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In 1942, a group of young men join the Marines, leaving loved ones behind. Primed for battle, they are frustrated by many non-combat assignments, as we follow their wartime romances, especially Andy Hookens' involvement with Pat, a New Zealand widow. Andy and Pat have just decided that war requires them to 'live for the moment' when, in 1944, our team finally goes into a real battle... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Film debuts of Perry Lopez, Don Durant and Harold Knudsen. See more »
Although the story takes place in 1942, all of the women's clothing and hairstyles, particularly those of Nancy Olson, Dorothy Malone and Mona Freeman, are strictly 1954; the sole exception is Anne Francis, whose appearance does actually imply the correct era at least to some extent. See more »
Not a perfect movie, but in my opinion, a good one.
My perspective of this movie is that of a Navy veteran of World War II. My ship landed Marines on Iwo Jima and I witnessed the flag over Mount Suribachi. I take exception to some who do not consider this realistic enough, but it was made in 1955 and for its time I thought the combat scenes were adequate. I read Leon Uris' book Battle Cry long before I saw the movie. He was there in the Pacificduring World War II not in some office in Hollywood and not long after the question of whether or not we would prevail was yet finalized. He mentions in his book and it is also mentioned in the movie that when the Marines left New Zealand they "boarded the ships known as the Unholy Four." Well, I served on USS President Jackson, an attack transport which landed the first Marines in an American offensive in WWII and this was 7 August 1942 at Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. An hour later the USS President Adams landed the first troops of Guadalcanal. These two ships plus the USS President Hayes and USS Crescent City made up what was known by sailors and Marines throughout the Pacific as the "Unholy Four." So, you see, Leon Uris knew a heck of a lot more about what went on in the Pacific than latter day critics of this movie whom I doubt were ever in the military let alone in the Pacific during WWII. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the love story woven through the plot. I and many veterans could well relate to a Marine on leave falling in love with a New Zealand girl and then going off to fight and returning in bad shape. Hey,pals of today, you really don,t have any idea of such things unless you experienced them. The battle scenes were not gory and perhaps not realistic; if they were you wouldn't be able to sit in the theatre without throwing up. The two Navajo indians portrayed were used to show how the Marines used the Navajo Codetalkers to thwart Japanese trying to listen in on their communications. Recently two real live Navajo Codetalkers where given medals at the White House and there is another movie to come out about the Code Talkers. The idea that a Marine Colonel might spend a long time training troops and then not being allowed to take them into combat may seem idiotic but if you trained hard for a long, long time for a job you wanted to get it done, at least that was they way men felt in those days. The training sequences were in my opinion quite good and showed how Marines were shaped into combat readiness. The story line about some of the Marines reflected just a little about the diverse nature of servicemen during the war. There were no blacks in the movie because during WWII all military services were segregated although the Navy had black mess cooks aboard ship. Whether you like it or not that was the real way it was then. The movie has James Whitmore as a top sergeant and does a fine job with one memborable scene when the Colonel asks if he is going to stay on base or base with the Old Man. He replies, "T think I'll go to town and see ikf I can scare up an Old Woman." He had previously done a fine job as a Sergeant with 101st Airborne in Battleground, in my opinion another very good war movie. Well, the movie ends with the Marines back hom on leave and what do they see as they get off the train but a newspaper with the big black headline: "Marines on Iwo Jima." If anyone thought this was a lousy movie they are entitled to their opinions, but for me, I say, "Tell it to the Marines!"
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