Three former marines have a hard time readjusting to civilian life. Perry can't deal with the loss of the use of his legs. William is in trouble with bad debts. And Cliff can't decide what ... See full summary »
Stevenson, a British soldier fluent in Rumanian and German, goes undercover to sabotage a German poison-gas factory. He turns himself into Jan Tartu, a member of the Rumanian Iron Guard. ... See full summary »
Just as Nevada wins $7000 in yellowback bills, Ben Ide takes his #7000 in yellowbacks and heads out to buy mining equipment. Burridge has his man Powell kill Ide and retrieve the money and ... See full summary »
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
War correspondent Ernie Pyle joins Company C, 18th Infantry as this American army unit fights its way across North Africa in World War II. He comes to know the soldiers and finds much human... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Ship engineer Jim Taggert is rescued from a torpedoed tramp steamer by Joe Morgan, an American gangster that found New York too hot for him, and has become a fisherman operating from an ... See full summary »
Escaping a Nazi prison train in war-torn Italy, an American and a British soldier set out for the Swiss border and find themselves leading a multi-national party of refugees for the Italian underground.
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 <email@example.com>
The campaign of Makin Island which was the very first piece of Pacific Island we invaded against the Japanese in World War II. It serves as the basis for this film. Not much of an island the island was directly between the Hawaiian Islands and a place called Guadalcanal. The theory was get in, destroy the Japanese base and communications and get out. That much is true. The rest of the film is Hollywood hype.
Randolph Scott plays a character based on Major Evans Carlson of Carlson's Raiders which was an elite unit of Marines trained to take the island. Carlson had seen service in China and was impressed with the Chinese guerrilla campaign against the Japanese there. He studied the tactics of Chu The who was the military commander of Mao Tse-tung's Chinese Communists. I don't know much Marxism, if any, Carlson took to heart, but after World War II it got him in no small amount of trouble. In an organization as conservative and tradition bound as the United States Marines he became a pariah. He died in 1951.
Since the Makin Island campaign was the start of our Pacific Offensive it was natural that Hollywood seized on the opportunity to make a quick B picture as a morale booster. Universal assembled a good cast that included a young Robert Mitchum before stardom. Besides Mitchum, I liked J. Carroll Naish and Sam Levene who gave good support to Scott. Levene played the typical serviceman from Brooklyn which by that time was becoming a cliché in war pictures.
Anyway Carlson's lasting contribution to the Marines was the phrase Gung Ho. So if you want to know how that got into the Marine vocabulary, see this movie.
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