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'Gung Ho!': The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders (1943)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  20 December 1943 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 858 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 6 critic

The true story of Carlson's Raiders and their World War II attack on Makin Island.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: 'Gung Ho!': The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alan Curtis ...
John Harbison
...
Cpl. Kurt Richter
J. Carrol Naish ...
Lt. C.J. Cristoforos
Sam Levene ...
Leo 'Transport' Andreof
David Bruce ...
Larry O'Ryan
Richard Lane ...
Capt. Dunphy
Walter Sande ...
'Gunner' McBride
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Lt. Roland Browning
...
'Pig-Iron' Matthews
Rod Cameron ...
Rube Tedrow
Grace McDonald ...
Kathleen Corrigan
...
Cmdr. Blake
Peter Coe ...
Kozzarowski
Harold Landon ...
Frankie Montana
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | mission | battle | combat | marine | See more »

Taglines:

THRILLS! EXCITEMENT! ACTION! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gung Ho!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The action in this movie takes place in the Makin Group of Islands. The Butaritari Atoll or Butaritari Island is the largest of the Makin Atoll group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. It has also been known as Makin Island, Pitt Island, Taritari Island and Touching Island. The Makin Islands are a chain of islands nested within the larger Gilbert Islands group of 16 atolls and coral islands. They are all a part of the Island Nation of the Republic of Kiribati. See more »

Goofs

The U.S. Marines were not issued Garand semi-automatic rifles until after the Guadalcanal invasion, so it might be thought that the Raiders would have been using M1903 Springfield bolt-action rifles in the raid on Makin in August, 1942. However, since James Roosevelt, the President's son, was a member of the raiding party, the Makin raiders were issued the most up-to-date weaponry, which included the Garands. See more »

Connections

Featured in Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A decent straight-forward war film
22 July 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

When you watch GUNG HO!, you'll probably soon recognize how crappy the print is. I know it's been in the public domain and the copy recent shown on Turner Classic Movies was very dark and a bit fuzzy--and TCM usually shows the best print available.

As for the film, despite having Randolph Scott and some familiar faces (Noah Beery, Jr., Robert Mitchum and others), it's an amazingly straight-forward and simple film. The usual clichés and side stories, while still present, are much fewer in number and far more emphasis is placed on the training and combat. Additionally, I was amazed at how brutal the film was, as the Raiders were taught to fight very dirty and there was an amazing amount of blood for a 40s era film. It was uncompromising and direct throughout the movie.

The film itself is about a special unit within the Marines that were akin to the Army Rangers or a Special Forces unit. Apparently they were a real group and the film was made about their first mission in 1942--only a few months before this film was produced! Because it was so direct and simple, I really enjoyed the film. However, for lovers of Randolph Scott, while he's in GUNG HO!, his role is rather simple and quite unlike his later persona in Westerns.

By the way, although the film was pretty good, it featured one of the dumber war clichés as one of the soldier pulls a grenade pin with his teeth--a great way to rip out or shatter your teeth.

For more information about this raid (some of which is much more incredible than what is in the film), try http://www.usmarineraiders.org/makin.html.


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