Japan has just invaded the Phillipines and the US Army attempts a desperate defence. Thirteen men are chosen to blow up a bridge on the Bataan peninsula and keep the Japanese from ... See full summary »
Humphrey van Weyden, a writer, and fugitives Ruth Webster and George Leach have been given refuge aboard the sealer "Ghost," captained by the cruel Wolf Larsen. The crew mutinies against ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
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 North Africa. There he got to know the men and often wrote about them in his columns mentioning them by name, something both the soldiers and their families back home appreciated. Pyle moved to other units but as C Company is the first he went into combat with, he considers them "his" company and rejoins them in Italy. Many will die but his reporting brings a human face to war. Written by
The extras in the film were real American GIs, in the process of being transferred from the war in Europe to the Pacific. Many of them were killed in the fighting on Okinawa - the same battle in which Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese machine gunner - never having seen the movie in which they appeared. See more »
The unit Pyle is with -the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division- never fought in the Italian campaign. After the Sicilian campaign ended, it was brought back to England and began training for the D-Day invasion in Normandy. The 1st Division would eventually spearhead the assault on Omaha Beach. See more »
Opening credits: With the exception of persons whose true names are used, the characters and events portrayed are fictional. Any similarity to other persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »
Being family to the story's author, Ernie Pyle, I have been privy to lots of background on the movie itself. Ernie Pyle was and still is considered to be one of the greatest war correspondents ever, and NOT for writing about the campaigns or generals - but about the everyday life and drudgery of the grunts, sailors and airmen. A ship, plane, and numerous schools have been named after him, his works still studied by today's aspiring journalists, and Ernie's most famous article, "The Death of Capt Waskow", is even portrayed by Mitchum in this movie (http://www.journalism.indiana.edu/news/erniepyle/waskow.html)
When Hollywood wanted to capitalize on Ernie's fame and make a movie of his book "Here is Your War" and daily articles, he made a distinct point in ensuring the movie wasn't about him, but rather about what the GIs go through (he is sometimes even credited with coining the moniker "GI Joe" - but I can't verify this).
That is also why this is not your traditional shoot-em-up-blow-em-up action packed movie. As in real life (and having just retired from 21 yrs active duty myself I know personally), combat action is really 45 days of sheer maddening boredom interrupted by 45 seconds of sheer indiscriminate terror. And that is what this movie portrays for the first time - and the dirt - the boredom - the dark humor - and the tragic unpredictable randomness of combat death.
Ernie was involved in the making of the movie but never saw its completion before being killed by a sniper on Ie Shima in 1945 on 18 April (now celebrated as National Columnists Day even - http://www.columnists.com/pyle.html) and Meredith fairly closely portrays the diminutive stature of Ernie.
In fact, this movie is specifically credited from Hasbro's own web site with naming the most popular boy's action figure - GI Joe (http://www.hsbro.com/gijoe/rah/default.cfm?page=history). Hasbro finally also provided a limited special edition "Ernie Pyle GI Joe" - but it's best to buy the $28 corrected version from the Ernie Pyle Museum in Dana, IN, than the $50+ uncorrected versions on eBay.
Additionally, today's military even can thank Ernie for "hazardous duty" or "combat pay" with the "Ernie Pyle Bill" by Congress in 1945 to award such special pay. After seeing that the everyday grunt that was bearing the burden and horror of war and getting paid no different for risking their lives than the REMFs back at Washington for pushing paper
he took exception and wrote - and wrote - and wrote, which in turn
was taken to heart by the American public and their elected representatives.
Lastly, when Ernie was killed on Ie Shima, the soldiers so respected him that while all the military KIAs were being buried in their ponchos or blankets by the hundreds a day, they took the time to make a coffin for this non-combatant civilian journalist - and buried along side the grunts he loved so well. I doubt any of today's journalists would ever rate that kind of respect.
No, not your modern action packed war movie - but neither is real war, and this movie tells it like it really is!
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