Concentrating on the personal lives of those involved, a war correspondent takes us through the preparations, landing and initial campaign on Guadalcanal during WWII. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Guadalcanal is situated in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean, north-east of Australia. Its local name is Isatabu and contains the country's capital, Honiara. The island is humid and mostly made up of jungle with a surface area of 2,510 square miles or 6,500-km². Guadacanal was named after Pedro de Ortega's home town Guadacanal in Andalusia, Spain. de Ortega worked under Álvaro de Mendaña who charted the island in 1568. See more »
In several scenes, Japanese soldiers are seen firing U.S.-made and -issued Thompson .45-cal. submachine guns, identical to the one carried by Sgt. Hook Malone. In one scene, a Japanese machine gun nest is firing a Thompson mounted on a tripod to make it appear as a light machine gun. See more »
The film's opening prologue in the preface of a book states: A new chapter in the history of America by a correspondent who landed on Guadalcanal with the first detachment of United States Marines. See more »
Regarded, justifiably, as one of the best war films ever
Outstanding recounting of the U.S. Marine invasion of Guadalcanal Island. Thankfully free of much of the harsh jingoistic tone and phony heroics so evident in films such as Ray Enright's "Gung Ho!" of the same year (although some elements of that do manage to creep in), virtually everything in this film works--Reed Hadley's sometimes sonorous but nonetheless sensitive narration; uniformly fine performances; a script that, while seeming somewhat dated and familiar now, nonetheless has a sharp edge to it, with several of the characters actually being quite well-drawn; top-notch battle scenes, both large-scale and close-in, that don't have the staginess and precisely rehearsed look unfortunately common to many war films; some welcome humor of the kind that any current or former GI would recognize; and the crisp, sharp editing associated more with Warner Bros. than 20th Century-Fox, which made it. The film does, in fact, have a definite Warners look and feel to it, and could easily be mistaken as a work by legendary Warners director Raoul Walsh, although it was actually directed by Lewis Seiler--like Walsh a Warners alumnus, and while Seiler is not in Walsh's league, this is far and away his best and most accomplished picture (and if any of you can figure out what the hell poster Christopher Mulrooney is talking about in a preceding review of this film, I wish you'd tell me). A previous poster has mentioned that the picture has some rather glaring historical inaccuracies, and I have no doubt that he's correct. Still, this is an exciting and riveting film--and, surprisingly enough, often a quite touching one, a quality not often associated with war pictures--that I believe truly deserves its reputation as one of the best war films to come out of Hollywood.
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