5.9/10
247
9 user 1 critic

First to Fight (1967)

| Drama, War | 21 May 1967 (UK)
In WW2, highly decorated Marine Sgt. Jack Connell comes home to the USA from the Pacific War and trains recruits for the army until his fighting spirit prods him to request a return to active duty on the front lines.

Director:

Christian Nyby

Writer:

Gene L. Coon
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Cast

Cast overview:
Chad Everett ... Sgt. Jack Connell
Marilyn Devin ... Peggy Sanford
Dean Jagger ... Lt. Col. E.J. Baseman
Bobby Troup ... Lt. Overman
Claude Akins ... Capt. Mason
Gene Hackman ... Sgt. Tweed
James Best ... Gunnery Sgt. Ed Carnavan
Norman Alden ... Sgt. Schmidtmer
Bobs Watson ... Sgt. Maypole
Ken Swofford ... O'Brien
Ray Reese Ray Reese ... Hawkins
Garry Goodgion Garry Goodgion ... Karl
Robert Austin Robert Austin ... Adams
Clint Ritchie ... Sgt. Slater
Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts ... Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Storyline

Jack is the sole survivor of a Japanese attack on his squad at Guadalcanal. Because of his heroism and the fact that he is still alive, he becomes a Medal of Honor hero. He returns to train new recruits for the Marines and falls for a girl named Peggy. When training and marriage leave him with an empty feeling, he decides on a transfer back to the front lines. Soon he will find that marriage and life will change his outlook on the grueling battles that lie ahead. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The blockbusting story of a fighting marine that comes mortar-screaming out of green hells and jungles!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1967 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Chef de patrouille See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Best would gain mainstream success ten years later as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard a decade later, but he'd been a working actor for a long time. Although in First To Fight, unlike a lot of other films and television shows, he does practically the same chortle/laugh (sounding like "koo koo") that would become iconic on The Dukes of Hazzard. See more »

Goofs

Defending the riverbank, Jack's machine gun jams and he leaves it for a rifle. Moments later he's back shooting the Browning. Really poor editing. See more »

Connections

Features Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Daddy
Music & Lyrics by Bobby Troup
Performed by Bobby Troup
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I too was in this movie
29 April 2015 | by dougmhurstSee all my reviews

A B-Movie at best, but when you're in it changes everything. M1 rifles on Guadalcanal? Japanese soldiers with rubber bayonets. Several modern day vehicles in the background at various points. But hey! It did honor a real life Marine hero.. Manila John Basilone.

In August 1966, I was 19 years old, had just graduated Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego and had relocated to Camp Pendleton for Infantry Training Regiment.

Reveille went 30 minutes early for us one day... 0500 instead of 0530. Once we were in formation, we were double-timed (shuffle run) 5 miles to a location none of us had ever been to before. It was the location of the current day's shooting of The First to Fight.

In one scene, they took two of our platoons and put us behind a platoon of actors on the side of a hill with a path running down it. When they yelled action, the actors were to run down the path and turn left. We were to run down the path and turn right. As we waited, one of the film's crew came up through the platoon of actors spraying water on them that was supposed to make them look sweaty. After he finished when them he came to us, took one look and said I don't think you fellas need this. Having run 5 miles to get to the "lot" he was right. Unfortunately, that scene was left on the cutting room floor.

The scene we were in that made the final cut occurs about 50 or so minutes into the film. Chad Everett is mad as his men for not picking up on instruction and is berating them. Our 4 platoon company is marching around in rectangles in the background making it appear there were a lot more Marines present than were actually present.

I've always wanted to ask Gene Hackman if he remembers the movie we made together. I'm sure that would draw a quizzical look. He'd certainly have no idea who I was... but it's one of my favorite memories and favorite stories to tell... but a pretty crappy movie when you get right down to it.


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