Maharlika (film)


Maharlika (lit.'Nobleman'; also known as Guerilla Strike Force)[1] is a 1987 Filipino war film directed by Jerr Hopper and starring Paul Burke, Dovie Beams, Farley Granger, Vic Diaz, Vic Silayan, and Broderick Crawford. Produced by Nepomuceno Productions,[2] it is loosely based on the alleged wartime exploits of Ferdinand Marcos, the 10th President of the Philippines, during World War II; the film was commissioned by Marcos himself in 1968.[3] Though Maharlika was completed by 1970,[2] the film was banned by Marcos' wife Imelda from theatrical exhibition in 1971 due to Beams alleging that she had an affair with the president.[4] Imelda then instructed production head Luis Nepomuceno to safeguard the film's elements, which were thus sent abroad, while Nepomuceno Productions was later closed down.[5][4]

Directed byJerr Hopper
Written bySy Salkowitz
CinematographyRichard Kelly
Nepomuceno Productions
Release dates
  • February 20, 1987 (1987-02-20) (Rizal Theater)
  • April 9, 1987 (1987-04-09)

After the Marcoses were deposed in 1986 through the People Power Revolution, the film was publicly exhibited for the first time at the Rizal Theater in Makati on February 20, 1987.[2] Later, it was given a general release in Philippine theaters on April 9, 1987.[6][7] Critic Ernie M. Hizon of the Manila Standard gave the film an extremely negative review for its unremarkable quality and white savior narrative.


Critical responseEdit

Ernie M. Hizon of the Manila Standard gave Maharlika an extremely negative review, calling it an "inert, grade D movie" that is "bereft of any aesthetic and historical value". Hizon was also critical of the casting of Dovie Beams, an American, in the role of an innocent native Filipina, while he considered the film's white savior narrative to be its worst issue. Hizon concluded that Maharlika is a cheap film that "peddles a gross distortion of our history."[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Guerilla Strike Force aka Maharlika 1970". Rare War Films. Retrieved January 19, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Maharlika Showing". Manila Standard. Standard Publications, Inc. February 20, 1987. p. 11. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  3. ^ Ellison, Katherine (2005). Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-595-34922-7. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Deane, Daniela (February 19, 1987). "Movie stars purported Marcos mistress". Manila, Philippines: United Press International, Inc. UPI. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "Appendix 5.1: Letter from Luis Nepomuceno to Imelda Marcos on the Film Maharlika". Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies. University of the Philippines. 27–28: 590. 2017. ISSN 2012-080X. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Movie Guide". Manila Standard. Standard Publications, Inc. April 9, 1987. p. 14. Retrieved January 19, 2021. GALAXY..................Maharlika
  7. ^ "Movie Guide". Manila Standard. Standard Publications, Inc. April 8, 1987. p. 15. Retrieved January 19, 2021. GALAXY.........Ultimatum Ceasefire
  8. ^ a b c d e "MAHARLIKA (1969)". BFI. British Film Institute. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  9. ^ Hizon, Ernie M. (March 6, 1987). "Nothing noble about 'Maharlika'". Manila Standard. Standard Publications, Inc. p. 14. Retrieved January 19, 2021.

External linksEdit