The Great Raid is a war film which tells the story of the January 1945 liberation of the Cabanatuan Prison Camp during World War II. It is directed by John Dahl and stars Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Fiennes, James Franco and Connie Nielsen with Filipino actor Cesar Montano.
The real-life efforts of Filipino National Forces are also specifically highlighted, especially a courageous stand at a bridge that delayed Japanese reinforcements. These units fought alongside Americans against Japanese occupiers during the war.
American film director and screenwriter John Dahl cast Montano The Great Raid after taking notice of Montano’s performance in the movie Muro Ami. He played Juan Pajota in the Miramax Films set in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines in 1945 towards the end of WWII.  The director was impressed with the bald look Cesar sported in “Muro Ami”. In addition, his intense performance in Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s film was a determining factor for his being chosen to play Captain Pajota.  Only a few Filipino actors have penetrated the international film scene and enjoyed equal exposure with foreign stars.
It is the first Hollywood movie in which Cesar Montano plays a major role. Also, it was produced by Miramax, a company known to produce films that consistently bag nominations (and eventually awards) in the annual Oscars. For any Filipino actor, this is a dream-come-true.