Seven weeks after Pearl Harbor, volunteers form the new 2nd Marine Raider Battalion whose purpose is to raid Japanese-held islands. The men selected come from different walks of life but have toughness in common. Under command of Colonel 'Thorwald', they're trained in all imaginable forms of combat. Then, after a perilous submarine journey, they face a daunting first mission: to annihilate the much larger Japanese garrison on Makin Island, in a lengthy battle sequence. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A lot has been said about this picture's outrageous jingoism, and that's a valid point, but this wasn't intended to be a history lesson (although it's based on a true story), it was made as propaganda to further the war effort, and at that it succeeds. It's quite well made, the battle scenes are exciting and very well done, and it probably did what it was intended to do, which was to give the public something to feel good about; in 1943 the war wasn't going all that well for the Allies. Robert Mitchum was starting to get bigger parts about this time; he has a fairly substantial part here, and his laconic style is quite evident. Some of the dialogue is a bit difficult to get past (one soldier says he wants to join the unit that is being put together to raid a Japanese-held island because "I just don't like Japs"), and some of the heroics are a bit much, but overall it's no worse, and a bit better, than many of the war pictures to come out of Hollywood around that time.
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