Guadalcanal Diary and The Battle of San Pietro

Guadalcanal Diary
“War correspondent Richard Tregaskis' best-selling book was the basis for this realistic screen account of Marines fighting and dying in the South Seas jungles during the Guadalcanal offensive - following the Marines from shipboard briefings, through two months of combat, to their eventual relief by Army troops. The film presents a convincing (if somewhat inaccurate) account of the offensive, with emphasis on group dynamics and the usual ethnic cross-section: William Bendix as a Brooklyn taxi-driver, Anthony Quinn as an Indian, etc. The first part of the film (which sticks most closely to the book) is almost documentary, showing shipboard preparations and the actual landing. After that, the film grows more conventionally melodramatic, concentrating on wisecracks, stagy chatter and heroics, instead of the realistic representation of jungle warfare the first part promises. Nonetheless, Guadalcanal Diary is totally entertaining.”

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