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Gung Ho! (1943 film)

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Ray Enright

Music director
Frank Skinner


United States


Drama, History, War

Walter Wanger


Gung Ho! (1943 film) movie poster

W. S. LeFrancois
Saturday Evening Post

Release date
December 20, 1943 (1943-12-20)

Randolph Scott
(Colonel Thorwald),
Alan Curtis
(John Harbison),
Noah Beery, Jr.
(Cpl. Kurt Richter),
J. Carrol Naish
(Lieutenant C.J. Cristoforos),
Sam Levene
(Leo 'Transport' Andreof),
Robert Mitchum
('Pig iron' Matthews)

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U.S. Marine Raiders in Action...Blasting Their Way To Tokyo!

Gung ho the story of carlson s makin island raiders restored 1943

Gung Ho! (full title: Gung Ho!: The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders) is a 1943 American war film directed by Ray Enright and starring Randolph Scott. The story is based on the real-life World War II Makin Island raid led by Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson's 2nd Marine Raider Battalion.


Gung Ho! (1943 film) movie scenes


Gung Ho! (1943 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters589p589pv

The film begins with a tough Greek lieutenant (J. Carrol Naish) announcing that the United States Marine Corps is seeking volunteers for a hazardous mission and special unit. Sgt. "Transport" Anderof (Sam Levene) meets the commander of the unit, Lt. Col. Thorwald (Randolph Scott), who he has served with while stationed in China. Thorwald explains that he left the Corps to serve with the Chinese guerrillas fighting the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War to learn their methods and has decided to form a unit using the qualities of Gung Ho or "work together".

Gung Ho! (1943 film) Gung Ho The Story of Carlsons Makin Island Raiders 1943

Among the volunteers for the unit are a hillbilly (Rod Cameron), who responds to a gunnery sergeant's (Walter Sande) question whether he can kill someone with the fact that he already has; specifically a romantic rival. Alan Curtis is an ordained minister keeping his vocation a secret. Robert Mitchum is "Pig Iron"; a boxer from a background of poverty and hard work. Harold Landon is a young and small street kid who is initially rejected by Naish but wins him over, as both worked as dishwashers on ships bound to the United States from Piraeus, Greece. Noah Beery Jr. and David Bruce are rivals for United States Navy nurse Lt. Grace McDonald. Volunteers with brief screen time include a Filipino wishing to avenge his sister (who was left behind in Manilla may have been raped or killed by the japanese) who teaches the Raiders knife fighting, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War who sees the war as a continuation of the fight against fascism, and a Marine who honestly admits "I just don't like Japs".

Gung Ho! (1943 film) Complete Classic Movie Gung Ho 1943 Independent Film News and

The film moves rapidly in a documentary style, with stock footage of training narrated by Chet Huntley. Those who make it through the training are sent to Hawaii for further jungle warfare training, where they witness the damage of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In Hawaii they hear a radio bulletin of the announcement of the Battle of Guadalcanal. The Marines are ordered to board two submarines, the USS Nautilus and the USS Argonaut, destined for a commando raid on a Japanese-held island.

Gung Ho! (1943 film) Gung Ho 1943 Starring Randolph Scott Alan Curtis Noah Beery Jr

After a claustrophobic voyage, the Raiders invade the island from rubber boats. The Marine landing is met by fire from snipers hiding in palm trees. The Marines dispose of them, attack the Japanese headquarters, wipe out the garrison, destroy installations with explosives, then board the submarines for their return home.


Gung Ho! (1943 film) Prelude to War 1942 World Worth Watching

  • Randolph Scott as Col. Thorwald
  • Alan Curtis as Pvt. John Harbison
  • Noah Beery Jr. as Cpl. Kurt Richter
  • J. Carrol Naish as Lt. C.J. Cristoforos
  • Sam Levene as Plt Sgt. Victor 'Transport' Magakian
  • David Bruce as Larry O'Ryan
  • Richard Lane as Capt. Dunphy
  • Walter Sande as Gunner McBride
  • Louis Jean Heydt as Lt. Roland Browning
  • Robert Mitchum as Pvt. 'Pig-Iron' Matthews
  • Rod Cameron as Pvt. Rube Tedrow
  • Grace McDonald as Kathleen Corrigan
  • Milburn Stone as Cmdr. Blake
  • Peter Coe as Pvt. Kozzarowski
  • Harold Landon as Pvt. Frankie Montana
  • Production

    Gung Ho! (1943 film) Gung Ho 1943 YouTube

    When producer Walter Wanger acquired the rights to the Makin Island raid and Lt. W.S LeFran├žois' story, the United States Navy film liaison Lt. Albert J Bolton insisted that neither Carlson nor his executive officer James Roosevelt be singled out. The screenplay depicted a fictional Lt. Col. Thorwald with no executive officer. The screenplay did include a character played by J. Carrol Naish, a Raider lieutenant of Greek extraction based on Marine Raider Lt. John Apergis as well as Gunnery Sergeant Victor "Transport" Maghakian who served in the raid and survived the war. Though many incidents in the film did not occur in the real Makin Island raid, Carlson wrote of his being pleased with the film to Wanger.

    Gung Ho! (1943 film) Gung Ho

    Like many other films about the United States Marine Corps, the movie was filmed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Camp Pendleton with Marine extras and technical advisors including Carlson, Maghakian and Lt. Wilfred Sylvio LeFrancois with all three men being awarded the Navy Cross on the actual raid. The Japanese were played by Chinese and Filipino extras.


    The fast-moving film is a template for many war films and other adventure or western films where a group of professional killers and misfits in polite society are handpicked by an inspiring leader, trained to perfection, then use their initiative and skills in marksmanship, combat and knife fighting on an enemy who greatly outnumber them.

    Thorwald/Carlson lectures throughout the film that the Japanese have no initiative and cannot think for themselves or deviate from a plan; thus unexpected action pays off. This is demonstrated in several scenes where a Marine defeats his opponent in unarmed combat by spitting tobacco in his eyes, a small but fast runner strips down to his trousers and quickly zig-zagc through enemy fire to hurl hand grenades at a machine-gun nest, Marines destroy a Japanese pillbox and its occupants by squashing both with a road construction steamroller, and a speechless Robert Mitchum who has been shot in the throat and is unable to give warning, kills a Japanese infiltrator attempting to kill the battalion surgeon (Milburn Stone) by throwing his knife in the Japanese soldier's back. The climax of the film has the Raiders painting a giant American flag on the roof of a building, then luring the counterattacking Japanese to the area where their own air force bombs and strafes them.

    In contrast to the Japanese and the rest of the American military, Thorwald orders that his officers wear no rank insignia and have no special privileges. He tells his Raiders, "I will eat what you eat and sleep where you sleep" and participate in the same training. Thorwald's Marines participate in "Gung Ho Sessions" where they discuss the unit's plans and each man participates without regard to rank.


    Bosley Crowther in a January 1944 review for The New York Times praised the film, its performances and settings but said "the stabbings and stickings go on ad nauseum. [sic] Gung Ho! is for folks with strong stomachs and a taste for the submachine gun".

    Box Office

    The movie was a big hit and earned profits of $577,460.

    It recorded admissions in France of 748,212 when released there in 1945.


    The film was re-released in the early 1950s by Realart Pictures who gave Robert Mitchum second billing on the posters.

    The film has often been shown to recruits and Marines of the United States Marine Corps.

    In the early 1960s Louis Marx and Company came out with a "Gung Ho Commando Outfit" for children.


    Gung Ho! (1943 film) Wikipedia
    Gung Ho! (1943 film) IMDb Gung Ho! (1943 film)