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'Gung Ho!': The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders (1943)

The true story of Carlson's Raiders and their World War II attack on Makin Island.

Director:

Ray Enright

Writers:

Lucien Hubbard (screenplay), W.S. LeFrançois (based on the factual story "GUNG HO" by) (as Lt. W.S. LeFrancois U.S.M.C.) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Randolph Scott ... Colonel Thorwald
Alan Curtis ... John Harbison
Noah Beery Jr. ... Kurt Richter
J. Carrol Naish ... Lt.C.J.Cristoforos
Sam Levene ... Transport(Leo Andreof)
David Bruce ... Larry O'Ryan
Richard Lane ... Captain Dunphy
Walter Sande ... McBride
Louis Jean Heydt ... Lt.Roland Browning
Robert Mitchum ... Pig-Iron
Rod Cameron ... Rube Tedrow
Grace McDonald ... Kathleen Corrigan
Milburn Stone ... Commander Blake
Peter Coe ... Kozzarowski
Harold Landon Harold Landon ... Frankie Montana
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Storyline

Seven weeks after Pearl Harbor, volunteers form the new 2nd Marine Raider Battalion whose purpose is to raid Japanese-held islands. The men selected come from different walks of life but have toughness in common. Under command of Colonel 'Thorwald', they're trained in all imaginable forms of combat. Then, after a perilous submarine journey, they face a daunting first mission: to annihilate the much larger Japanese garrison on Makin Island, in a lengthy battle sequence. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | mission | battle | combat | marine | See All (59) »

Taglines:

U.S. Marine Raiders in Action...Blasting Their Way To Tokyo! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

20 December 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gung Ho! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$866,898 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,176,489, 31 December 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walter Wanger Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chet Huntley, longtime network news anchor with David Brinkley, is the uncredited narrator. See more »

Goofs

When Leo 'Transport' Andreof arrives in the jeep, he is wearing Staff Sgt stripes, but when he enters the building, he is now wearing Sgt stripes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Columbo: How to Dial a Murder (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Makin Island, Hollywood Style
9 July 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The campaign of Makin Island which was the very first piece of Pacific Island we invaded against the Japanese in World War II. It serves as the basis for this film. Not much of an island the island was directly between the Hawaiian Islands and a place called Guadalcanal. The theory was get in, destroy the Japanese base and communications and get out. That much is true. The rest of the film is Hollywood hype.

Randolph Scott plays a character based on Major Evans Carlson of Carlson's Raiders which was an elite unit of Marines trained to take the island. Carlson had seen service in China and was impressed with the Chinese guerrilla campaign against the Japanese there. He studied the tactics of Chu The who was the military commander of Mao Tse-tung's Chinese Communists. I don't know much Marxism, if any, Carlson took to heart, but after World War II it got him in no small amount of trouble. In an organization as conservative and tradition bound as the United States Marines he became a pariah. He died in 1951.

Since the Makin Island campaign was the start of our Pacific Offensive it was natural that Hollywood seized on the opportunity to make a quick B picture as a morale booster. Universal assembled a good cast that included a young Robert Mitchum before stardom. Besides Mitchum, I liked J. Carroll Naish and Sam Levene who gave good support to Scott. Levene played the typical serviceman from Brooklyn which by that time was becoming a cliché in war pictures.

Anyway Carlson's lasting contribution to the Marines was the phrase Gung Ho. So if you want to know how that got into the Marine vocabulary, see this movie.


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