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Poignant war story

  • Oct 1, 2010
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The story opens in an Allied Forces hospital in Burma, 1945, on the last day of the war. Those patients who can travel are going home, but five remain (including one played by Ronald Reagan). The head nurse (Patricia Neal) tells the men that a Scottish soldier (Richard Todd) is going to be joining them and asks for their help. He has only a few weeks to live and is too ill to travel; since he has no family, she asks the men to befriend the solider in his last days - but not to tell him he's dying.

This is a touching drama with many moments of humor. The soldiers are all believable and their camaraderie is heartening. Star Richard Todd does a great job with the Scottish accent. He plays a tough, bitter man who never knew how to make friends and when he finally does shed his defenses, he "shares a moment with kings." The lovely Patricia Neal is perfect as the compassionate nurse who helps the soldier find peace and Ronald Reagan is quite likable as the wise and easy-going "Yank."

The story really made me think about what I would want were I in this soldier's predicament. To know or not to know? To try and go half-way around the globe to die in an empty house or stay among new friends? It's a wrenching dilemma whatever the decision, and the film doesn't sugar-coat it. Top-notch acting and thoughtful script. Recommended.


Poignant war story

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January 12, 2011
Great review, this sounds like quite the dilemma and I'm not sure which way I'd go either. Thanks for sharing :)
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[From IMDB]

It's 1945, Burma, the day the war is over! For many this means they've survived and will be going home. But not for everyone. A Scottish soldier, Corporal Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan is the victim of a wound to the lower back on this day. He's moved to a M.A.S.H. unit and undergoes surgery. As time goes by he begins to recover and watches, in dismay as soldiers pack up and head for home. The doctors have told him he needs to remain "for observation". The Colonel takes Sister Parker, the unit head nurse, into his confidence and tells her that the real reason Cpl. MacLachlan can't go home is because the wound he sustained destroyed one of his kidneys and the other one is defective and will shut down in three to four weeks. He asks her to put Lachlan up with some other soldiers she has waiting to go home so that he can spend his last days with friends. But Cpl. MacLachlan wants nothing to do with friends and prefers his own privacy to "idle chat". He's a hard nut to crack and their work is cut out for them to make him as comfortable as possible. Written by McGinty <McGinty@aol.com>
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