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Marines in the Making (1942)

This World War II-era short shows U.S. Marine Corps training, including conditioning techniques adapted from athletics, hand-to-hand combat tactics, and traditional drills.


Herbert Polesie

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
R.E. 'Dick' Hanley R.E. 'Dick' Hanley ... Himself


The US Marine Corp has always been a physically fit group of people, but modern warfare has required them to be ever more so. Many of the enlisted are trained by Major R.E. Hanley, better known in some circles as former Northwestern University football coach Dick Hanley. He uses many of the same training techniques he used to train his all-American football players. Other marine training is demonstrated, such as one-on-one combat. Marines are still required to perform formal duties, hence they must still learn traditional maneuvers such as drills. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short








Release Date:

26 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Included in Warner Home Video's 2005 DVD release of Random Harvest (1942). See more »

Crazy Credits

Dick Hanley is identified by the narrator. See more »


Marine Hymn
Music by Jacques Offenbach from "Geneviève Brabant"
Performed by the studio orchestra
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User Reviews

Boys Will Be Boys
23 July 2007 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

A hilarious (unintentionally so) Pete Smith short film that documents the training techniques of a group of rugged marines. The film points out the similarities between the conditioning exercises used by athletic teams and those of the military, and it juxtaposes footage from a football practice with that of basic training.

All of the testosterone-fueled machismo is absurd, and it makes our fighting men look like fools. But the film is also kind of scary in its embrace of violence and the glamour with which it treats the ability to kill another human being. Of course I know that's the whole point of basic training, and that this was just one of the countless short films used as propaganda pieces during the war, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing.

But for those who are interested, the film will instruct you how to "zap a Jap, nix a Nazi, and fricassee a Fascist." Put that on a resume.

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