Hunter is a US Navy radio operator on Guam in WWII when the Japanese invade the island. He avoids capture and with five other Americans hides in the jungles of the island interior. One by one the others are killed, leaving Hunter by himself for 34 months. Aided by friendly natives, he at
first hides in a leper colony run by priest de Cordova, using the hospital transmitter to broadcast to the island residents until the Japanese catch on and burn the building to the ground. He then hides in a cave, and a friendly family brings him food. When he spots American warships off the
coast, he signals them with a hand mirror and that night swims out to a launch that takes him back to the ship. Using the information Hunter has gathered, the American forces easily recapture the island. At the conclusion, Hunter returns to the island and visits all the people who helped him.
Loosely based on the experiences of George R. Tweed, the film takes major liberties with the facts, inevitable in this type of heroic biography. Hunter, fresh from playing the Messiah in Nicholas Ray's KING OF KINGS (1961), is too movie star-like to be really convincing as a sailor on the run in
the jungle for nearly three years. Those qualms aside, the film works fairly well as wartime adventure. And in actuality, numerous Japanese stragglers were still being found in the jungles of Guam even after this film was made, nearly 20 years after the war.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Hunter is a US Navy radio operator on Guam in WWII when the Japanese invade the island. He avoids capture and with five other Americans hides in the jungles of the island interior. One by one the others are killed, leaving Hunter by himself for 34 months.… (more)