Bataan (1943) is a war film about the defense of the Bataan Peninsula during World War II. It was made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Tay Garnett and produced by Irving Starr , with Dore Schary as executive producer.
Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from rebuilding it.
The US Army is conducting a fighting retreat. A high bridge spans a ravine on the Bataan Peninsula. After the army and some civilians cross, a group of eleven hastily assembled soldiers from different units is assigned to blow it up and delay Japanese rebuilding efforts as long as possible.
The rear guard is a mixed lot, including:
Cavalry Captain Henry Lassiter ( Lee Bowman )
Sergeant Bill Dane ( Robert Taylor ) from the regular 31st Infantry
Corporal Barney Todd ( Lloyd Nolan ), who claims to be a signalman. However, Dane suspects him of being Danny Burns, a soldier accused of murder who had escaped before the war while being guarded by then-military policeman Dane.
Corporal Jake Feingold ( Thomas Mitchell ) of the Chemical Corps
Private Felix Ramirez ( Desi Arnaz ), a Mexican American California National Guardsman
Private Wesley Epps ( Kenneth Lee Spencer ), a black demolitions expert
Private Matthew Hardy ( Phillip Terry ), a conscientious objector in the Medical Corps
Private Francis X. Matowski ( Barry Nelson ), an engineer
Private "Yankee" Salazar ( Alex Havier ), a Philippine Scout
Private Sam Molloy ( Tom Dugan ), a cook
Seaman Leonard Purckett ( Robert Walker ), a naive young navy musician