The Story of Dr. Wassell

1944

Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance / War

2
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 884

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 03, 2021 at 07:21 AM

Cast

Yvonne De Carlo as Native Girl
Hugh Beaumont as Admiral Hart's Aide
Gary Cooper as Dr. Corydon M. Wassell
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.22 GB
956*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 16 min
P/S 9 / 30
2.27 GB
1424*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 16 min
P/S 9 / 50

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

C.B. DeMille's World War II epic.

Gary Cooper did four films with Cecil B. DeMille and this is easily the best of them. Although World War II is now history at the time this film was made, the incidents described were two years old. The attack sequences were brilliantly staged in the best DeMille manner, a kind of preview of 3-D.

DeMille in his autobiography admitted that the romantic flashbacks concerning Dr. Wassell were completely made up. The real Corydon Wassell and his wife were married all the time the action of the film took place. He described as a white lie, I think one's marital status is a bit more than that. Having said that the teaming of Cooper and Laraine Day was worked well and the romance fits in nicely.

Dr. Corydon Wassell was an early hero of World War II who was a doctor in the US Navy having been previously a medical missionary in China. He was ordered to abandon his stretcher cases as the Allies were evacuating Java in 1942 before the Japanese advance. He stayed and got themsafely evacuated with a few adventures along the way. He was decorated by President Roosevelt and FDR's radio message concerning Wassell's courage inspired DeMille to make this film.

DeMille said he could only envision Gary Cooper for the part. I'm sure that was the case because of DeMille's past success with Coop, but also because the Arkansas born and bred Wassell was similar to Cooper's own Oscar winning character of Tennessee native Sergeant York.

The rest of the cast performs admirably. The most poignant scene in the film involves a woman being shot during the Japanese aerial attack on the Dutch freighter Janssen in front of her little boy. As she urges the kid to go on and not look back, if a tear doesn't come to your eye you are made of stone. DeMille's films, especially his costume pictures sometimes have some stilted Victorian dialog, but in this one there is none.

Also I'd like to single out from the supporting cast Paul Kelly who plays one of the stretcher cases. He's a griper and a complainer all the way through, but when that kid's mother is shot as I previously described, he takes charge of the little boy in a scene that is the best in the film. Also Philip Ahn who plays Cooper's oriental confidante does it with strength and dignity which were his hallmarks as an actor when so many Asian players were stereotyped.

Even if you don't like DeMille, you'll like this film.

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

DeMille World War II story of real-life Doctor

Gary Cooper has the title role in "The Story of Dr. Wassell," a fact-based 1944 film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and also starring Laraine Day, Dennis O'Keefe, Signe Hasso, and Elliott Reid. During World War II, a naval doctor tries to evacuate soldiers from the East Indies as the Japanese are approaching. He insists upon taking the wounded on a transport ship, the Pecos, even though it is against orders. In the end, he is not able to do it. Wassell stays with his soldiers, all of whom assume they will die on Java. But the doctor won't give up. Along the way, we learn of his life in China and the woman (Day) that he loved.

"The Story of Dr. Wassell" is a little long and gets off to a slow start, but holds up thanks to Gary Cooper and the audience's involvement with some of the well-drawn supporting characters. By the time the movie is over, you feel like you've been in the war with them. I'm not sure if that's due to the length of the film or what the soldiers went through.

Cooper was about 43 years old when this film was made, yet he still retained that boyish smile of his. I've never figured out if he was a great actor or not; he was so outrageously handsome, I just can't stop staring at him. He didn't have James Stewart's range, Bogart's timing or Wayne's biting voice, but there was something very solid about him, as well as virile, likable, and magnetic. He also has a no-nonsense way of portraying a character, kind of cutting to the chase, and his performance really carries this film. Laraine Day doesn't have a very big role - in fact, she's wasted. The movie does provide a showy role for Dennis O'Keefe (who replaced Alan Ladd) and Signe Hasso, a very good actress often relegated to B films. O'Keefe plays a wounded soldier named Hoppy - and if you see this film, don't turn it off when you see "The End" because Mr. DeMille actually has an update about him.

The script could have been tighter, but "The Story of Dr. Wassell" is good entertainment, maybe a little dated, but nevertheless the story of a real-life hero who deservedly won the Purple Heart.

Reviewed by Doylenf 6 / 10

DeMille, Technicolor, Cooper and Laraine Day...nice combo...

GARY COOPER is a dedicated Naval doctor during World War II tending to the wounded in Java where a shipload of men are wounded and expecting an attack by the Japanese. LARAINE DAY is the lovely woman he loves and who stands by him when the going gets rough.

The Technicolor photography is a big asset in making the war scenes more realistic and the men really look like damaged goods in their bandages and splints--two of whom are played by PAUL KELLY and DENNIS O'KEEFE. O'Keefe shares a wobbly, artificial sub-plot romance with a nurse (CAROL THURSTON) who looks after him. Ditto for SIGNE HASSO and ELLIOT REID. However, all of the scenes in the infirmary have an authentic look, thanks to DeMille's eye for detail.

The wounded men are full of high spirits and hi-jinks but Cooper is told that 60,000 Japs have landed in Java nearby and none of the wounded would have a chance to escape. It's up to him to devise a plan where he can help some of the wounded escape.

The action scenes are fine but there's too many lulls in between with clumsy use of flashbacks involving Wassell's romance with Laraine Day and some tediously repetitious scenes of wounded men suffering further wounds when the men try to make an escape with the aid of British troops.

Certainly not a typical Cecil B. DeMille vehicle, but Cooper gives a decent performance.

The running time is too long because the flabby screenplay is sidetracked by poorly handled flashback segments. The sub-plot with Dennis O'Keefe's character just doesn't work and the whole story takes too long to tell.

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