Saying this film is “propaganda” is not an insult. No, it was deliberately crafted to encourage Americans that we can and will win the war if we stand firm. And what better image of this than the ever-vigilant John Wayne–the embodiment of the Hollywood image of heroism.
This film reminds me a lot of The Flying Tigers, though the plot isn’t so melodramatic. It’s about a crew of civilian engineers sent overseas to do construction for our troops (such as building runways and other projects). BUT, the evil Japanese in the movie take advantage of the fact that these are unarmed civilians and butcher them at every opportunity. So, what is The Duke and his trusted pals to do? Take up arms and use their own equipment when necessary to beat the stuffing out of the Japs! Yes, guys with bulldozers and clubs NEVER could have inflicted the casualties you witness in the movie, but man if it isn’t entertaining to watch–particularly the explosive ending.