Shortly after the US conquest of the Philippines during Spanish-American war, an uprising of Moslem Moro tribesmen terrorizes the occupying Yanks. Only small cadre of Army officers is left to lead Filipino soldiers against the rebels, who attack the soldiers headlong with machetes,
seemingly impervious to bullets. (In fact, the Moro's courageous resistance in the face of .38-caliber bullets led the Army to develop the .45-caliber automatic, a gun designed to stop a man in his tracks.) Owen takes command of the US fort; physician Cooper defies his orders and goes on a
dangerous reconnaissance. Although Cooper gathers valuable information, he is locked up for insubordination. The Moros dam the river that provides the base with water and cholera breaks out. Released to treat the sick, Cooper accompanies Owen as he leads an attack on the dam, leaving Niven in
charge of the fort. This is exactly what the Moros have been waiting for, and they mount a furious assault on the outpost. Cooper is called upon to save the day.
This exciting film is filled with amazing action scenes highlighting the seeming invincibility of the Moros. Henry Hathaway, who also directed the stirring Cooper vehicle THE LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER, does a magnificent job here, giving Cooper one of his best action roles. All the performances
are good, particularly Cooper's, and David Niven has a terrific death scene after the final battle.
Reportedly the Philippine government protested the film's depiction of native soldiers as cowards. They might with equal justification have objected to the portrayal of the Moros, who come off as demonic brutes. While THE REAL GLORY is typically steeped in imperialist ideology, it still holds up
well as a war-adventure film.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Shortly after the US conquest of the Philippines during Spanish-American war, an uprising of Moslem Moro tribesmen terrorizes the occupying Yanks. Only small cadre of Army officers is left to lead Filipino soldiers against the rebels, who attack the soldie… (more)