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

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

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(story) (as Lt. W.S. LeFrancois U.S.M.C.) , (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 ...
...
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 All (59) »

Taglines:

TASTE VICTORY WITH THE U.S. MARINE RAIDERS as they yell their battle cry...GUNG HO! 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!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$866,898 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

U.S.S. Nautilus and U.S.S. Argonaut were the submarines used in the Makin Is. raid. Both subs mounted two deck guns. And due to their size could not be mistaken for Gato class subs. The Nautilus carried 6" deck guns and was used to shell shipping in the harbor at Makin. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Makin Island, Hollywood Style
9 July 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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