The Story Of Dr. Wassell as the Japanese sweep through the East Indies during World War II, Dr. Wassell is determined to escape from Java with some crewmen of the cruiser Marblehead. Based on a true story of how Dr. Wassell saved a dozen or so wounded sailors who were left behind when able bodied men were evacuated to Australia.
Engaging story of a quiet hero well-played by Cooper.
The Story Of Dr Wassell Although the movie is slow-moving at times and crying out for tighter editing, Gary Cooper’s Dr. Wassell is appealing and the story line compelling enough to make watching this film time well spent. The story of a Doctor, who after being second to discover the source of a major epidemic in China, joins the Navy and ends up caring for a group of injured American sailors stranded on JAVA during WWII. I learned a lot from this film that I didn’t know about the war in the Pacific and the Dutch involvement. This and the quiet heroics of Wassell and other characters makes for a fascinating watch. “The Story of Dr. Wassell” is a solid period film with a number of surprisingly good actors.
A Different Kind of WWII flick
As WWII becomes part of 20th Century History, we now look back upon the Hollywood films depicting WWII as over-sentimental and patriotic. But this film is different, it was not about a great Allied victory but an Allied defeat and how one man, an American doctor single-handedly risked his life to save American sailors too injured to be moved during the pending invasion of Java by the advancing Japanese fleet. It is these real-life stories that are absent of any propaganda that will make this film survive. Although a bit glamourized for WWII moviegoing audiences, this film holds up well and it covers a part of WWII with respect to the Dutch involvement rarely discussed. Finally, Cecille B. DeMille, Gary Cooper and Technicolor still make this film an engaging experience.
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