The Gallant Hours

I watched an interesting war movie on VUDU last night called The Gallant Hours, which was basically a partial biography of Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey, who ended up being a Fleet Admiral in World War Two. The movie was essentially a labor of love for James Cagney, who played the role of Admiral Halsey.

It was a war movie with no battle or action scenes, choosing instead to focus on the weight of command on Halsey during the Guadalcanal campaign in late 1942. It also covered the decision by the U.S. to undertake a mission to purposely assassinate Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in April 1943 (by shooting him down with a bunch of P-38 Lightnings). The movie has the timeline of that mission wrong for dramatic effect.

The Gallant Hours reminded me of another movie called In Harms Way, which was an Otto Preminger movie with John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Patricia Neal. In Harms Way also covered the Guadalcanal campaign, but in a very fictional way. Even so, In Harms Way is one of my favorite World War Two movies.

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