MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,168 this week

The Fighting Seabees (1944)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  10 July 1944 (UK)
6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 2,089 users  
Reviews: 29 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 02 Jun 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 13 Sep 2011
 
a list of 18 titles
created 07 Aug 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 17 Oct 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Fighting Seabees (1944)

The Fighting Seabees (1944) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Fighting Seabees.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
In Harm's Way (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A naval officer reprimanded after Pearl Harbor is later promoted to rear admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal
Jet Pilot (1957)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Air Force Colonel Shannon is assigned to escort defecting Soviet pilot Anna. He falls in love with her, but she is scheming to lure him back to the USSR. But Shannon has a scheme of his own.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Jules Furthman
Stars: John Wayne, Janet Leigh, Jay C. Flippen
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

'Guns' Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and 'Boats' Gilhooley, until Dedham's high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Elizabeth Allen
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter attempt to break up a ring of Communist Party troublemakers in Hawaii (ignoring somewhat, as do their ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness
Dakota (1945)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1871, professional gambler John Devlin elopes with Sandra "Sandy" Poli, daughter of Marko Poli, an immigrant who has risen to railroad tycoon. Sandy, knowing that the railroad is to be ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Walter Brennan
Tycoon (1947)
Romance | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Engineer Johnny Munroe is enlisted to build a railroad tunnel through a mountain to reach mines. His task is complicated, and his ethics are compromised, when he falls in love with his ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: John Wayne, Laraine Day, Cedric Hardwicke
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society. When her husband is killed in an attempt on her life, she is charged with ... See full summary »

Director: Leigh Jason
Stars: Joan Blondell, John Wayne, Philip Merivale
Mystery | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a stranger arrives in a western town he finds that the rancher who sent for him has been murdered. Further, most of the townsfolk seem to be at each other's throats, and the newcomer ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: John Wayne, Ella Raines, Ward Bond
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Flying Tigers (1942)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.

Director: David Miller
Stars: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dennis O'Keefe ...
...
Eddie Powers
Leonid Kinskey ...
Johnny Novasky
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Sawyer Collins
Grant Withers ...
Whanger Spreckles
...
Ding Jacobs
Ben Welden ...
Yump Lumkin
William Forrest ...
Lt. Tom Kerrick
Addison Richards ...
Capt. Joyce
Jay Norris ...
Joe Brick
Duncan Renaldo ...
Construction Worker at Party
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The thrilling story of America's supermen! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1944 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Donovan's Army  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The name "Seabees" is a nickname for the US Navy's Construction Battalions division. See more »

Goofs

In the final battle scene a clamshell bucket is seen picking up Japanese soldiers. There are legs (with feet visible) dangling from the bucket. In the next shot, the legs are replaced with tree trunks. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Ireland Must Be Heaven, for My Mother Came from There
(uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
Lyrics by Howard Johnson and Joseph McCarthy
Sung by William Frawley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"We Build So That Others Can Fight"..........."We Fight For What We Build"
9 July 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Before writing this review I took a quick look at Wikipedia and the article they have on the Seabees. Despite the fanciful story that Borden Chase wrote here about how the service was founded, the Seabees were actually an idea already thought of by Admiral Ben Morreell the Chief of Navy Supply even before Pearl Harbor.

Unlike the war in Europe where the Allies would be looking to take an hold cities with facilities already there, like air fields for example, those planning the war in the Pacific knew that they would be starting from scratch. Airfields, fuel depots, etc. would have to be constructed on jungle islands in the Pacific. So the idea of a separate service for the construction trade was born.

Now that we know that the plot of The Fighting Seabees is so much hogwash, let me say that what the film does do very well is show the hazards of what the men in that service faced. Trying to build facilities at the same time as the enemy is firing on them. The scenario in this film is repeated many times over on the islands of the Pacific.

As to the story of this film, John Wayne reverses roles here. In most of his war films he's usually the professional military man, here he's the tough, but inpatient civilian who never seems to learn the value of military discipline. Of course being this is the Duke, he does redeem himself in the end in a spectacular manner.

A love triangle is tossed in here, rather unnecessarily in my opinion, a straightforward account of Seabee heroism would have been sufficient. Wayne and Navy Commander Dennis O'Keefe are both interested in war correspondent Susan Hayward. This was Hayward's second film with John Wayne, who along with Clark Gable, and Dean Martin, she once described as her three favorite leading men. Her big scene is when she's wounded and thinks she's cashing in, she declares her love for the Duke. Susan Hayward has always been a favorite of mine, but it's on the strength of her performances in her starring roles in the Fifties, not as the sex object in The Fighting Seabees.

The Fighting Seabees isn't one of the Duke's top 10 or even top 20, but it's a decent enough film to sit through even with the World War II heroic bravado that was obligatory at the time this was made. You even get to see John Wayne attempt the jitterbug. During that scene, the Duke looks mighty uncomfortable. He was never going to compete with Fred Astaire for roles.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Japanese language used in film m-h-w-bullen
Censor Board - Ships with no Guns cam405
I heard about this movie in a book fanficfreak07
I was wondering... ga526
Movie previewed by Seabees in Jan 1944 caldenki
Worst John Wayne War movie? jonathanrspalding
Discuss The Fighting Seabees (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?