Salute to the Marines (1943)

101 mins | Drama | September 1943

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HISTORY

An onscreen written prologue salutes the United States Marines and names a number of famous battles in which the marines participated, from Tripoli to Guadalcanal. According to a pre-production HR news item, screenwriter George Bruce wrote a variation of his famous 1919 poem "I Saw Him at Chateau Thiery" to be included in the film under the title "I Saw Him at Wake Island," but the poem was not in the picture. According to various HR news items, Marjorie Main, Van Johnson and Lewis Stone were originally cast in the film, and Hayes Goetz was supposed to be the assistant director. Actor Richard Quine was initially cast as "Rufus Cleveland," but was replaced by William Lundigan when he was drafted. Guillermo Lopez, a former student of actor Donald Curtis (who had been a university professor prior to becoming an actor), was also cast in the film, but his appearance has not been confirmed. A 26 Oct 1942 news item noted that Susan Simon, the four-year-old daughter of director S. Sylvan Simon, was to make her acting debut in the film, but her appearance has not been confirmed. News items also indicate that portions of the film were shot on location at a Marine base in San Diego, CA and in Oroville, CA. The Feather River Gateway Bridge, four miles from Oroville, was used for the film's battle sequence. Additional locations were "scouted" in North Carolina and elsewhere, but the film was apparently shot only in California. Wallace Beery, Fay Bainter and Keye Luke reprised their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 8 Nov 1943. ... More Less

An onscreen written prologue salutes the United States Marines and names a number of famous battles in which the marines participated, from Tripoli to Guadalcanal. According to a pre-production HR news item, screenwriter George Bruce wrote a variation of his famous 1919 poem "I Saw Him at Chateau Thiery" to be included in the film under the title "I Saw Him at Wake Island," but the poem was not in the picture. According to various HR news items, Marjorie Main, Van Johnson and Lewis Stone were originally cast in the film, and Hayes Goetz was supposed to be the assistant director. Actor Richard Quine was initially cast as "Rufus Cleveland," but was replaced by William Lundigan when he was drafted. Guillermo Lopez, a former student of actor Donald Curtis (who had been a university professor prior to becoming an actor), was also cast in the film, but his appearance has not been confirmed. A 26 Oct 1942 news item noted that Susan Simon, the four-year-old daughter of director S. Sylvan Simon, was to make her acting debut in the film, but her appearance has not been confirmed. News items also indicate that portions of the film were shot on location at a Marine base in San Diego, CA and in Oroville, CA. The Feather River Gateway Bridge, four miles from Oroville, was used for the film's battle sequence. Additional locations were "scouted" in North Carolina and elsewhere, but the film was apparently shot only in California. Wallace Beery, Fay Bainter and Keye Luke reprised their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 8 Nov 1943. Noah Beery, Sr., who portrayed an adjutant in the picture, took over the role of "Colonel Mason" for the radio program. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
31 Jul 1943.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jul 43
p. 3, 8
Film Daily
2 Aug 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 42
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Sep 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 42
p. 6, 8
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 42
p. 3, 12
Hollywood Reporter
25 Sep 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 43
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
31 Jul 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Dec 42
p. 1057.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Jul 43
p. 1454.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Oct 43
p. 1579.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Dec 43
p. 1655.
New York Times
30 Aug 43
p. 11.
Variety
28 Jul 43
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Noah Beery Sr.
James Davis
Bobby Blake
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Assoc
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus arr
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Assoc
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Marine's Hymn," words anonymous, music based on a theme from the opera Geneviève de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach.
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1943
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 30 August 1943
Production Date:
25 September 1942--11 January 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 July 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12197
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
101
Length(in feet):
9,133
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9148
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1943, at a San Diego Marine base, commanding officer Colonel Mason addresses the graduating marines and relates a story that occurred just three years before: William Bailey, a tough, but dedicated sergeant major stationed in the Philippines, is the friend and trainer of "Flashy" Logaz, a former lightweight world champion who hopes to regain his title. One day, Mason sends for Bailey and introduces him to a member of the Philippine government, which is due to receive its independence in 1945. Mason then tells Bailey that he is to train Philippine civilians. Bailey, who is soon to retire, hates the thought of training civilians, and wants instead to have the opportunity to see action. Bailey is at first frustrated by new recruits who do not understand the rationale of military discipline and prefer traditional bolas to bayonets. A month later, however, the well-trained recruits have earned Bailey's respect. When Bailey hears that his battalion is being sent to Shanghai, he rushes to Mason, who had promised him a transfer if the unit was going to see action, but the colonel says that neither of them will be going because of their age. That night, Bailey is arrested by M.P.s after he goes on a binge and, with Flashy's help, gets into a fight with some merchant marines. After Bailey's wife Jennie and daughter Helen visit him in the brig, Helen successfully pleads with Mason to have her father discharged early. Bailey then goes to live with his family in the nearby town of Balanga, in which many American and British expatriots reside. Bailey is uncomfortable with civilian life and has a hard time ... +


In 1943, at a San Diego Marine base, commanding officer Colonel Mason addresses the graduating marines and relates a story that occurred just three years before: William Bailey, a tough, but dedicated sergeant major stationed in the Philippines, is the friend and trainer of "Flashy" Logaz, a former lightweight world champion who hopes to regain his title. One day, Mason sends for Bailey and introduces him to a member of the Philippine government, which is due to receive its independence in 1945. Mason then tells Bailey that he is to train Philippine civilians. Bailey, who is soon to retire, hates the thought of training civilians, and wants instead to have the opportunity to see action. Bailey is at first frustrated by new recruits who do not understand the rationale of military discipline and prefer traditional bolas to bayonets. A month later, however, the well-trained recruits have earned Bailey's respect. When Bailey hears that his battalion is being sent to Shanghai, he rushes to Mason, who had promised him a transfer if the unit was going to see action, but the colonel says that neither of them will be going because of their age. That night, Bailey is arrested by M.P.s after he goes on a binge and, with Flashy's help, gets into a fight with some merchant marines. After Bailey's wife Jennie and daughter Helen visit him in the brig, Helen successfully pleads with Mason to have her father discharged early. Bailey then goes to live with his family in the nearby town of Balanga, in which many American and British expatriots reside. Bailey is uncomfortable with civilian life and has a hard time adjusting, so he starts to train the village children as he continues to coach Flashy. The village mothers do not want their children doing military training, and Jennie, who neither believes in war nor understands his frustration, is disgusted. When some Japanese merchant marines arrive with supplies, Casper, the storeowner, tells the suspicious Bailey that the men are "peace-loving," but Bailey and Flashy think their ship is too well equipped. One afternoon, marines Rufus Cleveland and Randall James, rivals for Helen's affections, arrive at Balanga. When Helen accepts Rufe's proposal, Jennie receives the news with sadness, revealing to her husband that marriage to a marine is difficult. As Christmas approaches, Jennie and Bailey have become closer, and Jennie is hopeful that peace talks in Washington will go well. One Sunday morning, however, Rufe, who is flying, encounters Japanese planes and gets the message that Pearl Harbor has been bombed. At the same time, villagers hear the planes as they attend church and soon bombs begin to fall. After the attack, Casper urges the villagers to fight against American forces, but Bailey comes into the crowd carrying the body of a dead child and reveals Casper for what he is, a Nazi who has secretly been aiding the Japanese. He then rallies the villagers by saying that Filipinos are just as American as he, and kills Casper with his bare hands. Just as Bailey starts to organize the villagers, Rufe arrives. He wants to help, but Bailey insists that he fly to headquarters to warn them, taking the women and children with him. A short time later, sailors from the Japanese ship don their military uniforms and invade the village. Bailey now directs the battle and leads the way toward a bridge that is critical to the Japanese. As the battle rages, Bailey proudly sees that Jennie has stayed behind to help the wounded. Soon, increasing numbers of Japanese foot soldiers, tanks and planes attack as the American reinforcements trudge toward Bailey and his men. After a large loss of life, the Americans successfully dynamite the bridge and rout the Japanese. Bailey then tells the men to take to the hills and fight the way they know best because the Japanese are going to try to take over the islands. After sadly bidding Flashy and the other Filipinos goodbye, Bailey and Jennie embrace as the Japanese bombing resumes. Back in San Diego, Helen, who is now a member of the women's reserve of the Marine Corps, accepts her father's posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor and says goodbye to Rufe as he leaves for a new post. +

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.