Women of Valor [VHS] by Mike Fash

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Chronicles American nurses in 1942 who choose to remain behind and care for the wounded when General Douglas MacArthur withdrew American troops from the Philippines. Susan Sarandon as Col. Margaret Ann Jessup. Kristy McNichol as T.J. Nolan. Alberta Watson as Lt. Helen Prescott. Valerie Mahaffey as Lt. Katherine R. Grace. Suzanne Lederer as Lt. Gail Polson. Patrick Bishop as Capt. Matome Nakayama. Terry O'Quinn as Maj. Tom Patterson. Neva Patterson as Lady Judith Eason. Jay Acovone as Capt. Rader. John Philbin as Paraplegic soldier. Jeff Allin as Capt. Chris Wyatt. Marilyn Redfield as Mrs. Carstairs. A Review: The tale of American army and navy nurses who are prisoners during the Japanese occupation of the Phillipines in the second world war. Kristy McNichol appears in the Bataan Death March, as one of gender disorientation, since her killing of a Japanese soldier makes the others assume she is a boy. In a memorable scene McNichol and Susan Sarandon slug it out as a form of self-punishment for the gratification of the guards. McNichol's role is supportive to Sarandon who is the star, but she brings her usual tomboyish spunkiness to proceedings. The teleplay by Jonas McCord rationalises the Japanese's brand of cruelty with the idea that they do not believe in surrender. They would rather suicide than be shamed in the way they believe the women have allowed themselves to be, and therefore the Japanese think the prisoners deserve no kindness. However not every guard enacts this philosophy, with one noticeably friendly to one woman who falls pregnant, and the commander being an American-Japanese, having being raised in San Francisco, makes him more amenable to Sarandon's requests for mercy.

About Mike Fash

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Published November 1, 2003 by Goldhill Home Media.
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