We've Never Been Licked
(a.k.a. Fighting Command, reissue
(a.k.a. Texas to Tokyo, UK release title)
Directed by John Rawlins
Written by Norman Reilly Raine
A Walter Wanger Production
Released August 4, 1943
Using Texas A&M for background, with most of the
famous southwestern institution of learning, Walter Wanger has built an
interesting picture around the character of a student there who finally made
the supreme sacrifice in the war against Japan.
Film is not a college story per se, nor is it strictly
of the war, though combining the two effectively. Majority of the action
takes place at Texas A&M, at College Station, Texas, whose entire enrollment
of over 7,000 men appear in the footage. The story of Texas A&M in
itself makes good entertainment.
Richard Quine, newcomer to the screen, plays the son of
an officer , a former grad of the college who's now
seeing active service.
Quine immediately becomes unpopular; he seems to side with the cause of Japan
where he'd spent several years before coming to Texas A&M. Ultimately,
he's dismissed from the college after turning over the formula for a gas
antidote to a Japanese ring operating at the school, and goes to Tokyo, where he
becomes a yellow-peril Lord Haw-Haw.
While the implication is strong that he has turned
pro-Axis, actually Quine has disgraced himself in the eyes of his fellow
students and others in order to use his Japanese connections in tipping off a
planned sea battle. Permitted to accompany a bomber squadron, he kills the
pilot, and dives the plane into a Japanese aircraft carrier to which finishing
touches of destruction are lent by an Allied bombardment from the air. The
battle scenes in which Wanger had the cooperation of the Navy, are extremely
exciting and well-photographed.
Quine and Noah Berry, Jr. are paired as Texas A&M
roommates. Quine fits the role laid out for him very well, the turncoat as
it were. The girl, daughter of a professor at the college who's fond of
Quine and knew his father before him, is played by Anne Gwynne, who has
an excellent screen personality.
Her father is played effectively by Harry
Davenport. Others include Martha O'Driscoll, Edgar Barrier and William
Frawley, last mentioned an American who is directing pro-Japanese activities in
In addition to Texas A&M songs, the picture
contains a ballad, "Me For You, Forever," written by Harry Revel and
Paul Francis Webster. It is inserted in a ball sequence. The college
numbers are "Spirit of Aggieland," "Aggie War Him," and
"I'd Rather Be a Texas Aggie."
re-released the film "We've Never Been Licked"
with a new moniker, "Fighting Command"