Battle Cry (1955)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama, War Romance  |   Release Date - Feb 2, 1955 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 147 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A big hit in 1955, Battle Cry today comes across as an average relationships-during-war movie. It's surprising to see that Battle is directed by Raoul Walsh; with Walsh at the helm, one expects that the majority of this two and a half hour film will be spent on the front lines, with shells bursting and guns blazing. In fact, only the final half hour or so involves combat, with most of the rest revolving around the tangled love lives of its Marine heroes. In some other films, focusing on the personal lives of combatants pays big dividends, but the turgid, clich├ęd and overlong screenplay for Battle offers little of interest. Walsh does what he can, gamely trying to mine the drama out of the stereotypes he has been presented with and hoping that playing the soap operatics for all they're worth will be enough to make the film the epic that it wants to be. Alas, it isn't. Things are not helped by the hammy acting of many of the principal players. The final action sequence is gripping, and Van Heflin and James Whitmore do very well with the material, but the only aspect of Battle that really stands out is Max Steiner's score.