Beach Red (1967)

105 mins | Drama | 3 August 1967

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HISTORY

The 4 May 1966 DV announced that Cornel Wilde’s Theodora Productions, Inc. would produce a film adaptation of Peter Bowman’s 1945 novel, Beach Red, for United Artists, with Wilde on board to produce, direct, and star. The U.S. Department of Defense agreed to support the film by providing “amphibious gear” and agreeing not to interfere at the shooting site, 120 miles north of Manila on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, which was situated near the active U.S. Navy base at Subic Bay, as noted in a 22 Aug 1966 DV article. The Philippine government also cooperated by allowing their armed forces personnel to act as extras. The production budget was cited as $1.8 million, and a six-week shooting schedule, calling for six-day weeks, was planned.
       A production chart in the 28 Oct 1966 listed 17 Oct 1966 as the start of principal photography. Filming was set to begin on the Lingayen Gulf beach, according to a 28 Sep 1966 DV brief. The multi-national crew included British camera persons, African sound technicians, local Filipinos, and craftsmen imported from Hollywood, the 9 Nov 1966 DV stated.
       Only four days into production, the 21 Oct 1966 DV reported that three crewmembers—makeup artist Bill Morley, prop man Charles “Chick” Chicetti, and special effects person Willis Cook—had gone missing. Their return was announced in a 24 Oct 1966 DV article, and a DV item published the following day explained that the three had defected due to “primitive working conditions,” “lean food supplies,” and drinking water that members of the U.S. army had found ... More Less

The 4 May 1966 DV announced that Cornel Wilde’s Theodora Productions, Inc. would produce a film adaptation of Peter Bowman’s 1945 novel, Beach Red, for United Artists, with Wilde on board to produce, direct, and star. The U.S. Department of Defense agreed to support the film by providing “amphibious gear” and agreeing not to interfere at the shooting site, 120 miles north of Manila on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, which was situated near the active U.S. Navy base at Subic Bay, as noted in a 22 Aug 1966 DV article. The Philippine government also cooperated by allowing their armed forces personnel to act as extras. The production budget was cited as $1.8 million, and a six-week shooting schedule, calling for six-day weeks, was planned.
       A production chart in the 28 Oct 1966 listed 17 Oct 1966 as the start of principal photography. Filming was set to begin on the Lingayen Gulf beach, according to a 28 Sep 1966 DV brief. The multi-national crew included British camera persons, African sound technicians, local Filipinos, and craftsmen imported from Hollywood, the 9 Nov 1966 DV stated.
       Only four days into production, the 21 Oct 1966 DV reported that three crewmembers—makeup artist Bill Morley, prop man Charles “Chick” Chicetti, and special effects person Willis Cook—had gone missing. Their return was announced in a 24 Oct 1966 DV article, and a DV item published the following day explained that the three had defected due to “primitive working conditions,” “lean food supplies,” and drinking water that members of the U.S. army had found to be impure. Morley, Chicetti, and Cook left the production, and Wilde, who claimed they had been warned about the austere conditions of the shoot, lodged complaints with their respective unions.
       On 1 Nov 1966, a DV brief reported that a U.S. Navy sailor named Phil Beach, who was based at Subic Bay, had been cast in the role of a U.S. Marine.
       Principal photography was completed by early Dec 1966, as announced in the 6 Dec 1966 DV. The 5 Jul 1967 Var later stated that there had been a total of forty-one shooting days. Although four typhoons had caused delays, and staff replacements had raised costs, the film was said to have been brought in for only three percent over its $1.8 million budget. Extra financing was provided by a contingency fund. Some shooting may have taken place in Japan.
       Beach Red received mixed reviews and some criticism for its violence, including a “C” (condemned) rating from the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures. Due to the film’s pacifist message, United Artists and Wilde feared an adverse reaction from war veterans, the 2 Aug 1967 Var noted. However, a special screening for leaders of various veterans’ organizations, including the American Legion, was arranged by the studio and garnered a positive response, including a note of praise written to Wilde by an American Legion spokesperson.
       Initial advertisements consisted of “simple line drawings, pacifist quotations from the film’s dialog, and the slogan, ‘Beach Red’ is not just a war movie.” Wilde was reportedly happier with United Artists’ promotional efforts than he had been on their last collaboration, The Naked Prey (1966, see entry). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 May 1966
p. 1.
Daily Variety
22 Aug 1966
p. 1, 10.
Daily Variety
28 Sep 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
21 Oct 1966
p. 1, 15.
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1966
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1966
p. 11.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Nov 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
6 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1967
p. 3, 5.
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1967
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
20 Sep 1966
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jul 1967
Section B, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
24 Sep 1967
Section N, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
28 Sep 1967
Section D, p. 13.
New York Times
4 Aug 1967.
---
Variety
14 Dec 1966
p. 7.
Variety
5 Jul 1967
p. 3.
Variety
2 Aug 1967
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus arr & cond
Spec arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod supv
Tech adv
Title backgrounds
Title backgrounds
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Beach Red by Peter Bowman (New York, 1945).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Beach Red," words and music by Elbey Vid.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 August 1967
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 Aug 1967; Los Angeles opening: 27 Sep 1967
Production Date:
began 17 Oct 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Theodora Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 August 1967
Copyright Number:
LP34789
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Duration(in mins):
105
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During the bloodiest days of World War II, a battalion of U.S. Marines led by Captain MacDonald and his sadistic sergeant, Honeywell, land on the beach of a Japanese-held island off the Philippines. Inching their way forward, they suffer heavy casualties until they reach the comparative safety of a dense forest. Despite a shoulder wound, MacDonald supervises setting up camp and organizes the search for the enemy. Whenever there is a lull in the fighting, MacDonald and his men lapse into nostalgic remembrances of their civilian lives. Similarly, the nearby Japanese soldiers are recalling their own peacetime lives with their families. Eventually, MacDonald sends Cliff, a nervous eighteen-year-old whose father is a minister, and Egan, a hillbilly ladies' man, on a scouting mission. Though they are successful in radioing back the enemy's exact position, they run into an ambush on their way back to camp. Egan is killed, and Cliff and a young Japanese soldier, Nakano, are seriously wounded. Cliff looks compassionately at his enemy counterpart and tosses him his water canteen. Understanding the gesture, Nakano offers Cliff a cigarette. At this point Honeywell bursts into the clearing and savagely kills the young Japanese. As Captain MacDonald stares at the carnage around him, he contemplates the futility of ... +


During the bloodiest days of World War II, a battalion of U.S. Marines led by Captain MacDonald and his sadistic sergeant, Honeywell, land on the beach of a Japanese-held island off the Philippines. Inching their way forward, they suffer heavy casualties until they reach the comparative safety of a dense forest. Despite a shoulder wound, MacDonald supervises setting up camp and organizes the search for the enemy. Whenever there is a lull in the fighting, MacDonald and his men lapse into nostalgic remembrances of their civilian lives. Similarly, the nearby Japanese soldiers are recalling their own peacetime lives with their families. Eventually, MacDonald sends Cliff, a nervous eighteen-year-old whose father is a minister, and Egan, a hillbilly ladies' man, on a scouting mission. Though they are successful in radioing back the enemy's exact position, they run into an ambush on their way back to camp. Egan is killed, and Cliff and a young Japanese soldier, Nakano, are seriously wounded. Cliff looks compassionately at his enemy counterpart and tosses him his water canteen. Understanding the gesture, Nakano offers Cliff a cigarette. At this point Honeywell bursts into the clearing and savagely kills the young Japanese. As Captain MacDonald stares at the carnage around him, he contemplates the futility of war. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
World War II


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.