Go For Broke! is a movie about the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team, formed in 1943 by Presidential permission with Japanese-American volunteers. The film stars Van Johnson as Lt. Grayson, the commanding officer of a platoon of Nisei, second-generation Japanese Americans, who have volunteered to fight for the United States. Grayson is displeased with his assignment because of his distrust and dislike for the men he’s commanding. The movie follows the unit as they fight through Italy and France.
I’ve watched Go For Broke! twice now and love it. The movie was made only eight years after the events it portrays, and a six of the main characters are actual veterans. The variety of personalities and backgrounds is wonderful and avoids stereotypes very well. Grayson’s attitude toward the Nisei is gradually transformed by his mens’ competence and integrity.
(If you want to watch another great Van Johnson war movie, try Thirty Seconds over Tokyo)
*Name that song!
Images from Dave’s World of War Movies