on an historical event, the film Battle Of The Pacific is the story of a
captain who continued to
fight the war on the island of Saipan,
despite being outnumbered by the
Americans and even after his Emperor
THE HUGE INTERNATIONAL BOX OFFICE HIT Taiheiyou no kiseki: fokkusu to
yobareta otoko (Miracle In The Pacific: The Man They Called The Fox) is
now to be released in the UK on DVD as Battle Of The Pacific.
This extraordinary story of the Japanese Captain Sakae Oba (Yutaka Takenouchi)
who continued to oppose the allies on the island of Saipan, even after his Emperor
had surrendered during the closing weeks of World War II, is based on real events.
It is 15 June, 1944, and the US military have taken the strategically-placed
island of Saipan from Japanese control. The Japanese survivors and civilians
flee through the jungle and wait in vain for the Imperial Navy to attack.
Japanese soldiers have still been fighting spasmodically, but unknown to them,
the Emperor has already surrendered. The remaining unit, under the command of
highest-ranking surviving officer Captain Sakae Oba, makes for Mount Tapochau,
leaving behind a number of booby traps. For them, the war is not over and they
continue to fight the enemy at every opportunity.
With the arrival of American Captain Lewis (Sean McGowan), who speaks Japanese,
understands their culture and who has plans to get Oba and his men to come out
of hiding and accept the surrender, comes hope for the US forces. However, Colonel
R L Pollard (Daniel Baldwin) is not happy with Lewis's ideas and just wants
to get the war over with.
Oba, who is also known as 'The Fox', has to contend with the difficulties of
having little food or water for his men and the civilians, a Shinto priest who
has lost his mind and a rebellious Japanese Horiuchi (Toshiaki Karasawa), who
will cause more trouble for the honourable captain. From believing he has to
continue fighting, Oba finally concedes that his main concern must be to protect
While following the Japanese through the thick jungle, American soldiers throw
a grenade into a cave they believe is occupied by enemy troops who'd been firing
on them, but an innocent family is hiding there and is almost entirely wiped
out only a young woman, Chieko Aono (Mao Inoue), survives.
Lewis, who is taking a great interest in Oba, sends out a vehicle with a loudspeaker
playing a poignant song to make the Japanese feel homesick, believing this will
work better than force. The Americans have isolated the captured Japanese civilians
in a camp, which also has a hospital, and Lewis persuades a 'tame' Japanese
to go to talk to Oba and explain that Japan has surrendered.
But despite the Americans promising food, fresh water and hospital facilities
for the wounded and sick, all does not go according to plan and Oba is still
Using two completely independent film units a technique not used since
the making of Tora! Tora! Tora! the film brilliantly shows the
guerrilla campaign of Oba's loyal soldiers balanced with the American mission
to secure the island.
Battle Of The Pacific is an excellent, don't-miss war film about a brave
Japanese captain and gives a clever viewpoint of the Japanese people with very
real concerns, suffering and humanity.
Director Hideyuki Hirayama manages to perfectly capture the mind-set of the
Japanese people as they come to terms with their unthinkable defeat in this
sensational new war film about rogue Captain Sakae Oba, a teacher in civilian
life to whom honour and loyalty to his country is everything. Based
on the book Oba: The Last Samurai by Don Jones, a US Marine who survived
the attack on Pearl Harbour and was actually ambushed by Oba and his men, Battle
Of The Pacific is a war film not to be missed.
Battle Of The Pacific also features: Treat Williams as Colonel Wessinger;
Matthew R Anderson as Captain Grabbias; Lloyd Buckley as Corporal Marks; Harlan
Glenn as Sergeant Munroe; and Satoko Tsuji as the Japanese nurse.
Screenplay is by Takuya Nishioka, Gregory Marquette and Cellin Gluck; Original
Music is by Takashi Kako; Cinematography by Kôzô Shibasaki and Garry Waller;
Directed by Hideyuki Hirayama.
Based around the historic events on Saipan
at the end of World War II, Battle Of The Pacific will be available to
own on DVD on 11 June 2012. RRP: DVD £12.99 | Running Time: 123 Minutes | Language:
English/Japanese (With Subtitles).
"…an excellent, don't-miss war film" Maggie Woods, MotorBar