Gunnery Sergeant Jim Moore is one of the toughest Drill Instructors on Parris Island. But he's got a thorn in his side: Pvt. Owens, who always seems to foul up when the pressure's on. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Gunnery Sgt. Jim Moore
Pvt. Owens
Jackie Loughery ...
Capt. T.L. Anderson
Burt (as Matt Davis)
Mrs. Charles D. Owens
Jeannie Beacham ...
Lou Tobin ...
Bartender at Cotton Club
Jeanne Baird ...
Mother at Woman's Store
Woman Customer
Melody Gale ...
Little Girl at Woman's Store


Gunnery Sergeant Jim Moore is one of the toughest Drill Instructors on Parris Island. But he's got a thorn in his side: Pvt. Owens, who always seems to foul up when the pressure's on. Convinced that "there's a man underneath that baby powder," Sgt. Moore drives Owens to the point of desertion. Making things worse, Capt. Anderson has given Moore three days to make the scared private into Marine material, "or I'll personally cut the lace off his panties and ship him out!" Adding to the pressure, Moore also juggles a budding romance with a shop girl. Written by Michael J. Hayde <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is T/SGT. Jim Moore, toughest of the tough-guy Drill Instructors. One of the most powerful of all screen performances. See more »







Release Date:

28 March 1958 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Drill Instructor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the 80's this movie was played to recruits on MCRD Parris Island. See more »


During a bar scene, Gunnery Sergeant Moore is antagonized by another D.I. named Joey, who wears only the ribbon for the National Defense Service Medal. Since Joey is obviously old enough to have previously served in both World War II and the Korean War, he should also have been wearing service ribbons denoting service during those conflicts. See more »


TSgt Moore: Your rifle is your best friend! You let it down, it will surely let you down!
See more »


References Kitty Foyle (1940) See more »


(If'n You Don't) Somebody Else Will
Music by Ray Conniff
Lyrics by Fred Weismantel
Sung by Monica Lewis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good movie, although a bit "Jack Webb" dated, but very professional.
4 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was a Marine at Camp Pendleton when the D.I. came out (1st Marine Division, 11th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, I-Battery). I still remember standing in line with a bunch of other Marines to see the movie at the "Star" theater in Oceanside, California.

We did not remotely expect the movie to portray everything we experienced in boot camp but we were all pleasantly surprised at how well done the movie was. The idea of using real Marines in the movie was a great idea (I believe they were all real Drill Instructors too). As good an actor as Jack Webb was, he just couldn't "call cadence" like a real Marine Drill Instructor.

All of us got a laugh when the "problem" recruit's mother came to boot camp to talk to the Captain. Never in a million years would this have happened, but that's Hollywood, and we didn't let that episode keep us from enjoying the movie.

I went through boot camp at MCRD in San Diego during the summer of 1956, and at that time there was virtually no limits as to what the D.I.'s could do to you. The "Ribbon Creek" event at Parris Island had not yet affected boot camp, at least not at MCRD - San Diego.

I agree with what a lot of the other reviewers have commented on concerning Sgt. Moore's "stiffness" around his girl friend. I believe this was just Webb's acting style, and although they could have deleted this part of the movie, it didn't really hurt the production that much.

One minor note, the character (uncredited) of "Pvt. Rodriguez" was played by one of my Drill Instructors, Sgt. Peter J. O'Neill. Sgt. O'Neill used to tell us that some day he wanted to be an actor. We secretly laughed at this, but he surprised us all. He was a great Drill Instructor, and I thought he did well in his bit part. Also, he really did enjoy throwing knives. He often demonstrated his skill to us that summer in boot camp. I have often wondered if he is still alive.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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