Fighting Coast Guard (1951)

86 mins | Drama | 1 June 1951

Director:

Joseph I. Kane

Cinematographer:

Reggie Lanning

Editor:

Arthur Roberts

Production Designer:

Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Fighting U.S. Coast Guards . A written dedication to the men and women of the Coast Guard and an acknowledgment of the assistance of the Department of Defense appears after the credits. The following written prologue appears after the dedication: "The Coast Guard, operating under the Treasury in peace and under the Navy in war, had already been transferred to the Navy and had assigned liaison officers to certain shipyard activities in which the Navy had a vital interest." The following written epilogue appears at the end of the film: "Today, as in 1941, the Coast Guard stands united with Armed Forces on land, on sea and in the air, always ready to serve humanity in peace or in war."
       According to Dec 1950 and Jan 1951 HR news items, portions of the film were shot at Navy and Coast Guard installations at San Diego and Oceanside, and at Paradise Cove in Malibu. During production, scenes from the film, performed by Brian Donlevy, Forrest Tucker and Ella Raines, were broadcast on the ABC television network, according to a Dec 1950 HR news item. ... More Less

The working title of the film was Fighting U.S. Coast Guards . A written dedication to the men and women of the Coast Guard and an acknowledgment of the assistance of the Department of Defense appears after the credits. The following written prologue appears after the dedication: "The Coast Guard, operating under the Treasury in peace and under the Navy in war, had already been transferred to the Navy and had assigned liaison officers to certain shipyard activities in which the Navy had a vital interest." The following written epilogue appears at the end of the film: "Today, as in 1941, the Coast Guard stands united with Armed Forces on land, on sea and in the air, always ready to serve humanity in peace or in war."
       According to Dec 1950 and Jan 1951 HR news items, portions of the film were shot at Navy and Coast Guard installations at San Diego and Oceanside, and at Paradise Cove in Malibu. During production, scenes from the film, performed by Brian Donlevy, Forrest Tucker and Ella Raines, were broadcast on the ABC television network, according to a Dec 1950 HR news item. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 May 1951.
---
Daily Variety
1 Feb 1951.
---
Daily Variety
26 Apr 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
30 Apr 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 50
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jan 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 51
pp. 2-3.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Apr 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 May 51
p. 827.
New York Times
12 May 51
p. 14.
Variety
2 May 51
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Bobby Scott
Patricia Ann Joiner
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Love the Prairie Country," music and lyrics by Tim Spencer
"Semper Paratus," music and lyrics by Capt. Francis Saltus Van Boskerck, U.S.C.G.
"Home on the Range," music by Dr. Brewster M. Higley, lyrics by Daniel E. Kelly.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Fighting U.S. Coast Guard
Release Date:
1 June 1951
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Washington, D.C.: 25 April 1951
New York opening: 11 May 1951
Los Angeles opening: 18 May 1951
Production Date:
mid December 1950--mid January 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 May 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1034
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15099
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In November 1941, Coast Guard officers have been assigned to supervise key shipyards which have rushed ships into production for the Navy. Bill Rourk, a shipyard foreman, is constantly butting heads with one of his workers, Barney Walker, an ex-All American football player who has not equalled his college success in the work world. After Bill saves Walker's life from a shipboard fire and reprimands him for disregarding safety protocols, Walker accuses Bill of being jealous and uneducated. Also on Bill's mind is Louise Ryan, a daughter of an admiral and the supervisor of the women welders. Louise is dating the Coast Guard's liaison officer to the shipyard, Comm. Ian McFarland, and is ambivalent about Bill's advances, but Bill finally persuades her to go out with him. However, his churlish behavior and resentful manner toward McFarland cause her to leave early. After the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, a special officer training program aimed at men who are already experienced and ship-savvy is initiated. Many of the shipyard workers, including Walker, apply, but Bill is not interested. Although McFarland, who will head the program, believes Bill's natural leadership abilities and previous Navy experience make him an excellent candidate, Bill signs up only to avoid being drafted into the infantry, as Walker told him that McFarland has had his deferred classification changed. During the training period, Bill sneaks past Academy guards and Louise's apartment superintendent, and arrives on her doorstep unannounced and wanting to talk. They go out, but the military police catch him and haul him back to the Academy. Later, near graduation time, Bill has a boating accident, which, Walker claims, was a deliberate attempt by Bill to get ... +


In November 1941, Coast Guard officers have been assigned to supervise key shipyards which have rushed ships into production for the Navy. Bill Rourk, a shipyard foreman, is constantly butting heads with one of his workers, Barney Walker, an ex-All American football player who has not equalled his college success in the work world. After Bill saves Walker's life from a shipboard fire and reprimands him for disregarding safety protocols, Walker accuses Bill of being jealous and uneducated. Also on Bill's mind is Louise Ryan, a daughter of an admiral and the supervisor of the women welders. Louise is dating the Coast Guard's liaison officer to the shipyard, Comm. Ian McFarland, and is ambivalent about Bill's advances, but Bill finally persuades her to go out with him. However, his churlish behavior and resentful manner toward McFarland cause her to leave early. After the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, a special officer training program aimed at men who are already experienced and ship-savvy is initiated. Many of the shipyard workers, including Walker, apply, but Bill is not interested. Although McFarland, who will head the program, believes Bill's natural leadership abilities and previous Navy experience make him an excellent candidate, Bill signs up only to avoid being drafted into the infantry, as Walker told him that McFarland has had his deferred classification changed. During the training period, Bill sneaks past Academy guards and Louise's apartment superintendent, and arrives on her doorstep unannounced and wanting to talk. They go out, but the military police catch him and haul him back to the Academy. Later, near graduation time, Bill has a boating accident, which, Walker claims, was a deliberate attempt by Bill to get thrown out of the Academy and returned to his higher-paying shipyard job. The lie costs Bill his commission, although, unknown to him, McFarland tries to appeal the case. After concluding that someone is sabotaging Bill, McFarland has him assigned as boatswain's mate on his ship. Jealous of McFarland, who is still dating Louise, Bill secretly believes that the commander is the source of his problems until Tony Jessup, a former shipyard employee and classmate in the training program, tells him about Walker. While at sea, Walker, who is now serving under McFarland, is fatally wounded in a strafing attack, but before dying, confesses to McFarland the problems he caused Bill. Later, on his last day of shore leave in San Francisco, Bill spots Louise at a U.S.O. function and again makes a case for their romance. Although she has a dinner date with McFarland and her father, she promises to meet him at the Top of the Mark restaurant at ten o'clock. When she arrives late, after delays beyond her control, Bill has concluded that she has spurned him and has already returned to his ship without seeing her. McFarland and Bill are then sent to Eniwetok U.S. Naval Air Force task base, and from there are involved in the takeover of several Pacific islands that are to be used as air bases for Japanese offensives. While transferring Marines from ship to shore, Tony gets stuck alone on a barge, which is under air attack. Because of poor weather conditions, McFarland cannot risk personnel and vehicles to rescue him. Hearing that Tony might still be alive, Bill disobeys orders and heroically rescues the young man, who then dies on the return trip. The Coast Guard continues to assist in the takeover of several more islands, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and afterward, Bill is called stateside. After consideration of a report from McFarland, which commends Bill's bravery and includes Walker's confession, Bill's record is cleared and he is promoted to officer status. At the Academy, where Bill has been assigned to train reserves and replacements, McFarland tells him that Louise did try to meet him that night in San Francisco and that she loves him. Bill realizes that McFarland has been on his side all along, and when he and Louise find each other on the Academy parade grounds during a graduation ceremony, they both admit their admiration for the commander. Louise then says she would have married McFarland, if it had not been for Bill. +

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.