Conspiracy Cafe

Conspiracy, alternative news, history, intelligence agencies



Merrill's Marauders is a 1962 Cinemascope war film directed and co-written by Samuel Fuller based on the exploits of the long range penetration jungle warfare unit of the same name in the Burma Campaign, culminating in the Siege of Myitkyina.

The source is the non-fiction book The Marauders, written by Charlton Ogburn Jr., a communications officer who served with Merrill's Marauders. Filmed on location in the Philippines, the economical historical epic film stars Jeff Chandler (in his final role) as Frank Merrill and several actors from the Warner Brothers Television stock company who were then the lead actors in American television shows.


The film begins with off-screen narration over black-and-white historical footage of the World War II Burmese campaign, including mention of all American allies who participated. The film then segues into Technicolor as we observe Lt. Stockton’s (Ty Hardin) platoon moving through the jungle toward their first objective, the Japanese-held town of Walawbum. After Stockton radios Gen. Merrill (Jeff Chandler) that they are nearing their goal, he and the rest of the brigade carry out a successful raid.

Afterwards, General Joseph Stilwell (John Hoyt) arrives in Walawbum to order Merrill on another objective, the railroad center of Shaduzup, and ultimately the strategic airstrip at Myitkyina. With reluctance, Merrill later summons Stockton to brief him on their next mission and the unit continues their march through hellish swamps before taking Shaduzup from the enemy.

The brigade continues their mission up steep mountains for several days and nights before digging in just outside Myitkyina. As night falls, the unit endures a massive artillery barrage. The dawn then brings a Japanese banzai attack, which Merrill’s men successfully repel. Then, while desperately rallying what is left of his unit to move on to the base at Myitkyina, the general suddenly collapses from a heart attack. The men, led by Stockton, slowly rise up and trudge onward toward Myitkyina as an incredulous "Doc" (Andrew Duggan) cradles Merrill in his arms. In fact, it is Doc’s off-screen narration we hear next as he informs us that Myitkyina was indeed taken.

Posted by George Freund on November 16, 2016 at 6:05 PM 624 Views