The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Docudrama, War Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 4, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 140 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The genesis of The Story of Dr. Wassell is said to have been a story told by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to director Cecil B. DeMille. Gary Cooper stars as Corydon M. Wassell, a real-life country doctor from Arkansas who worked as a medical missionary in China in the years prior to WWII. When America enters the war, Dr. Wassell joins the Navy and is shipped to Java. As the Japanese overtake the island, Wassell is placed in charge of the wounded evacuated marines. Ordered to leave the area immediately, the doctor disobeys his commands, staying behind to care for ten seriously wounded men from the USS Marblehead, even as Japanese bombs rain down upon his staff. With the help of other stranded allied troops, Wassell and his wounded make it to Australia, where despite his insubordination he is lauded as a hero. Not as much of a spectacular as earlier DeMille films, The Story of Dr. Wassell concentrates on personalities, with mixed results.



doctor/nurse, war, America, boating, collapse, conflict, courage, crew, eruption, escape, humanity, island, Japan, jungle, life, life-savings, Navy, passenger, refugee, rescue, train [locomotive], troops, volcano, wound [injury], man, rock