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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 »
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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
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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:

ROMANZA de les SIETE MARAS (Mexican lobby card) 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

The production received extensive cooperation from the US Navy. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Where Do You Work-a, John?
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mortimer Weinberg and Charley Marks
Sung by those at the coming home party
See more »

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User Reviews

99% Rubbish
6 December 2009 | by robertguttmanSee all my reviews

My father, who was a Seabee in the Pacific during World War II, always considered this film to be 99% absolute rubbish. He insisted that the only aspects of this movie that had any basis in fact were that the Seabees actually did recruit professional engineers and construction workers, that many of them were considerably older than other service men, that they were occasionally called upon to defend themselves, and that they really could build anything. In his day the Seabees did not yet have their own training facilities, so they did their basic military training not with the Navy but with the Marines. The way to tell the difference between a Marine base and a Seabase base was that the Marines were all 18 years old and lived in pup tents, while the Seabees were mostly in their forties and fifties and their encampments always had heat, hot and cold running water, washing machines, shower facilities, stills, and all the other comforts of home, all of which the Seabees manufactured themselves in their spare time.


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