Oscar Movies: Objective, Burma (1945)–War Movie Directed by Raoul Walsh, Starring Errol Flynn

Objective Burma, one of the best combat films of WW2, stars Errol Flynn as Captain Nelson, who leads a band of paratroopers behind enemy lines in Burma in order to destroy a Japanese radar station.

Their mission accomplished, Nelson and his men prepare to make their escape by plane, but it proves to be impossible. The surviving paratroops must make a grueling 150-mile journey by foot through the Japanese-held jungle to reach their own lines.

The performances are good, with Flynn, George Tobias and William Prince standing out.

Director Raoul Walsh and cinematographer James Wong Howe stage the combat scenes (shot on the “Lucky” Baldwin Santa Anita ranch) with brutal efficiency.

In England, Objective Burma was taken to task by newspaper journalist who felt that the Americans were unfairly taking full credit for the success of the Burmese campaign. This compelled Warner to issue an apology, and to withhold the British release of the film until 1952, at which time it was accompanied by a prologue title extolling England’s contribution to the Burma invasion.

Originally released at 142 minutes, Objective Burma is usually shown in its 128-minute form.


Oscar Nominations: 3

Original Story: Alvah Bessie

Scoring: Franz Waxman

Film Editing: George Amy

Oscar Awards: None



Directed by Raoul Walsh

Written by Ranald MacDougall and Lester Cole

DVD: May 13, 2003