Movie Details

This PBS documentary covers the daring 1945 commando raid to free 513 survivors of the 1942 Bataan death march in the Japanese-occupied Philippines. Penned up in the hellish Cabanatuan concentration camp for three years, the emaciated, disease-ridden prisoners (originally tens of thousands in number) were certain that America had forgotten them, and that they were doomed to be executed by their Japanese captors the moment that U.S. troops arrived to liberate them. But members of the 6th Ranger Battalion, parachuting 30 miles behind enemy lines, were determined to keep their rescue mission a secret from the enemy until the very last minute -- and, with the aid of hundreds of intrepid Filipino resistance fighters, they were able to successfully carry off their assignment. The story is told via eyewitness interviews, letters written by the prisoners, newsreel footage from both sides of the conflict, and dramatized reenactments. Narrated by Scott Glenn, "Bataan Rescue" was originally shown as an episode of the PBSanthology The American Experience. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi