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First to Fight (1967)

| Drama, War | 21 May 1967 (UK)
In WW2, highly decorated Marine Sgt. Jack Connell comes home to the USA from the Pacific War and trains recruits for the army until his fighting spirit prods him to request a return to active duty on the front lines.




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Cast overview:
Sgt. Jack Connell
Marilyn Devin ...
Peggy Sanford
Lt. Col. E.J. Baseman
Lt. Overman
Capt. Mason
Sgt. Tweed
Gunnery Sgt. Ed Carnavan
Sgt. Schmidtmer
Bobs Watson ...
Sgt. Maypole
Ray Reese ...
Garry Goodgion ...
Robert Austin ...
Clint Ritchie ...
Sgt. Slater
Stephen Roberts ...


Jack is the sole survivor of a Japanese attack on his squad at Guadalcanal. Because of his heroism and the fact that he is still alive, he becomes a Medal of Honor hero. He returns to train new recruits for the Marines and falls for a girl named Peggy. When training and marriage leave him with an empty feeling, he decides on a transfer back to the front lines. Soon he will find that marriage and life will change his outlook on the grueling battles that lie ahead. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The blockbusting story of a fighting marine that comes mortar-screaming out of green hells and jungles!


Drama | War


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Release Date:

21 May 1967 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Chef de patrouille  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chad Everett and Claude Akins also appeared together in Claudelle Inglish (1961), The Dakotas : The Chooser of the Slain (1963) and Medical Center : Time of Darkness (1973). See more »


During the initial night-time battle against the attacking Japanese forces (8:49),one Japanese soldier is clearly seen firing a German made Maschinenpistole MP40. No such weapons were in use with the Japanese Imperial Army during WW2. See more »


Referenced in Basil Poledouris: His Life and Music (1997) See more »


Music & Lyrics by Bobby Troup
Performed by Bobby Troup
See more »

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User Reviews

Actually, better than you'd think
1 January 2003 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Chad Everett is a Marine who survives a brutal Japanese attack on his unit, and because of his heroism is sent Stateside on a morale-building tour, where he falls for the beautiful woman assigned as his guide. This film is actually better than it sounds; Everett is quite effective as the Marine who didn't think much about his own mortality while in combat, but begins to realize that circumstances are entirely different now that he has a wife to worry about. The supporting performances are generally competent, though Marilyn Devin's inexperience as an actress is obvious in her role as Everett's new wife (she later left the industry and became a newscaster). Gene Hackman and James Best are quite good as two of Everett's fellow Marine combat veterans. The battle scenes are well done, the story moves along at a good clip, though it does lag in spots, and overall it's one of director Christian ("The Thing") Nyby's better efforts.

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