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The Fighting Seabees (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 10 July 1944 (UK)
During WW2, the U.S. Navy implements a new idea of forming construction battalions that also are fighting units, in case of Japanese attack.

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Writers:

Borden Chase (screenplay), Æneas MacKenzie (screenplay) (as Aeneas MacKenzie) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Lt. Cmdr. Wedge Donovan
Susan Hayward ... Constance Chesley
Dennis O'Keefe ... Lt. Cmdr. Robert Yarrow
William Frawley ... Eddie Powers
Leonid Kinskey ... Johnny Novasky
J.M. Kerrigan ... Sawyer Collins
Grant Withers ... Whanger Spreckles
Paul Fix ... Ding Jacobs
Ben Welden ... Yump Lumkin
William Forrest ... Lt. Tom Kerrick
Addison Richards ... Capt. Joyce
Jay Norris Jay Norris ... Joe Brick
Duncan Renaldo ... Construction Worker at Party
Edit

Storyline

Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of attacks by the Japanese, something new is tried, Construction Battalions (CBs=Seabees). The new CBs have to both build and be ready to fight. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LA ACCION DE GUERRA MAS FANTASTICA QUE SE HAYA PRESENTADO EN LA PANTALLA (Mexican lobby card all-caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1944 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Donovan's Army See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When the crew went out to the Pacific theatre with John Wayne to scout what some of the locations might look like so that they could be recreated in California, they occasionally encountered army personnel who wanted to pick a fight with Wayne for not enlisting. As Wayne had four children he was able to defer joining the services. By the time he reconsidered this course of action, the war was effectively over. See more »

Goofs

In a couple of scenes, Japanese soldiers are seen pulling the pin out of grenades with their teeth and throwing them American style. Actual Japanese grenades had a compression actuator, not a pin. Typically, they would smack the top of the grenade on their helmet to start the fuse and then throw. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Powers: I'm Eddie Powers, Donovan's factotum, meaning, "Man Friday". That's Latin.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Yarrow: Well, I'm glad to know you Friday even if it's only Thursday.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's opening credits dedication states: "Proudly and gratefully we dedicate this picture to the Civil Engineer Corps and the Construction Battalions - the Seabees of the United States Navy who have fired the imagination of the world with their colorful exploits throughout the Seven Seas." See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Song Of The Seabees
Music by Peter De Rose (as Peter DeRose)
Lyrics by Sam Lewis (as Sam M. Lewis)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
OK for what it is
28 June 2006 | by nick_ellistonSee all my reviews

Picked this up as a cheap DVD as I am a sucker for 40's/50's WW2 films.

Taken as a bit of propaganda and entertainment, and not reflecting in any way historical fact, it achieves it's aim. IMO, it is not up to the standard of some of Wayne's other WW2 films of this period such as Sands of Iwo Jima and They Were Expendable.

It is somewhat disjointed, but I can imagine it having a positive effect on recruitment for the US Forces. Some earlier threads have commented on the reasons why Wayne did not have active war service. Whatever the reason, I would think he had a more positive effect on by being on film rather than seeing active service.


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