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Film Comment (1976) - Mary McCarthy Goes to the Movies




In the thick of World War Two, the cold eye that has usually been reserved for staring contests with such poor blind creatures as Tennessee Williams and J.D. Salinger was cast on Michael Curtiz and Alfred Hitchcock. In the Pacific there are no Darlans, Badoglios, Victor Emmanuels, to be welcomed or rejected; there is only the Jap, the archetypical enemy, the modern savage, ingenious, wily, and cruel, the sniper who ties himself to the top of an exotic palm tree so that even in death he remains deceitful — if he does not fall when hit you cannot tell whether you have got him or not.\n In the end, however, he goes too far; they turn on him and throw him overside, beating his clutching hands down from the side with the boot of the man he has murdered.