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Halls of Montezuma (1950) Poster

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Richard Boone's film debut.
This movie's dedication seen during the opening credits states: "To the United States Marine Corps-This story is dedicated in gratitude for its help in making it possible-But most of all for its stalwart defense of all we hold dear to our lives, our people, and our future."
20th Century-Fox studio publicity announced that this was the movie debut of Robert Wagner (as Private Coffman in this film). However, Wagner had previously appeared in debut but uncredited as Cleaves Catcher Adams in The Happy Years (1950). Nonetheless, this movie, Halls of Montezuma (1950), still represents Wagner's credited movie debut.
The landing craft are coming out of the USS Sedgwick County (LST-1123), which saw action in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam.
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This movie had simultaneous premieres in Los Angeles and New York according to 'The Hollywood Reporter'. Both premieres were attended by US Marine veterans, active duty Marines, and officials whilst, both premieres were also charity aid benefits raising funds for charities relating to the Marine Corps.
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Twentieth Century-Fox film studio publicity reveals that studio mogul Darryl F. Zanuck and producer Robert Bassler derived this movie's story from a short Marine film called "Objective-Prisoners" labeling this as "the key". The essence of this short film's plot was the high importance of capturing prisoners-of-war for interrogation as part of the military intelligence rationale.
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Script treatments written by Sy Bartlett, Harry Kleiner and Major George A. Gilliland USMC held in the Twentieth Century-Fox Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts Special Collections Library were not apparently used for this movie though Gilliand did stay on as a credited technical consultant to this movie's production.
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Second-unit filming of Marine Corps action maneuvers for this movie was shot between 1-12 May 1950 on location at Camp Pendleton, Southern California.
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US Marine and Navy units participated in the filming of this movie and after their work was finished, they went to fight in Korea.
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The meaning and relevance of this movie's title Halls of Montezuma (1950) is that it represents the first line of the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps which is known as the Marine's Hymn. This song is the oldest official song in the United States military. The first few lines go like this: "From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country's battles In the air, on land, and sea; First to fight for right and freedom And to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marine." The second line, To the Shores of Tripoli (1942) is also an American military movie as well.
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'The Los Angeles Times' announced on 27 January 1949 that this movie would be starring Dana Andrews, Paul Douglas and Anne Baxter. However, none of these actors ended up being in this picture.
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This movie was utilized as a recruitment film for the US Marine Corps under the cooperation with the Twentieth Century-Fox studio.
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The novel 'Under Fire' (2002) by W.E.B. Griffin has the production of this movie as one of it's story elements. The novel is Book IX of The Corps Series which feature the United States Marine Corps.
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This movie was made with the extensive cooperation of the United States Marines Corps.
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This movie's title is taken from the first opening line lyric of the Marine's Hymn, the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps. In turn, the phrase "Halls of Montezuma" in that hymn is taken from the September 1847 Mexican-American War's Battle of Chapultepec when American Marines attacked the Chapultepec Castle (Spanish: Castillo de Chapultepec) west of Mexico City and later occupied that city. The Chapultepec Castle is also known as the Halls of Montezuma. The castle was depicted in the movie Vera Cruz (1954) and was an actual filming location in the film Romeo + Juliet (1996).
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'The Hollywood Reporter' announced on 11 January 1951 that during the San Francisco premiere of this movie, a full company of new US Marines would be sworn-in at a special military ceremony at the film's launch.
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Sy Bartlett and Harry Kleiner "wrote an 'original treatment'-based on 'nothing' in which to utilize actual combat film-which the Marines offered us-of the invasion of certain Islands", according to the UCLA Legal Department's 20th Century Fox Records Collection.
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This movie was directed by Lewis Milestone who was a veteran of the war movie by the time he made this movie. His other war films had included by that time Arch of Triumph (1948); The Purple Heart (1944); The North Star (1943) aka Armored Attack; Edge of Darkness (1943); Our Russian Front (1942) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).
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This US Marines war movie was apparently studio head Darryl F. Zanuck and 20th Century Fox's response to Warner Brother's earlier US Marines war movie, Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) which was made a year prior to this film. Both movies utilized filming at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, Oceanside, California, USA.
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At one point, Correspondent Dickerman (Jack Webb) and Whitney (Martin Milner) are carrying Doc (Karl Malden) on a stretcher. Webb later starred as LAPD Detective Joe Friday on the television series "Dragnet", Milner starred as LAPD Officer Pete Malloy on the television series "Adam-12", and Malden starred as San Francisco Detective Lt. Mike Stone on the television series "Streets of San Francisco".
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