Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »
The Andrews Sisters
Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »
Nan Masters, a single mother living with her four marriageable daughters, plans to marry Sam Sloane, businessman. Out of the blue her 1st husband Jim returns after deserting the family 20 ... See full summary »
Married couple Jim & Ella Merchant set up their single friend Al Schmid on a blind date with Ruth Hartley. The two hit it off and begin dating. A welder, one day at the workplace, Al learns of a friend's enlistment in the Marine Corps and decides to join himself. Al and Ruth have a last date, with Al insisting that she forget about him as he is about to go into combat. However, when Ruth goes to meet his departure train, he is overjoyed and gives her an engagement ring. Assigned to Guadalcanal, Al and his squad are tasked with preventing the Japanese from breaching their line. During a night attack, many of his fellow Marines are slain, but Al ends up single-handedly saving the day, killing scores of Japanese. However, he is wounded by a suicide bomber near the end of the the battle. At the hospital, Al learns that he is blind, a condition that persists even after surgery. Feeling sorry for himself, he dictates a letter to a nurse, informing Ruth that he is relieving her of any ...Written by
Jon C. Hopwood
The real Lee Diamond, born in 1890, was 52 when he landed at Guadalcanal as a Master Gunnery Sergeant. He never saw any more combat after recovering from his Guadalcanal injuries. He was made an instructor at MCRD Parris Island in 1943 before he was transferred to Camp Lejeune in 1945. See more »
Comments here about "Lee Diamond" being 52 years old and a MGSgt refer to Leland "Lou" Diamond - not Lee Diamond who is referred to in this movie. See more »
[Complaining about the Guadalcanal foxhole situation]
No hole! No sleep! No chow! No smiles! No mail! Not enough planes! Not enough navy! Not enough doctors! We're on the ropes and the referee's up to eight.
See more »
This former Leatherneck appreciates more and more through the years John Garfield's gut-wrenching performance in the docu-drama PRIDE OF THE MARINES (1945), the true story of war hero Al Schmid who was blinded in combat on Guadalcanal by a Jap grenade. The picture, released a year before BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, was the first movie to deal in depth with the problems faced by returning vets. Scripted by Albert Maltz, who would eventually be jailed as one of the Hollywood 10, the film would catch major flack from Red-baiters at decade's end because of its politically-charged dialogue in one scene set in a veterans hospital, during which embittered soldiers forcefully voice both their hopes in and suspicions of a post-war society.
The three layers of plotline dramatize an accurate microcosm of American life during a pivotal time period. PRIDE explores in its pre-war first part Garfield's lower-class, working-man roots as only he could portray urban struggles and dreams during the Great Depression. The harrowing middle portion, claustrophobically confined to a cramped and stinking Pacific island foxhole (shared with Dane Clark and Anthony Caruso to form a 3-man machine gun team), graphically captures the fears and horrors of war as few films have.
But it is this citizen/soldier's readjustment in the final sequences, aided by compassionate nurse Rosemary deCamp and home-town fiancee Eleanor Parker (in a performance worthy of a Supporting Oscar nomination) that really packs an emotional wallop. Doubting his self-worth, lost in a sightless world (his post-operative cry of "Why don't God strike me dead!" is chilling), and struggling to comprehend the difference between love and pity, Garfield's perfectly modulated performance combines all the elements of his unique persona (rebellious icon, tough guy, romantic leading man, idealistic spokesman).
Given his devotion throughout the war years to the Hollywood Canteen that he and Bette Davis created, the story must have been very close to his heart. This may be his finest screen role in a career filled with meaningful performances.
46 of 49 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this