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Beach Red (1967) Poster

(1967)

Trivia

Several characters are shown carrying M1 carbines incorrectly fitted with bayonets. When the M1 carbine was introduced in WW2 it was intended to serve as a small, light rifle for rear area and support troops whose duties didn't require them to carry a full-sized battle rifle (usually the longer and heavier Garand). Consequently, they were not equipped with a barrel lug necessary for mounting a bayonet. A version of the M1 carbine capable of mounting a bayonet wasn't introduced until the Korean War.
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The film was filmed mostly in the Philippines (the closing credits state it was also filmed in Japan). The "Japanese" troops in the film were actually Filipino Army soldiers.
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Peter Bowman's uniquely constructed novel "Beach Red" was published in 1945, near the end of World War II. The book chronicles a US assault on a Japanese-held island in the Pacific and the subsequent advance of a four-man army recon patrol in the jungle, through the thoughts of one of its members. A contemporary review of the book stated the novel "looks like unrhymed verse, but . . . author Bowman stoutly insists (it) is 'sprung prose'." A modern-day reviewer accurately described the book as ". . . not a novel. It is a 61-page prose poem, organized in non-rhyming stanzas with varying numbers of lines in each stanza."
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The US Marine Corps could only provide color stock footage from the Pacific Island campaigns for this movie due to a lack of resources available because of the Vietnam War. This footage had deteriorated badly, and a considerable amount of resources from the film's budget had to used for the footage's restoration to make it match this film's footage.
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The sequence in which Japanese troops tried to fool the US Marines by wearing their uniforms was taken directly from the source novel. It includes a passage where the Japanese wore American helmets while attempting to penetrate the Marine positions in order to make them think they were fellow Marines.
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Director Cornel Wilde explained his editing process in an interview with the British publication "'Films and Filming" in October 1970: "I think that a cut from one scene to another should have an impact, should carry you from a certain degree of involvement and excitement to something else without letting you down . . . I really think that a good deal of happenstance editing still goes on, and part of my style is that I like to feel there is a reason and impact to every frame of film. Nothing should be wasted."
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In an interview with the British "Films and Filming" magazine in October 1970, director Cornel Wilde discussed his on-set methodology: "I used to find so often in Hollywood that there was nothing more tedious than waiting around. Many directors used a stereotypical system of master shot, medium shot, over-shoulder shots, and then close-ups, with long pauses in between for cameras and lights to be adjusted. I got to my dressing room to paint or write--anything to keep my mind alive. So now my policy is to keep three camera crews working simultaneously, so that actors can move from one set-up to the next without delay. I get the occasional protest, but it isn't easy for anybody to complain that I'm working them too hard, because they can see that I'm working harder than anybody else myself."
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The opening landing sequence in the Steven Spielberg World War II movie Saving Private Ryan (1998) are quite similar to those in this film, especially the scenes where an American soldier has his arm blown off and staggers around until he finds it and picks it up. Upon this film's release that scene caused a firestorm of controversy regarding on-screen violence, but by the time "Ryan" came out, its sequence showing that same incident caused little if any comment.
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The Japanese language is not subtitled in this movie. In director Cornel Wilde's earlier film The Naked Prey (1965), subtitles were used for the non-English languages spoken.
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The movie has only one musical element. This is a song written by Antonino Buenaventura and sung by Jean Wallace. It also is heard in other variations throughout the film.
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According to the sleeve notes of the Australian Warner Home Video cassette release, the name "Beach Red" was "named after the actual beach chosen by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1942 to fulfill his famous promise that 'We will return'."
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