4 user 1 critic

Women of Valor (1986)

Story of a group of U.S. Army nurses in the Philippines during World War II who are captured and imprisoned by Japanese troops during the invasion of the Philippines.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Col. Margaret Ann Jessup
T.J. Nolan
Lt. Helen Prescott
Lt. Katherine R. Grace
Suzanne Lederer ...
Lt. Gail Polson
Patrick Bishop ...
Capt. Matome Nakayama
Maj. Tom Patterson
Lady Judith Eason
Capt. Rader
Paraplegic soldier
Capt. Chris Wyatt
Marilyn Redfield ...
Mrs. Carstairs
Gô Awazu ...
Sgt. Takijiro Kodama (as Go Awazu)
Rey Malonzo ...
Sgt. Ramos
Ken Metcalfe ...
Col. Sidell


Col. Jessup (Susan Sarandon), an American military nurse, presents a case for a bronze medal with Valor to a military hearing. She tells her story of being taken prisoner in the Phillipines by the Japanese during WWII. Having survived a death march from Bataan Col. Jessup is put into a POW camp run by the enemy. She and her fellow prisoners struggle for survival, working 14 hour days with limited food and no medical supplies. After almost three years the prisoners are liberated by American forces. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the Phillipines, 1942, a group of American Army nurses survived the horrors of war. The real battle was the terror and abuse of enemy captivity. This is a story of their courage and triumph.


Drama | War


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Women of Valour  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Just before the TV movie aired, a group of women who were actually held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II claimed the movie was unrealistic and did not portray what they endured. See more »


Written by Irving Berlin
Courtesy of Project 3 Records
See more »

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User Reviews

superior to the later Paradise Road
24 February 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

The tale of American army and navy nurses who are prisoners during the Japanese occupation of the Phillipines in the second world war. Kristy McNichol appears in the Bataan Death March, as one of gender disorientation, since her killing of a Japanese soldier makes the others assume she is a boy. In a memorable scene McNichol and Susan Sarandon slug it out as a form of self-punishment for the gratification of the guards. McNichol's role is supportive to Sarandon who is the star, but she brings her usual tomboyish spunkiness to proceedings. The teleplay by Jonas McCord rationalises the Japanese's brand of cruelty with the idea that they do not believe in surrender. They would rather suicide than be shamed in the way they believe the women have allowed themselves to be, and therefore the Japanese think the prisoners deserve no kindness. However not every guard enacts this philosophy, with one noticeably friendly to one woman who falls pregnant, and the commander being an American-Japanese, having being raised in San Francisco, makes him more amenable to Sarandon's requests for mercy. The treatment is narrated by Sarandon, at a post-war hearing, so we know she will survive the camp, but it does not answer the question of why the Americans left the Phillipines so quickly once they declared war on Japan. The idea that they are not aware that any Americans have remained in the area is raised at the camp's liberation, but clearly sentiment is against Douglas MacArthur when he announces his withdrawal. Director Buzz Kulik uses black and white newsreel footage and matching decoloured recreations for the progression of the war.

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