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Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

 -  Drama | War  -  27 October 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,520 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 11 critic

Concentrating on the personal lives of those involved, a war correspondent takes us through the preparations, landing and initial campaign on Guadalcanal during WWII.



(by), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Preston Foster ...
Sgt. Hook Malone
Capt. Davis
Jesus ('Soose') Alvarez
Pvt. Johnny ('Chicken') Anderson
Capt. James Cross
Minor Watson ...
Col. Wallace E. Grayson
Ralph Byrd ...
Ned Rowman
Sgt. Butch
Reed Hadley ...
War correspondent / Narrator
John Archer ...
Lt. Thurmond


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 October 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Richard Tregaskis' Guadalcanal Diary  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Movie accurately shows the Marines armed with bolt action rifles. While Garand rifles were available, they were just not available in numbers to issue to the Marines before setting sail. See more »


Japanese Type 97 grenades were primed by pulling the pin first and then hitting the striker hard against something hard (A rock or a helmet) to ignite the primer before throwing. During the battle at the cliffs, a Japanese soldier pulls the pin in a grenade and tosses it immediately without striking the pin. See more »


Cpl. Aloysius T. 'Taxi' Potts: Hey, Tex.
Pvt. Tex Mcllvoy: Yeah?
Cpl. Aloysius T. 'Taxi' Potts: Hot, ain't it?
Pvt. Tex Mcllvoy: Yeah. Hotter'n a Texas cattle call in August.
Gunnery Sgt. Hook Malone: So you think it's hot, do ya?
Cpl. Aloysius T. 'Taxi' Potts: Yeah.
Gunnery Sgt. Hook Malone: How'd you like a nice tall glass of ice cold beer?
Cpl. Aloysius T. 'Taxi' Potts: Beer! Strictly a middle class beverage. The last time I was back in Brooklyn, there was just such a night as this. We was havin' cocktails. My old lady brought 'em in, I took one taste, and boy what a kick. You know what she did?
Gunnery Sgt. Hook Malone: What?
Cpl. Aloysius T. 'Taxi' Potts: She took 'em out and put in another slug of gin.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


References Sergeant York (1941) See more »


Aloha Oe
Music by Queen Liliuokalani
Played on the harmonica when Potts is dancing the hula
See more »

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User Reviews

This is a little gem of a movie with a fine ensemble cast!
18 February 2003 | by (Louisville, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

This is a tremendous World War II film with amazing performances. The director, Lewis Seiler, and the writer of the screenplay, Lamar Trotti, must have really been on their toes to come up with this little gem from a book by Richard Tregaskis. The quality of "Guadalcanal" is amazing from the special effects and location shots to the cinematography and the dialogue. Sometimes less is more and this movie demonstrates that in portraying the violence of war realistically without being extremely graphic. The only minor flaw I saw in the special effects was when a few soldiers were killed by grenades or bombs and they seemed to fall over from the blast a tad bit too quickly. This movie uses an ensemble cast of actors to tell the story of a platoon of U.S. marines sent to Guadalcanal to fight the Japanese in the South Pacific Ocean. The focus is not as much on the fighting and battles as it is on the men themselves in the context of war, although there are several terrific scenes of fighting and skirmishes that propel the movie along at an excellent pace. "Guadalcanal" is in glorious black and white film and is crisp and clear. Many scenes from the movie are so vivid that they have lingered in my mind long after watching the movie. I can recall vividly the palm trees on the beach, the sound of the men singing, the men lounging on the deck of the ship, Japanese soldiers being blown up in a cave and falling out of trees, the faces and expressions of the men and on and on. This movie not only stood up to a second viewing but also seemed even better the second time around. I can't praise the actors enough who breathe life into this movie and who make their characters so easy to get to know that this sixty year old movie seems like it was made yesterday. Watch this movie and see how these men respond to battle in "Guadalcanal." It's an experience not to be missed. I highly recommend it and give it a 92/100. I purchased the DVD for my collection.

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