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Guadalcanal Diary

Guadalcanal Diary

Lewis Seiler (1943)

89min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Richard Tregaskis's novel, an "I was there" account of the struggle to recapture the South Pacific island of Guadalcanal from the Japanese during the Second World War, was difficult to film without resorting to cliché: even if platoons were comprised of characters from all walks of life, on screen they always look like Stereotypes Anonymous. Nevertheless, 20th Century-Fox pulls out all the stops in the authenticity stakes here, with superbly staged (and expensive) action sequences, and war-movie fans should lap this up. Richard Jaeckel is exceptionally fine, and should have been a bigger star, and he receives solid back-up from the likes of William Bendix, Anthony Quinn and Lloyd Nolan. Preston Foster offers some unusually unsentimental homilies as the padre and, overall, the movie contains a rare honesty as it eschews the usual Hollywood heroics and depicts a very matter-of-fact view of the average soldier's feelings when faced with impending death - genuine, honest-to-goodness fear.

Summary

A tough sergeant, a chaplain and two marines fight through a series of battles on the Solomon Islands during the initial skirmishes of the American forces' Pacific campaign. Second World War drama, based on the book by Richard Tregaskis, starring Preston Foster, Anthony Quinn, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix and Richard Conte.

Cast & Crew

Father Donnelly Preston Foster
Hook Malone Lloyd Nolan
Taxi Potts William Bendix
Captain Davis Richard Conte
Jesus "Soose" Alvarez Anthony Quinn
Private Johnny Anderson Richard Jaeckel
Captain Cross Roy Roberts
Colonel Grayson Minor Watson
Ned Rowman Ralph Byrd
Butch Lionel Stander
Director Lewis Seiler
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Other Information

Language: English Black and White Theatrical distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd Guidance: Some violence. Available on: Available on DVD

Drama

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