Rescue in the Philippines

Rescue in the Philippines

Executive Producer:
  • Alan Heath
Senior Consultant:
  • Barbara Weston Sasser
  • Peggy Ellis
Production Company:

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Rescue in the Philippines (2013)

Also Known As: Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust

Opened: 03/29/2013 Limited

Music Hall 303/29/2013 - 04/04/20137 days
Quad Cinema/NYC03/29/2013 - 04/04/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, YouTube

Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated

This Untold Saga Involving Presidents, Cigars, and Poker, Tells a Gripping and Inspirational True Story of Moral Courage.


RESCUE IN THE PHILIPPINES is a one-hour documentary of the previously untold story of how the five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila, together with Manuel Quezon, the charismatic first president of the Philippines, Paul McNutt, US High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana (preparing for his own presidential campaign) and an ambitious Army Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower - helped 1,200 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines.

No one could have predicted that tropical afternoon and evening card games would lead to an intricate international plan of rescue and settlement. When no other country would take in the masses of fleeing Jews, they alone persevered simply because "it was the right thing to do."

How unspeakable evil, prejudice, intolerance -- and the threat of domination and loss of liberty - elicits the determination to defeat it.

How the American values of freedom and liberty for everyone -- of protecting the weak and rescuing the persecuted - found a perfect complement in a young president fighting for his country's freedom and independence with his own respect for every human life.

This is also the story of how a young nation -- at considerable political risk -- takes its seat at the table of nations by demonstrating moral courage equal to -- at this time far superior to -- larger, wealthier, stronger nations.

And this is the story of how one freedom loving fledgling democracy bonded with the world's other freedom loving fledgling democracy -- Israel. On November 29, 1947, the Philippines cast the deciding U.N. vote in favor of Israeli statehood. Today the Open Door monument stands in Israel commemorating the courage and bravery of the Philippines in their rescue of 1200 Jews.

A real life Casablanca, the story of the rescue is dramatic, elevating and inventive. At its core lies the integrity and compassion of seven men from completely different backgrounds -- military, political, business -- Jewish, Protestant and Catholic -- with vastly different personal agendas and reasons for being in the Philippines, united only by this place and time and their compassion, conceived of and accomplished the rescue.

Pivotal was the extraordinary support of President Quezon who said, "(T)he people of the Philippines will have in the future every reason to be glad that when the time of need came, their country was willing to extend a hand of welcome."

Equally extraordinary was Paul McNutt's diplomatic expertise and political courage convincing the State Department to keep Philippine borders open. It was the perseverance and courage of the Frieders that created new lives in this strange land for a steady stream of desperate refugees. For the refugees, it is a story of daring escapes, hardships creating a community of love and faith and, finally, a desperate battle for survival in the middle of one of the most ferocious battles of World War II.

About the Filmmakers

Russell C. Hodge

Russ Hodge is an Emmy Award-winning producer with over 25 years of experience in news, public affairs and documentary production and programming. Mr. Hodge recently returned to 3 Roads after serving as the first Director of Television for the Voice of America. At VOA he oversaw the creation and production of more than one hundred hours of original video programming per week in 45 languages. The largest U.S international broadcaster with an overall audience of an estimated 134 million, Mr. Hodge managed 18 bureaus around the world, and a multimillion dollar budget.

Cynthia Scott

Cynthia Scott-Johnson is an award-winning communication strategist with specialized expertise in television production and distribution. Ms. Scott-Johnson brings over 25 years of experience planning and implementing communication strategies to provide clients with effective counsel to navigate today's high-tech and fragmented media environment.

Terry Irving

Terry Irving is an Emmy award-winning Senior Producer, digital media executive, experienced editor and talented writer. A flexible and determined team leader, he has a long track record of creating quality content in a wide spectrum of subject areas without missing deadlines or breaking budgets by managing highly productive teams in news, internet media and business. Additionally, he has written and edited television, news, magazines, articles, a novel, documentaries and -the hardest of all -jokes