Beach Red (1967)

Approved   |    |  Drama, War


Beach Red (1967) Poster

As a US marine unit fight against the defenders of a Japanese held island, both sides are haunted by their own thoughts and memories.


6.3/10
1,304

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23 March 2013 | Theo Robertson
6
| Not A Great Film But A Very Influential One
No one can accuse Cornel Wilde of being a subtle film director . BEACH RED shows the same flaws that made the film version of John Christopher's novel NO BLADE OF GRASS a memorable movie for the most bizarre reasons . That novel didn't contain any environmentalist subtext or agenda but Wilde decided to batter the audience to death with a pollution is bad kids message . He also used strange directorial techniques that felt that they belonged in an entirely different movie . In this movie that was made three years previously Wilde has a similar sledgehammer approach which works slightly better but even so you'll remember this film due to its storytelling more than its actual story

From the outset you can see BEACH RED is a war film with a difference but tries just a little too hard . It has cinematic art-house pretensions but possibly not the budget and probably not a cerebral enough director to pull off the ideas presented . That said Wilde does deserve some credit for making what is effectively a B movie in to something that sticks in the mind . It also be judged against the context it was made . The Hays Code was still in place but Wilde has tried to push the boat out as to what he can get away with and it's relatively sadistic and graphic for a movie during this period . Likewise the Vietnam War was escalating and throughout the narrative there's a strong element that just because the enemy is not from a WASP nation it doesn't necessarily make them evil because the enemy is still human

It's impossible to mention BEACH RED without mentioning later , better , more critically acclaimed films namely APOCALYPSE NOW , THE THIN RED LINE and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN . The extensive use of voice-over whether it relates to the nature of war , profound existentialism or merely hoping to get home in one piece along with the imagery seen here has had a very clear influence on Coppolla , Malik and Spielberg . Malik especially has taken the ideas presented here and made them more effective in THE THIN RED LINE which critics described as " an interesting failure " . Perhaps BEACH RED deserves the same dubious backhand compliment ?

Critic Reviews



Details

Release Date:

18 November 1967

Language

English, Japanese


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Japan

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