Pride Of The Marines

1945, Movie, NR, 119 mins

Review

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A grand and emotional study in heroism, PRIDE OF THE MARINES is a tour de force for rugged Garfield and a film that allowed director Daves to introduce some startling psychological techniques which made this film exceptional. Based on the true story of Al Schmid, the film shows us Garfield as a workingman in Philadelphia who courts and marries Parker on the eve of WW II. Garfield enlists in the Marines and is sent to Guadalcanal, where he and his small machine gun crew receive orders to be on the alert for a massive Japanese attack. With extraordinary heroism, they fend off the assault, but not before Garfield is blinded. Now, in readjusting to life and marriage without his sight, Garfield must display heroism of a different kind.

Garfield is brilliant in his portrayal of Schmid, and Daves's direction is superb, utilizing remarkable techniques such as double printings, negative images, and telescopic shots which all add to the eerie and unnerving experience Garfield is undergoing in his rehabilitation. The battle scenes in this film are some of the most harrowing ever shot. The idea for the film was largely Garfield's. He read an article about Schmid in Life magazine and contacted writer Maltz, suggesting a script be written about the man. Maltz had worked on the film DESTINATION TOKYO, also directed by Daves, and Garfield felt he would be the ideal writer to handle the project. Daves was brought into the project a short time later. This film, along with AIR FORCE and DESTINATION TOKYO, was one of Garfield's favorite films made at Warner Bros. PRIDE OF THE MARINES was a box office smash, released just as WWII came to a close, timed perfectly with the public's curiosity about rehabilitating a generation of wounded American servicemen. Co-author Maltz later became one of the "Hollywood Ten," and some of the dialogue in PRIDE OF THE MARINES was later recalled by the House Un-American Activities Committee, particularly those lines dealing with social consciousness and working class arguments (mostly expressed by Clark), as an example of communistic philosophy insidiously inserted into movies. The film nevertheless remains a deeply moving, sensitive production, and one of the finest war films ever made. leave a comment

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Pride Of The Marines
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