The Fighting Seabees (1944)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  10 July 1944 (UK)
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Reviews: 30 user | 16 critic

Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) , 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Eddie Powers
Leonid Kinskey ...
Johnny Novasky
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Sawyer Collins
Whanger Spreckles
Ding Jacobs
Yump Lumkin
William Forrest ...
Lt. Tom Kerrick
Addison Richards ...
Capt. Joyce
Jay Norris ...
Joe Brick
Construction Worker at Party


Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of attacks by the Japanese, something new is tried, Construction Battalions (CBs=Seabees). The new CBs have to both build and be ready to fight. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HARD-MUSCLED! SOFT-HEARTED! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 July 1944 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Donovan's Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The words to the fun song, the "Song of the Seabees" (Music by 'Peter de Rose' and Lyrics by Sam Lewis) heard in the movie go like this: "We're the Seabees of the Navy - We can build and we can fight - We'll pave the way to victory - And guard it day and night - And we promise that we'll remember - The 'Seventh of December' ..... "We're the Seabees of the Navy - Bees of the Seven Seas" ..... "The Navy wanted men - That's where we came in - Mister Brown and Mister Jones - The Owens, the Cohens and Flynn - The Navy wanted more - Of Uncle Sammy's kin - So we all joined up - And brother we're in to win!" See more »


When the Seabees are first deployed to the island, they embark in Higgins boats (no bow ramps). When they reach the shore, the Higgins boats are now LCVPs. See more »


Eddie Powers: I'm Eddie Powers, Donovan's factotum, meaning, "Man Friday". That's Latin.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Yarrow: Well, I'm glad to know you Friday even if it's only Thursday.
See more »


Referenced in Into the Breach: 'Saving Private Ryan' (1998) See more »


Where Do You Work-a, John?
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mortimer Weinberg and Charley Marks
Sung by those at the coming home party
See more »

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User Reviews

Another excellent Wayne wartime propaganda piece
26 January 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Saying this film is "propaganda" is not an insult. No, it was deliberately crafted to encourage Americans that we can and will win the war if we stand firm. And what better image of this than the ever-vigilant John Wayne--the embodiment of the Hollywood image of heroism.

This film reminds me a lot of The Flying Tigers, though the plot isn't so melodramatic. It's about a crew of civilian engineers sent overseas to do construction for our troops (such as building runways and other projects). BUT, the evil Japanese in the movie take advantage of the fact that these are unarmed civilians and butcher them at every opportunity. So, what is The Duke and his trusted pals to do? Take up arms and use their own equipment when necessary to beat the stuffing out of the Japs! Yes, guys with bulldozers and clubs NEVER could have inflicted the casualties you witness in the movie, but man if it isn't entertaining to watch--particularly the explosive ending.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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