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.

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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:

Democracy 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On December 11, Lt. Cmdr. WInfield S. Cunningham was asked by superiors in a coded message what he needed. The actual defiant message, "Send us more Japs" was never sent as such. A junior officer added the words "Send us" to the beginning of the coded reply and "more Japs" to the end in order to confuse Japanese code-breakers. When it was received it was misinterpreted as "Send us more Japs." 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 Wake Island: Alamo of the Pacific (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Oe
("Farewell to Thee") (uncredited)
Composed by Queen Liliuokalani (as Lili'oukalani) 1877
Heard as marines leave Hawaii.
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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