True life story of Guy Gabaldon, a Los Angeles Hispanic boy raised in the 1930s by a Japanese-American foster family. Later, during the war, as his foster parents are interned at a camp for Japanese Americans, Gabaldon's ability to speak Japanese helps him become a lone-operating Marine hero. During the bloody capture of the island of Saipan, he convinces 800 Japanese to surrender after their general commits suicide.Written by
In all of Vic Damone's scenes as Cpl. Pete Lewis, he is seen wearing a very shiny gold bracelet, including in combat scenes. In reality, no person in combat would have ever been allowed to wear a shiny gold bracelet, nor would they have wanted to, out of concern for the bright glint given off which might betray their position. Damone should have been told to remove the bracelet during filming. See more »
[after shooting two soldiers]
I understood that double-crossing speech! These men died without any reason. I didn't want to kill them! You want to go to your army? All right, you go, but I'm going with you to keep you honest, and you're gonna tell those people on this island that the war is over. Now let's move!
See more »
Gabaldon was born and raised in Boyle Heights and attended Roosevelt High School with my brother-in-law Edwardo. He was not rejected by the Marines because of his ethnicity (Mexican-American) but because at 5'4" tall he did not meet Marine standards. It should be noted that the Marines were not adverse to recruiting in predominately Chicano communities. Guy was not "raised" by a Japanese family, but he did spend a couple of his teen year's with a Japanese family where he learned some basic Japanese. He was far from fluent in Japanese. However, the Marine Corps recruited him because they believed his knowledge of Japanese would be useful. The movie went to great lengths to hide Guy's true ethnicity. First, he was portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter, whose most notable role was playing 6'tall, blond blue eyed Jesus Christ. Guy described himself as "swarthy." In addition, there is a scene where the mamasan, in order to distinguish him from her Japanese grandchildren, refers to Guy as her "All American son." I once saw the movie on the History Channel. After the movie there was a panel discussion by historians. The final obligatory question was why the movie never mentioned that Guy was Mexican-American. The historian briefly answered that the movie was focused on the treatment of Japanese Americans during WW II and that Guy's ethnicity would have distracted from that. REALLY! Seems to me it would have made the story even more interesting. Typical Hollywood. Part of selling a movie means you have to make a white guy the central character and hero. More Hollywood is the David Jansen part and the party in Hawaii.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this