The story of men at war and that of the esteemed Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Soon after the U.S. entry into World War II, Pyle joined C Company, 18th Infantry in ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
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Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
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>
You can say the film is dated. But then again, Shakespeare is also dated. Shakespeare is also dateless, and this film is too. We won't get another Randolph Scott and here he stars in perhaps his most entertaining, if not most sobering, war film. Sure, it's jingoistic, racist, preachy, and cliché-ridden. It's not exactly historical, except in showing how Americans viewed themselves and the Marines at the time.
The real history behind this highly romanticized dramatization has been covered well by the other commentaries. The Makin Island raid was a folly that movie glamorizes, and Carlson was an idealist whose comrade-oriented methods had little influence on later commando tactics. However, even he didn't like the Hollywood result. Despite seeing his name on the credits and Randolph Scott ideally cast to portray him, Carlson walked out of the movie theatre in disgust when he first viewed the film.
When will this gem get remastered and restored? They truly don't make 'em like this anymore.
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