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So Proudly We Hail!

(1943 b 126')

En: 6 Ed: 7

Nurses spend a challenging four months treating those wounded by the Japanese in the Philippines.

On May 5, 1942 eight nurses get off a plane in Melbourne. Lt. Janet Davidson (Claudette Colbert) has collapsed, and on the ship Dr. Harrison (John Litel) asks the nurses to tell him what happened so he can revive her. Joan (Paulette Goddard) recalls the voyage from San Francisco that after December 7 joins a convoy. After a battle they treat the wounded. Nurse Olivia (Veronica Lake) recovers and joins the unit, but she is unfriendly. Davidson bathes John Summers (George Reeves). Olivia and Joan get into a fight. At Christmas the chaplain (Walter Abel) speaks of faith. Joan kisses Kansas (Sonny Tufts), and John dances with Davidson. Olivia tells Davidson that she wants to kill Japanese because her fiancé was killed. Davidson consoles her. Davidson says they are going to Bataan, and she tells John that she can't love him because of her job.

When they land, Davidson reports to Captain McGregor (Mary Servoss). Olivia volunteers to work with prisoners but finds she cannot kill the wounded Japanese. Davidson is glad to see John. McGregor warns her not to go out with him again or she will be discharged. They are evacuating; but when the shooting starts, they take cover inside. Olivia is killed. Their next base is in the jungle. Davidson is in charge and gets a monkey from John. Kansas brings mail to Joan that he read. McGregor visits her wounded son, who lost his legs and dies.

They move again to the mountains and lay out a large red cross to prevent being bombed. Joan works to exhaustion, and Davidson makes her rest. Kansas says the forces are retreating. Davidson asks Col. White to evacuate the women, but he says no. They are bombed from airplanes, and many are killed. Davidson leaves, but Col. White says his force is surrendering in the morning. Kansas says he is not going, and so Joan knocks him out. They leave in boats at night. At Corregidor they work in large tunnels. Davidson says the quinine has run out. John tells her that he is going to Mindanao for quinine. She is married to John by the chaplain, and McGregor gives them a bottle of wine. Davidson tells John that she is no longer afraid. Before dawn he has to go. Col. Clark says the nurses have secret orders to evacuate to Australia. Joan and Kansas say goodbye and cry. Davidson refuses to go, and McGregor says that John is lost. Davidson collapses and is carried onto the boat. On the ship Dr. Harrison tells Davidson that they are almost home, and he reads aloud the letter from John to her. She hears John's voice and finally responds.

This dramatized story of the heroic nurses in the Philippines depicts the horror of war and its effect on those in the medical profession.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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