Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

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    There are 4 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by WaynamoJim.

    • Guadalcanal Diary (1943)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Concentrating on the personal lives of those involved,
      a war correspondent takes us through the preparations,
      landing and initial campaign on Guadalcanal during WWII.
      Written by Doug Sederberg

      Full Cast
      Preston Foster ... Father Donnelly
      Lloyd Nolan ... Sgt. Hook Malone
      William Bendix ... Corp. Taxi Potts
      Richard Conte ... Capt. Davis
      Anthony Quinn ... Jesus ('Soose') Alvarez
      Richard Jaeckel ... Pvt. Johnny ('Chicken') Anderson
      Roy Roberts ... Capt. James Cross
      Minor Watson ... Col. Wallace E. Grayson
      Ralph Byrd ... Ned Rowman
      Lionel Stander ... Sgt. Butch
      Reed Hadley ... War correspondent / Narrator
      John Archer ... Lt. Thurmond
      Eddie Acuff ... Pvt. Tex Mcllvoy (uncredited)
      Warren Ashe ... Col. Morton (uncredited)
      Martin Black ... Marine (uncredited)
      Marion Carl ... Marine Pilot (uncredited)
      Harry Carter ... Dispatch Officer (uncredited)
      Tom Dawson ... Captain (uncredited)
      Jason Evers ... Bit Role (uncredited)
      Walter Fenner ... Col. Roper (uncredited)
      Robert Ford ... Marine (uncredited)
      Paul Fung ... Japanese Prisoner (uncredited)
      Fred Graham ... Marine Listening to Baseball Game on Radio (uncredited)
      Louis Hart ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
      George Holmes ... Marine (uncredited)
      Russell Hoyt ... Marine (uncredited)
      Selmer Jackson ... Col. Thompson (uncredited)
      Allen Jung ... Japanese Officer (uncredited)
      Charles Lang ... Marine (uncredited)
      Jack Luden ... Major (uncredited)
      Miles Mander ... Weatherby (uncredited)
      David Peters ... Marine (uncredited)
      Bob Rose ... Sammy Kline (uncredited)
      Larry Thompson ... Chaplain (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Lamar Trotti (screenplay)
      Jerome Cady (adaptation) (as Jerry Cady)
      Richard Tregaskis (book)

      Islin Auster .... associate producer
      Bryan Foy .... producer

      Original Music
      David Buttolph

      Charles G. Clarke

      Marine Corps Capt. Marion Carl, a multi-ace (18.5 air victories), makes an appearance as a Marine Corps pilot. Capt. Carl wears his baseball cap with the bill pointed skyward and makes the comment, "Don't look now, fellas, but a truck of gas just came on the field." Capt. Carl was a survivor of the Battle of Midway and the air campaign for Guadalcanal in 1942. He was awarded 2 Navy Crosses for his actions at Midway and Guadalcanal. Sadly, on June 28, 1998, he was murdered in his Oregon home by a home intruder.

      Movie accurately shows the Marines armed with bolt action rifles. While Garand rifles were available, they were just not available in numbers to issue to the Marines before setting sail.

      Roy Roberts, who plays Capt. Cross, seems to have doubled as the voice of the radio sportscaster.

      In 1950, 20th Century Fox theatrically reissued this film on a bill with Belle Starr and The Purple Heart.

      Debut movie of Richard Jaeckel who was seventeen years of age at the time. Apparently, Jaeckel had been a messenger boy for the 20th Century-Fox studio when he was cast in the film.

      According to the book 'The Films of World War II' by Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein and John Griggs, the film "...involved some varying of actual incidents for the sake of dramatic effect."

      This movie was made in 1943, only one year after the Battle of Guadacanal, which was fought between 7 August 1942 and 9 February 1943. The film premiered in the USA around 27 October 1943 which was about ten months after the end of the Guadacanal Campaign.

      Guadalcanal is situated in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean, north-east of Australia. Its local name is Isatabu and contains the country's capital, Honiara. The island is humid and mostly made up of jungle with a surface area of 2,510 square miles or 6,500-km². Guadacanal was named after Pedro de Ortega's home town Guadacanal in Andalusia, Spain. de Ortega worked under Álvaro de Mendaña who charted the island in 1568.

      This movie's opening prologue states: ""Appreciation is gratefully acknowledged to the United States Marine Corps and to the Army, the Navy and the Coast Guard whose assistance and participation made this picture possible."

      Captain Clarence Martin who who fought with the first detachment of Marines at Guadalcanal acted as a technical adviser on this movie.

      The Hollywood Premiere of this movie was a charity benefit to aid various War Charities with the 60-piece Pendleton Field Marine Band performing at the bash. According to the 'Hollywood Reporter', the launch was attended by "top-ranking officers of the Marines, Army and Navy . . . and about fifty war heroes."

      This film was the first time that actor Richard Conte was credited as Richard Conte. This was his second feature film. In his first, Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence, he had been billed as Nicholas Conte.

      The Philadelphia Premiere for this movie was dedicated to celebrating the 168th Anniversary of the inception of the United States Marine Corps.

      The stars of this movie, William Bendix, Preston Foster, Richard Jaeckel and Lloyd Nolan all reprised their characters from this movie in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 28 February 1944.

      William Bendix once told the 'Saturday Evening Post''s "The Role I Liked Best" column in 1946 that his character of Corporal Aloysius T. 'Taxi' Potts was his favorite of parts as it had given him "the widest range of opportunity" for an actor. Moreover, Bendix stated that he was moved by the letters he had received from military personnel who recognized his gutsy performance as a soldier in this movie. Bendix also added that he and his fellow cast enjoyed the experience of working with the US Marines based at Camp Pendleton.

      The 'Daily Variety' of 28 August 1945 reported that the 20th Century Fox Studio was involved with litigation from Donald Petersen in relation to injuries that he allegedly sustained during production of this movie. It was alleged that Petersen suffered broken ear drums from a dynamite explosion that was exploded prematurely. Petersen was awarded $15,000 in damages in a jury trial which was then appealed by the studio.

      Factual errors: Japanese snipers tied them selves into their positions. They did not fall out of the trees when shot.

      Factual errors: One of the Japanese soldiers is carrying a US Krag rifle from 1892.

      Revealing mistakes: In several scenes, Japanese solders are seen firing U.S. made and issued Thompson .45 caliber Sub-machine guns, identical to the one carried by the Sgt. played by Lloyd Nolan. In one scene, a Japanese machine gun nest is firing a Thompson mounted on a tripod to make it appear as a light machine gun.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, Oceanside, California, USA
      Santa Catalina Island, Channel Islands, California, USA

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

      Guadalcanal Diary is a 1943 World War II war film starring Preston Foster,
      Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte, Anthony Quinn
      and the film debut of Richard Jaeckel.
      It was directed by Lewis Seiler and based on the book
      of the same name by Richard Tregaskis.

      The film recounts the fight of the United States Marines
      in the Battle of Guadalcanal, which occurred only a year before the movie's release.
      While the film has notable battle scenes, its primary focus is on the characters
      and back stories of the Marines.

      The movie was produced by Bryan Foy,
      who also produced Berlin Correspondent (1942),
      Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas (1943), and PT 109 (1963).

      User Review

      A story of brave men who fought on a shoestring in tropical purgatory, and won!
      1 March 2001 | by smiley-39 (Liverpool England
      The island this film is named after is not big as islands go. Ninety miles long by roughly, twenty-odd miles wide, it lay roughly, north west by south east. The high point of Guadalcanal rose up to about 8000 feet; covered with low cloud and forest.

      This film then, based on the book of the same name, and written by the war correspondent, Richard Tregaskis is, in my opinion, a better movie than, "The Sands of Iwo Jima", when it comes to paying tribute to the war record of the U.S. Marine Corps in World War Two.

      I liked the opening scenes aboard the troop transport. A pleasant, and lazy Sunday morning. A religious service and hymn singing held on deck. Navy Chaplain, Father Donnelly (Preston Foster), presiding. Lloyd Nolan, as Sergeant Malone, an often under-rated actor in my opinion, wisecracking with 'Taxi' Potts, a Dodgers fanatic played by the always-likable. William Bendix. There is Richard Conte as Captain Davis. Anthony Quinn, forever a Latin-type character, Private Alvarez. Schoolboy-faced Richard Jeackel in his first-ever role, after being hoisted up from the studio mail room at Twentieth Fox. Minor Watson as Colonel Grayson, was always a reliable father-like figure who, when he landed on the beach, said this operation was unlikely to be any picnic. How right he would turn out to be. What added a shine to this film from the opening scenes was Reed Hadley narrating the story of the campaign as it unfolded, as if it was Richard Tregaskis himself. Hadley's narration seems to make the atmosphere of the film gel perfectly. A king of semi-documentary realism, if you will.

      The first prisoners to be brought in are trembling, half starved in appearance, and in fear of their lives. 'Are these the monkeys were fighting?' asks Lionel Stander, as Sergeant Butch. This is the first impression they get of what passes to the marines as Japanese soldiers. It will turn out to be a false impression, soon enough. As they push further inland, the realisation soon grows that occupying this far from small, God-forsaken island is going to be no pushover. Colonel Grayson's 'no picnic' turns out to be an ugly truism.

      With the Matanikau expedition a tragic failure, after landing from the sea, the realisation they're up against a determined and ferocious enemy, sinks deeper. Private Alvarez is the sole survivor from Matinikau, making it back to his own lines. Shaking with a combination of shock and vengeful anger, he recalls the other marines being picked off and bayoneted as he heads back and dives into the surf to escape.

      With the second assault on Matinikau, the marine's blood is up, and they're out for blood. The Jap is taken on at his own game. The gloves are off and the chips down. They fight ruthlessness and cunning with same. And overwhelm a fanatical enemy.

      In the closing scenes, the marines are relieved by fresh but yet-to-be-tried army infantrymen straight off a troop transport. One of the GI's calls out to the blooded veterans, 'What's it like?' A tired-looking Sergeant Malone answers, 'Pretty rugged, son'. For Malone, like the rest of the marines who entered the jaws of conflict and survived, they look older, and wiser. And were not found wanting. There it is then, a film that grandly commemorates the old, young men of a single platoon of the 1st Marine Division. Names on a map unknown, now entered into the history books, and the Marine Corps Hall of Fame. Matanikau, Lunga Point, Tenaru River, Bloody Ridge, Point Cruz. All fought over for a airstrip; named after Lofton Henderson, a distinguished marine pilot from the Battle of Midway.

      Guadalcanal is not a name, but an emotion. So said Professor Samual Elliot Morison, the U.S. Naval Historian. How true. The Japanese were not the only enemy. There was dengue fever, malarial swamp, and humidity to sap the energy, all wrapped around with a foul-smelling jungle. There was a epitaph found at the Marine Cemetery at Lunga Point. It would have been appropriate to have displayed it along with the end credits of this film. It goes:-

      That when he goes to heaven./ To Saint Peter he will tell./ Another marine reporting Sir./ I have served my time in hell.

      How truthfull that piece of poetry turned out to be.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic War Movies- Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

      After Keith posted this review, I decided to watch the movie (I have the DVD). Pretty good war film (and from what I remember reading of the actual event, fairly accurate. The initial landing of the Marines was almost unopposed but as time wore on, the Japanese resistance became progressively more fierce, with Marine casualties rising.) I especially enjoyed seeing Richard Jaeckel, one of my favorite character actors, in his first film appearance.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

      A movie to catch up with.
      Starts off like a marine vacation,
      but as Jim says in the last post, things soon change!!
      Overall a very good war film of a factual event
      Well acted by many familiar faces
      Best Wishes
      London- England