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The Gallant Hours Reviews

James Cagney was the perfect choice to play Admiral Halsey. Not only did the actor resemble the naval hero, he became him in this very truthful documentary-style film about the five weeks between October 18 and December 1, 1942. Although Halsey and Japanese Admiral Yamamoto (Goto) admire each other's military expertise, the American has a personal grudge against his Japanese counterpart, and, using superior strategy, Halsey outwits Yamamoto in the battle of Guadalcanal. THE GALLANT HOURS is the story of a great victory, yet there is almost no battle action on-screen. Instead, director Montgomery focuses on the human side of the war, taking the time to show the inner workings of a great leader. The going is a little slow for what was thought to be a "war" movie, but it is this leisurely pace that makes the film all the more believable. Nevertheless, there is a bit too much narration and the personal side of Halsey's life is overlooked, but these are minor complaints given the overall excellence of the film.