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THEY WERE EXPENDABLE is John Ford’s stirring and patriotic, but thoughtful, tribute to the men who proved the need for PT boats in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Robert Montgomery plays their leader, Brick, and John Wayne plays Brick’s right-hand man, Rusty. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE is brilliantly made. It features an early role by Donna Reed as a nurse who falls in love with John Wayne’s lieutenant, only to be parted from him when the Japanese invade the Philippines. A funeral scene where Wayne gives a moving eulogy to two fallen comrades in arms is very poignant and patriotic. The ending delivers another sober, poignant message about the different kinds of sacrifice that occur in wartime.

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