Supplies are dwindling. Troops are hopelessly outnumbered. But even in defeat there is victory. The defenders of the Philippines - including PT-boat skippers John Brickley (Robert Montgomery) and Rusty Ryan (John Wayne) - will give the U.S. war effort time to regroup after the devastation of Pearl Harbor. Director John Ford's World War II tale knows its battle-scarred topic first-hand. Montgomery was himself a Pacific PT-boat commander and a valorous Bronze Star recipient. Ford filmed the Academy Award - winning documentary Battle of Midway. And Wayne creates a portrait of patriotic resolve as only he can. They Were Expendable salutes all who expended themselves during some of the war's bleakest hours.