remain in the Phillipines, then the scene cuts to a plane leaving the island and to a "The End" title in Spanish. This version aired in Argentina in a cable station called "Space". Turner Network Televsion, in all Latin American countries, used to air the film in its original form. However, they lifted the Spanish language dubbing from the old version and, without any explanation why, the last minutes of the film play in English.


Red River Valley
Instrumental version heard when Dad is left alone to meet the oncoming Japanese.


Plot Summary


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