7.0/10
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21 user 16 critic

Wake Island (1942)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 11 August 1942 (USA)
December, 1941. With no hope of relief or re-supply, a small band of United States Marines try to keep the Japanese Navy from capturing their island base.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Maj. Geoffrey Caton
...
Lt. Bruce Cameron
...
Pvt. Joe Doyle
...
Pvt. Aloysius K. 'Smacksie' Randall
...
Shad McClosky
...
Cmdr. Roberts
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Ivan Probenzky
...
Capt. Pete Lewis
...
Sgt. Higbee / Narrator
...
Capt. Bill Patrick
...
Johnny Rudd
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Storyline

In November 1941, Major Caton takes command of the small Marine garrison on Wake Island. His tendency toward spit and polish upsets the men's tropical lassitude, but Pearl Harbor changes everything. Soon the island is attacked and the Marines pull together day by day; but how long can they hold out? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America will never forget! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 August 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heldenlegioen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$826,061 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Hedda Hopper's newspaper column of June 23, 1942, three different endings of this movie were shot. The ending to be used when released in August would depend upon how the war was going by then. See more »

Goofs

The scene showing a Japanese aircraft doing a recon of the island, has sharply tapered wing tips and fixed landing gear. However, the shadow of the aircraft has rounded wing tips. See more »

Quotes

Pvt. Aloysius K. 'Smacksie' Randall: [Dressed in civilian clothes] World, here I come!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(uncredited)
Composed by Gen. Daniel Butterfield 1862
Played during movie's opening.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wake Island (1942) ***
11 February 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

While nowadays this may seem quite indistinguishable from the many flagwavers rushed into production in its day, at the time WAKE ISLAND was very well received garnering 4 major Academy Award nominations (Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor - William Bendix); true, the characters and situations are pretty stereotypical but even so, it is certainly well enough made and well-cast (Brian Donlevy, Macdonald Carey, Albert Dekker, Robert Preston, Walter Abel) to be remembered when WWII films are discussed. Once the Pearl Harbor attack gets underway, it becomes an engrossing and poignant depiction of men-in-war facing insurmountable odds; the downbeat ending was quite fresh at the time and seems to have led to a spate of similarly pessimistic WWII movies like BATAAN (1943), SAHARA (1943), THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945), etc.


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