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Objective, Burma! Details


A few corny moments aside, Objective Burma must rate as one of the best combat films of WW2. Errol Flynn stars as Captain Nelson, who leads a hardy band of paratroopers behind enemy lines in Burma, for the purpose of destroying a Japanese radar station. Their mission accomplished, Nelson and his men prepare to make their escape by plane, but this proves to be impossible. It is therefore necessary for the surviving paratroops to make a grueling 150-mile journey by foot through the Japanese-held jungle, in hopes of eventually reaching their own lines. With the exception of Henry Hull, who delivers a mannered, strained performance as an Ernie Pyle-like war correspondent, the performances are uniformly excellent, with Flynn, George Tobias and William Prince standing out. Director Raoul Walsh and cinematographer James Wong Howe stage the combat scenes (filmed on the "Lucky" Baldwin Santa Anita ranch) with brutal efficiency, showing little but conveying a lot in the way of gore and carnage. The strangest sequence (at least to modern viewers) has the paratroopers expressing horror and disgust at a vicious sneak attack by the Japanese-which occurs only a few reels after the Americans have staged an equally merciless attack on a Japanese unit! In England, Objective Burma was taken to task by newspaper journalist who felt that the Americans were unfairly taking full credit for the success of the Burmese campaign. The ensuing hue and cry compelled Warner Bros. to issue an apology, and to withhold the British release of the film until 1952, at which time it was accompanied by a lengthy prologue title extolling England's contribution to the Burma invasion. Originally released at 142 minutes, Objective Burma is usually shown on TV in its 128-minute reissue form. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:February 17, 1945


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Franz Waxman Best Score - Drama or Comedy 1945 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George J. Amy Best Editing 1945 Nominee


Errol Flynn
as Maj. Nelson
Henry Hull
as Mark Williams
William Prince
as Lt. Sid Jacobs
James Brown
as Sgt. Treacy
George Tobias
as Gabby Gordon
Warner Anderson
as Col. Carter
John Alvin
as Hogan
Hugh Beaumont
as Capt. Hennessey
Joel Allen
as Brophy
Frank Tang
as Capt. Li
Rodd Redwing
as Sgt. Chattu
John Sheridan
as Copilot
Lester Matthews
as Maj. Fitzpatrick
Erville Alderson
as Gen. Stilwell
Carlyle Blackwell
as Pilot
George Tyne
as Soapy Higgins
Mark Stevens
as Lieutnant Baker
Richard Erdman
as Nebraska Hooper
Anthony Caruso
as Miggleori
Erville Alderson
as Gen. Stilwell
Mark Stevens
as Lieutnant Baker
Carlyle Blackwell
as Pilot
Richard Erdman
as Nebraska Hooper
George Tyne
as Soapy Higgins


Raoul Walsh
Jerry Wald
Ranald MacDougall
Lester Cole
James Wong Howe
Franz Waxman
Composer (Music Score)
Leo F. Forbstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
George J. Amy
Jack L. Warner
Executive Producer
Jack McConaghy
Set Designer
Edwin DuPar
Special Effects
Franz Waxman
Makeup Supervisor
Perc Westmore