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

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



(story) (as Lt. W.S. LeFrancois U.S.M.C.), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Lt. C.J. Cristoforos
Sam Levene ...
Leo 'Transport' Andreof
Larry O'Ryan
Richard Lane ...
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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) »


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


Drama | History | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gung Ho!  »

Box Office


$866,898 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie's director, Ray Enright, fought in the US Army Signal Corps during World War I. See more »


When Leo 'Transport' Andreof arrives in the jeep, he is wearing Staff Sgt stripes, but when he enters the building, he is now wearing Sgt stripes. See more »


Featured in Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

From the kids point
16 August 2006 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

After reading the reviews, it became obvious that everyone intellectualized this work. How utterly boring. Oh how about the good ol' days and there was nothing like it. Of all the comments no one expressed any emotion to this work or any other.

I grew up just after the end of the steam age and this cinematic gem along with Dan'l Boone graced the Saturday afternoon matinées. This was an annual movie that made the rounds and filled the seats with gabbing, yapping, farting, giggling, snot monsters like myself or was-self. And it was a movie theatre filler at the time. Almost as big as the Wizard of Oz.

IMDb insists that every critique contains something about the plot. Problem is was that it was rather a template. Here goes. Randolph Scott (cowboy/hero)gathers friends and goes defeats those evil people. Hooray!

All of us kids figured out that plot before we plunked our quarter down to watch it. That was just about the plot line of every Scott, John Wayne, Roy Rogers film ever made. If you take the time to go back and review each and every movie - just don't ask for surprises.

One must remember the context of the times. There was no or little TV. None for kids. There was school. There was the great outdoors. There were toy guns. No Cyber time. And the steam age had just collapsed. But movies such as this provided the entertainment and filled the imaginations of young whippersnappers. Even the girls got into it.

This movie was the entertainment. And it is just as mindless as anything produced today. It had a purpose originally of being propaganda. But quickly came to be kids movies.

Our fathers had experienced the real thing. And it wouldn't be until Sam Peckinpah a decade later who finally lavished the red splashes of imitation blood in realistic and copious quantities. Not until his directorship did anyone die slowly, with great pain and miserably. Until Peckinpah war and gun fights were a rather bloodless affair. Thanks Sam.

To see a movie had little or no blood, the adults didn't mind. They wouldn't have tolerated it I think. No guts spraying the shattering plant life. So this movie had all of the glory and none of the gory. Gung Ho was suitable for kids then.

You will see that I assigned a four to this rating. Why would I do that? Well. It is a terrible movie. No matter how I love it. I do love this movie because it brought back one of the happier moments of my childhood. But it is not all that good of a movie in quality terms. Basically Gung Ho transitted to become a romance novel for children.

Should people watch it. Of course. I am not saying to stay away. Realistically however. The plot is simple. The characters shallow? they are shoals. You can love a bad movie.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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