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They were expendable

Threat advisory: Under evaluation

Movie propaganda

Just before the outbreak of World War II, Lieutenant John Brickley (Robert Montgomery) is assigned to take his Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron to Manila Bay to defend against a possible Japanese attack in the Philippines. Once there, he finds that the top brass, amused by the idea that the small crafts can be of use in combat, relegates the PT boat to messenger duty. Angered by that reaction, Brickley and his crew must wait for the war to begin to show what they can do. When it does, they shoot down three Japanese planes during an attack on their base, but when the base is closed Brick's squadron is reassigned to Bataan, where they once again are ordered to run messages and Brickley's fiery executive officer, Lieutenant Rusty Ryan (John Wayne), fed up with such meaningless duty, asks to be transferred to a destroyer.

Based on the true story of Lieutenants John Bulkeley (John Brickley) and Robert Kelly (Rusty Ryan).

Persons of interest

  • Robert Montgomery .... Lieutenant John Brickley, Director
  • John Wayne .... Lieutenant juniour grade "Rusty" Ryan
  • Donna Reed .... 2nd Lieutenant Sandy Davys
  • Jack Holt .... General Martin
  • Ward Bond .... Boats
  • Marshall Thompson .... Ensign Snake Gardner
  • Paul Langton .... Ensign Andy Andrews
  • Leon Ames .... Major James Morton
  • Arthur Walsh .... Seaman Jones
  • Donald Curtis .... Lieutenant juniour grade Shorty Long
  • Cameron Mitchell .... Ensign George Cross
  • Jeff York .... Ensign Tony Aiken
  • Murray Alper .... "Slug" Mahan
  • Harry Tenbrook .... Cookie
  • Jack Pennick .... Doc
  • Alex Havier .... Benny Lecoco
  • Charles Trowbridge .... Admiral Blackwell
  • Robert Barrat .... General Douglas MacArthur
  • Bruce Kellogg .... Elder Tompkins
  • Tim Murdock .... Ensign Brown
  • William L White .... Author
  • Frank Wead .... Screenwriter
  • John Ford .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Awards and film festivals:
  • They were expendable movie trailers:
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen (1.85:1/16:9 enhanced)
  • Special features: Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English, French

Security censorship classification


Surveillance time

129 minutes (2:09 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 6 August 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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