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

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 20 December 1943 (USA)
The true story of Carlson's Raiders and their World War II attack on Makin Island.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (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:
... Colonel Thorwald
... John Harbison
... Kurt Richter
... Lt.C.J.Cristoforos
... Transport(Leo Andreof)
... Larry O'Ryan
... Captain Dunphy
... McBride
... Lt.Roland Browning
... Pig-Iron
... Rube Tedrow
... Kathleen Corrigan
... Commander Blake
... Kozzarowski
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:

THRILLS! EXCITEMENT! ACTION! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gung Ho!  »

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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Harold Landon, who plays Frankie Montana in the film, relates that the actors who played Japanese soldiers were actually Filipino and Chinese. See more »

Goofs

The U.S. Marines were not issued Garand semi-automatic rifles in wide numbers until after the Guadalcanal invasion, so it might be thought that the Raiders would have been using M1903 Springfield bolt-action rifles in the Makin raid in August, 1942, which happened as the Guadalcanal campaign began. However, as James Roosevelt, the President's son, was a member of the raiding party, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, the unit in the raid, were issued the most up-to-date weaponry, which included Garands; the Makin raid was, in fact, one of the first combat deployments of the M1. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not-bad war picture
23 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

A lot has been said about this picture's outrageous jingoism, and that's a valid point, but this wasn't intended to be a history lesson (although it's based on a true story), it was made as propaganda to further the war effort, and at that it succeeds. It's quite well made, the battle scenes are exciting and very well done, and it probably did what it was intended to do, which was to give the public something to feel good about; in 1943 the war wasn't going all that well for the Allies. Robert Mitchum was starting to get bigger parts about this time; he has a fairly substantial part here, and his laconic style is quite evident. Some of the dialogue is a bit difficult to get past (one soldier says he wants to join the unit that is being put together to raid a Japanese-held island because "I just don't like Japs"), and some of the heroics are a bit much, but overall it's no worse, and a bit better, than many of the war pictures to come out of Hollywood around that time.


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