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Vittorio De Sica
A marine-corps drama set at Camp Pendleton (near San Diego, California) proving ground for men who pride themselves on being United States Marines. From the lowliest recruit to the highest-ranking General, the men of Pendleton symbolize the utmost in rigorous training and military perfection. Lt. William T. Rice (Gary Lockwood), late of Annapolis and now in charge of a riffle platoon is no exception... This short-lived series was written by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, and featured an amazing cast of future stars. Written by
Accurate portrayal of a young Marine officer; Star Trek fans will find familiar themes
I recently caught this on getTV when they showed it for their April 2016 line up of re-runs.
I was a Marine Officer some thirty-five years after the premiere of this show. While the show may be dated, I thought this was an accurate portrayal of a young Marine officer at his first assignment.
The good, the bad and the ugly of being a fresh new lieutenant were in my opinion captured dead on. All that blended well with the themes of the episodes (which I am about to explain).
Now as (most of) you know, this was created by Gene Roddenberry of "Star Trek" fame. "The Lieutenant" had many players who would go on to star in the latter (whether as a guest or regular cast). In addition to the future Trek players, several episodes seemed like Star Trek in a modern day (albeit 1963 - 64) U.S. Marine Corps setting: stories with (real) social issues and problems.
So, instead of tackling social issues light years away and three hundred years into the future, Roddenberry had us in a modern day Marine Corps Base (Camp Pendleton, CA) and the surrounding towns (San Diego to the south and L.A. to the north).
Artistic license taken in the portrayal of the USMC? Of course! What show or movie doesn't have that?
If you like Marine Corps stories (but not the over-exemplified ones put out by Hollywood at the time), and you enjoyed Star Trek, not just for its technology or "utopia," this pre-Trek, rarely seen or known early work of Roddenberry maybe an enjoyable fare for you.
If you want to be an officer in the military, let alone the Marine Corps, this in my opinion, should be viewed for that future officer as it doesn't show the exaggerated John Wayne and (later on) Tom Cruise (and others') Hollywood portrayals of military officers.
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