Cecil B. De Mille was inspired to make this 1944 movie after hearing of the heroic efforts of Navy doctor Corydon M. Wassell in one of Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats. When the Japanese were sweeping throughout the East Indies, Dr. Wassell (Gary Cooper) refuses to abandon wounded sailors from the cruiser Marblehead who were left behind in Java when the Americans evacuated. Against great odds, Wassell succeeds in getting all of the men to Australia alive. Certainly an inspiring story, but obviously in the hands of the wrong director as De Mille throws in melodramatic romance, dancing girls and pretty much every World War II cliche known. "The Story of Dr. Wassell" has an immense cast and a surprisingly slow pace which all serves to detract from Gary Cooper's grim resolve to lead the men to safety. Wassel's claim this film was "98 per cent documentary" is just not credible. I found myself thinking this film would have worked a lot better in black and white, which would have been more appropriate to the grim but fascinating story at the heart of the movie. Final note of interested: this film was released on D-Day.