Merrill’s Marauders

Warner Home Video

The fingerprints of Jack Warner still stain Samuel Fuller’s 1962 film Merrill’s Marauders, about the real-life World War II platoon that fought in impossible conditions under Gen. Frank Merrill. Filmed largely in the Philippines, Fuller’s centerpiece battle scene was originally shot in one long take, but was cut by the studio and presumably destroyed (much like the long-take ballroom scene Orson Welles filmed for The Magnificent Ambersons). Its absence is a fitting summation of Merrill’s Marauders, a fits-and-starts battle film made on the cheap with a cast of B-listers. While Fuller’s film boasts one of the highest explosions-to-memorable-lines-of-dialogue ratios in movie history, it’s also sluggish and unnecessarily burdened with war-movie clichés, right down to the doctor named Doc.