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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:

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:

THRILLS! EXCITEMENT! ACTION! (original ad - all caps) 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

The film's title, "Gung Ho", is a Chinese expression that means "To Work in Harmony"--"Gung" translates as "to work" and "Ho" as "harmony". The phrase became the motto of the 2nd Marine Battalion and eventually worked its way into the American vernacular. See more »

Goofs

When one of the subs is being attacked by 3 Japanese planes dropping depth charges, the planes shown dropping the depth charges appear to be American F4F Wildcats. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
GUNG HO! (Ray Enright, 1943) **1/2
12 December 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This fact-based war film (detailing the first ground assault on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor) is neatly divided into two parts – showing, first, the specialized training session of the carefully-chosen platoon (which is quite interesting) and the mission itself (displaying fairly standard heroics but well enough done nonetheless).

The film has been criticized for glamorizing what was essentially a band of cutthroats (Leonard Maltin even describes it as "a jaw-dropping experience"). Still, there was no doubt that any war picture made during this time wouldn't ram propagandist slogans down the audience's throat (witness Randolph Scott's final straight-into-camera speech); ironically, even if the latter was the film's nominal star, he's rarely involved in the action proper – being there mainly to co-ordinate things, and repeatedly instigate his men to kill every Jap on the island!).

The supporting cast is good, made up of veteran character actors – J. Carroll Naish, Sam Levene – and newcomers – notably Robert Mitchum; however, a fair share of the running-time is unwisely devoted to the romantic triangle involving a girl and two soldiers who happen to be half-brothers (one of them played by Noah Beery Jr.) – all of which has a quite deadening effect on the main narrative! Despite being a relatively early WWII film, the action sequences are surprisingly gutsy – though accentuated on occasion by obvious stock footage.


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