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|Starring:||John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Paul Fix, Leonid Kinskey, William Frawley, Addison Richards, J.M. Kerrigan|
Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of attacks by the Japanese, something new is tried, Construction Battalions (CBs=Seabees). The new CBs have to both build and be ready to fight.
Movie Photos: We have taken some photos of "The Fighting Seabees". They represent actual movie quality.
nick_elliston 18 May 2013
Picked this up as a cheap DVD as I am a sucker for 40's/50's WW2 films.Taken as a bit of propaganda and entertainment, and not reflecting inany way historical fact, it achieves it's aim. IMO, it is not up to thestandard of some of Wayne's other WW2 films of this period such asSands of Iwo Jima and They Were Expendable.It is somewhat disjointed, but I can imagine it having a positiveeffect on recruitment for the US Forces. Some earlier threads havecommented on the reasons why Wayne did not have active war service.Whatever the reason, I would think he had a more positive effect on bybeing on film rather than seeing active service.
timgrimes 17 May 2013
A fine John Wayne movie and no WWII movie collector should be withoutit. This movie's great patriotic musical score is also a fine exampleof strong & very well-written harmonies for male chorus; the scoresounds like the U.S. Navy Band's men's chorus (an astounding group ofmusic professionals by the way) and is a dramatic performance thatsupports this very positive story of the Seabees. With some added dramaalong the way, this movie demonstrates some of the work done by theSeaBees - building facilities & runways on remote islands during WWII;massive runway construction with PSP grid materials, bulldozing, & hutconstruction, which were all representative of the basics that neededaccomplishing during this campaign. This was a refreshing viewingexperience in that the then media was supportive of the Americanfighting man, and while this may make some in today's culture wince,that's their problem. Today's warriors and sailors are just ashonorable & deserving of the kind of support that surrounds this kindof movie, and watching this production reminds you of that fact. Verydramatic, perhaps over-acted at times, but a great story about our fineSeabees! If you are a patriot, I believe you'll enjoy this movie.
16 May 2013
In this film John Wayne plays a costruction gang foreman who helps to found the Seebees after Pearl Harbour. Only one, well two, problems. The Duke does not want to take orders and he falls in love with Susan Hayward-his superiors girlfriend. This is actually a good action movie-fun to watch.
Jeff 16 May 2013
See it ÂIn a nutshell, it's the story of a group of constructionworkers in World War 2 who are contracted to build airfields in thePacific. But when the Japanese invade their island, they are forced tohelp fight. They are a Construction Battalion, or CB (which sounds likeSeabee), thus the name. It's hard to compare this to any other moviebecause it hasn't been done before or since. But fans of John Waynemovies like "Back to Bataan" will enjoy it. One of the Duke's earlierfilms, there are parts of The Fighting Seabees that haven't aged well.If you overlook some of the cheesiness of it, you'll enjoy it. In thefinal battle, we see the good guys using bulldozers and otherconstruction equipment to fight the bad guys. What's not to like aboutthat? 2.5 out of 5 action rating
helpless_dancer 16 May 2013
Well, Big John fights and loves his way across the 7 seas in this one.Whatta guy! What a load of propaganda drivel! The Big Guy storms thebeacheswith his gang of hard drinking, 2 fisted construction workers. Amidstirringpatriotic music and a touching love triangle, The Duke opens a can ofwhup-ass and douses the nasty Nips with it. Pathetic acting, phony battlescenes, and ditzy dialogue made for movie masochist mayhem. I'll bet thisfluff swelled the ranks of the U.S. Navy back there in '44. What astinker.
16 May 2013
This review is from: The Fighting Seabees (DVD) Olive Films dis a good job on this release for DVD and I could think the Blu-ray is better but I haven't bought that yet so I can't say. The DVD version is pretty good quality. This is a great War movie starring John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley, Paul Fix, plus others! The DVD is presented in Fullscreen (1.37:1), B&W and runs for about 100mins. Overall this is a great movie and I would recommend this.
15 May 2013
This is a movie that all should see , to better understand one of the less known fighting groups in themilitary.
14 May 2013
This review is from: The Fighting Seabees (DVD) What can I tell you? Fighting Seabees is a WW2 John Wayne actioneer from the Republic B-Picture factory. Pro character actors in a propaganda, morale booster (had an uncle who served in the Seabees) genre offering that has no resemblance to reality but nevertheless is a window into the era's pop culture.
Charles Thomas Tatum, Jr. 10 May 2013
This film has some of the most spectacular battle scenes ever filmed. Alotof care went into the stunt work and explosions. Too bad they threw in thelove triangle. Hayward is so eager with her spunky role you wish someonewould shoot her...and when they do, she survives anyway. Wayne plays oneofhis dumbest characters, constantly leading inexperienced men into battle,costing the Navy dozens of lives, only to be yelled at. I give this a 6,and wish it had been better.
09 May 2013
The Navy Seabees did a whole lot to win the war in the Pacific. This movie shows how civilian contractors failed in combat situations, and how the Navy created a new kind of builder-warrior. And who better to illustrate the metamorphasis than The Duke?The Duke puts on a uniform, accepts rank and begans growling for reports the Navy way. In exchange, he and the crew have become people who can fight as well as build.While it's kind of a low budget film, many people will relate to the scene where The Duke sends the bulldozer into the machine gun nest.
06 May 2013
This review is from: The Fighting Seabees (DVD) What can you say that hasn't been said already? It was nice to find it on DVD -- can retire the poor old VHS now. Was easy to find the copy I was looking for -- and what a movie. One of my and my spouse's favorites.
06 May 2013
This review is from: The Fighting Seabees (DVD) The DVD was wrapped securely and arrived promptly. The entire movie was clear, sound was perfect. An old movie but well worth watching, better than what is made now.
John T. Ryan 06 May 2013
CONTINUING in the Hollywood tradition and fine custom of rendering afine line of films which were used as a means of communications andedification to the American People; we find the folks over on "PovertyRow" chipping in and pulling more than their weight. With the releaseof THE FIGHTING SEABEES (Republic Pictures, 1945) not only filled thebill, but also turned out to be one of the finest movies to come out ofthat studio.BEING the Studio which had the (deserved) reputation of producingmostly attractions for the Saturday MatinÃ©e crowd; these of coursebeing mainly the "B" Western Series and the Serials;Republic did suchtitles as THE RED PONY, SANDS OF IWO JIMA and THE QUIET MAN;all "A"Films.IN addition to those listed above, we must add what is today's analyzedspecimen, the screen story of the Naval Construction Battalion, muchbetter known as THE FIGHTING SEABEES. Although it was produced in timefor a 1945 release, it still packed a punch with the morale of theArmed Forces; as well as that of those at home.SENSING that they had a very important story to tell, the ProductionTeam set out to "Bulk up" the headliners of the cast. First of all theyneeded a male lead. They wanted someone who would have had experiencein both the dramatic vein and in the action genre. He would have to bea 100% red blooded American Male. Well, the Republic Brain trust didn'thave to look very far at all; for among their Contract Players one TrueMovie "Star" who would fit the bill to an absolute degree. Gee, Iwonder just who that would be? ONE would certainly not have to be afilm buff to come up with the answer in John Wayne.DUKE had put in a lot of time and paid his dues with a long stint asthe featured player in that series of Lone Star Western Productions,which of course was a subsidiary of Monogram Pictures. Mr. Wayne latersigned on with Republic, where he was cast as the lead in their THREEMESKITEERS Western Series. More importantly, it was during this periodthat he was lent out to just about every studio for some movie orother. In one of his loan-outs, Director John Ford borrowed hisservices from Republic for the male lead in STAGECOACH (Walter WangerProductions/United Artists, 1939) It gave a big boost to Duke's valueand her saw his stock go sky high.WORKING for about all of the other Studios in various types of roles(mostly those of a Man of Action of some sort or another), Wayne's nameand reputation grew considerably. So for this time at least, therewould be no going to 20th Century-Fox, Universal, Paramount or MGM fora starring role in a major motion picture. Duke would have only to stayon the Republic lot.COSTARS for the production were a pair of most capable and popularActors. Second lead went to Dennis O'Keefe, who while never ascendingto the heights of Star, nonetheless had been most successful in many alesser movie and as a capable, likable of a Second Lead. His castingproved to be well done as he and Wayne performed very well together,having several great scenes together.ADDITION of Miss Susan Hayward, on loan from 20th Century-Fox (?) tothe cast gave the film a great balance on the top of the bill. Theinsertion of her character (or any lovely lady) into the story wouldalmost always be cause for an example of "the Eternal Triangle." And soit was; but this was Wartime and it would be handled in such a way asto remind all that this was a time of sorrow and self-sacrifice.REPIUBLIC spared no expense in adding to the cast in a great number oftried and true character actors in supporting roles. The task wasaccomplished with the employ of such names as: William Frawley (FredMertz and 'Bub', later on TV), Grant Withers, Chief Thundercloud, J.M.Kerrigan, Leonid Kinskey, Paul Fix (Mica), Ben Welden and many others.WHILE Republic gave THE FIGHTING SEABEES a much larger budget thanmost, they still got their money's worth in every respect; for whilethe movie called for a great deal more outdoor shooting on locationthan most any other of what they usually made in their Westerns andSerials. Their remedy was to stick to what they always did the best;that being to put their 'Thrill Factory Assembly Line" into working onthe production.THIS meant that they merely went to doing what they did best. Theycould use some of their own stock scenes of explosions, floods, firesand volcanic eruptions in movie after movie, without any adverseeffect. These were always convincing and had served them well for yearsin lesser films.THE reason because of their great Special Effects department, thescenes of train & airplane crashes or what have you, were done by thebest guys in the business; being the Brothers Lydecker, Howard andTheodore. Their work was as fine as any in Hollywood and much betterthan in most cases. Even the 'Big 5' Studios of MGM, Paramount, 20thCentury-Fox, RKO Radio and Warner Brothers all looked covetously atRepublic's Special Effects team.OUR STORYÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Following the events of December 7, 1941 the need tohave an all military construction unit; as the Imperial Japanese ArmedForces had no respect for unarmed civilian workers who were employed inbuilding air strips, military compounds, etc., all throughout thePhilippines and other locales in the South Pacific, They waste not aframe of film in giving background, the problems and the solution.POUND for pound or rather frame for frame, we can't think of a betterexample of a great World War II Movie, BAR NONE! POODLE SCHNITZ!!
spookym5 05 May 2013
This is one of only 10 movies out of hundreds that He made that JohnWayne actually dies or is killed in. The other nine are not seen thatoften on TV---but people cannot believe that "The Duke" even died orwas killed in any of His movies. The list contains both westerns &action movies from almost all decades. 40s--50s--60s & 70s. The listincludes: The Wake Of The Red Witch, Sands of Iwo Jima, The Cowboys,The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Shootist, The Alamo, Reap TheWild Wind. It is widely know of a story which was told By a person whowas there on the Tonight Show of the night that a man bragged of makingWayne back down in a Hotel lobby that He & Wayne were staying at whilefilming a Movie. A film crew member heard the boast & went too Wayne'sroom too inform him of the mans claim. Wayne walked up behind the man &In His most recognisable voice said "I Hear You Made Me Back Down FromA Fight Pilgrim"--at which the man passed out in shock.
verbusen 05 May 2013
About the stupidest war movie ever made, but boy did I eat it up as akid! This movie put a whole lot of glamour into building shacks andpaving airfields so it really is excellent propaganda. My experiencewith this film is watching it in bits and pieces as a kid growing up.This is, in my opinion, probably William Frawley's best picture. I lovethe battle scenes with him on a bulldozer blasting Japs, its anAmerican icon for me. I just started watching some of it sans thirtyplus years later on TCM and it is sooooo stupid I just had to commenton it here. I'm actually thinking of the real life civilians that werecaptured on Wake Island and their horrific life and execution in Japcaptivity, that movie is totally unwatchable for me after I learned ofthose facts. Anyway, I was attached in real life shortly with Seabeeswaiting for my next assignment and I was making sandbags and paintingold shacks, thats the real Seabees. That and talking with some whoseunit were killed while in morning formation in the middle east, some ofwhom went on door to door combat missions with Marines. The Seabees arequasi ground troops for the Navy, with skills that are necessary toestablish beachheads and airfields and ports. They do a hardunglamourous job, but they do have a great cohesion among themselvesand I'm sure they are proud to have the name Seabee, no doubt in partto being associated with this John Wayne comic book tale and that greatfight song that you hear in the beginning (and that cool bee mascotwith the machine gun). The movie is great for kids maybe like it wasfor me but wont stand for anyone now other than war movie junkies. Whenthey are on island X something the whole combat compliment is Navy,where were the Marines? Hey I know my place in this military system andI know they are the ones who are their to fight on land. I'll do myfighting in the sea and the air, thats why I joined the Navy, lol. 7 of10 for the gung ho propaganda tale and the way its told. It must havehad them lining up to enlist.
04 May 2013
This review is from: The Fighting Seabees (DVD) I agree that you should definitely rent this before you buy it. This movie doesn't really focus on what the Seabees did or what they went through. The vast majority of this movie focuses of John Wayne's social life (dancing & mostly uninteresting dialogue/parties), instead of Wayne actually preparing these people. There's only two relatively short war scenes (one in the middle & one at the end) & virtually no time spent showing these guys getting ready for war. Even the war scenes aren't anything great--you can tell who's going to get shot because they suddenly become unusually melodramatic & happy so you'll feel sorry for them when they die (but not much character development, so it doesn't work). As far as the quality of the DVD, it has a pretty clear picture & some interesting production notes about the real Seabees. But really, stick with Sands of Iwo Jima for a war film John Wayne fans can be proud of.
sol1218 01 May 2013
***SOME SPOILERS*** One of John Wayne's best WWII movies has him incharge of the first Seebee construction battalion in the Pacificbuilding airfields and port facilities for the US Navy and Air Force aswell as fighting off hundreds of wild eyed and charging Japanesesoldiers. Things at first didn't go too well from the men of the Wayde Donovan,John Wayne, Corps. Construction Company. Searving the US military inthe Pacific their easy marks for Japanese snipers who pick off theunarmed construction workers. while the US Army and Marine Corps. arebusy fighting the main Japanese forces on the many islands contested byin that theater of war.Demanding to be armed and part of the US military, not contractworkers, has Donovan's men incorporated into the Army. Donovan'sSeebees are then sent fully armed to island X-214 to build a base forthe US Navy to refuel it's war-ships. Right from the start Donovandoesn't have the discipline thats demanded of him and is men byengaging the enemy. When told by his superior Lt. Cmdr. Yarrow,DennisO'Keefe, to stay in the barracks and, in what looks like an Americanversion of a Bonzai charge, Donovan has almost his entire constructioncompany wiped out by the invading Japanese forces! Donavon, now a Lt.Commander, also screws up an ambush that the US Army had set up to stopthe Japanese. That resulted in his, and Yarrow's, girlfriend warcorespondent Constence Chesley, Susan Hayward,to be gunned down but notkilled by a wounded Japanese soldier. Back in the states Donovan tries to make amends with the US Navy Lt.Cmdr. Yarrow and Constance over his bullheadedness on the battlefieldthat cost scores of US military and Seebee's lives. His relationshipwith Constance is handicapped by her also being in love with Wayde'scommander Lt. Cmdr. Yarrow who, unlike Wayde,is a handsome and refinedspit and polish Annapolis Navy man. Given a second chance to show his,and his Seebees, worth on the field of battle Wayde Donovan'sconstruction battalion is sent ashore on island X-371. Not only tobuild a fuel depot and airfield but to defend if against a possibleJapanese invasion of the island. Rip roaring battle scenes, some of the best ever put on film withoutthe benefit of computer enhancement, makes "The Fighting Seebees" standout among the score of war movies released during WWII by the majorHollywood studios. In fact the film was released by Republic Pictureswhich only specialized in low budget B and C movies up until then. Taking heavy casualties from Japanese fire Donovan decides, againstorders, to take it, the fight, to em' and organizes another Banzai-likecharge on the Japanese forces, which seems like a full division, thatare invading island X-371. The US forces, Army & Marines, deafening theisland are badly chopped up with Lt. Cmdr. Yarrow seriously wounded inthe fighting and Donovan's Seebees are on the verge of being overrun bythe fanatical Japanese troops. Having nothing but earth-moving and construction equipment to fight offthe hoards of highly motivated and heavily armed Japanese troopssupported by tanks the Seebees still hold on to the fuel tanks that'sdesperately needed for the US Navy Task Force in the area. Donavan toldby the wounded Lt. Cmdr. Yarrow that he'll see to it that's he'scourt-martial-ed if he survives this action takes matters into his ownhands. With a steam shovel loaded with explosives Donovan drives itinto one of the fuel tanks causing it to explode and smoke out anddrive into the open the attacking Japanese troops, their then moweddown by the Seebees and US Army and Marines.Donovan for his bravery got a medal, posthumously, not a court-martialat the end of the film, Let. Cmdr Yarrow gets the girl that both he andDonovan left behind Constance Chesely.
01 May 2013
As a retired army officer and an adjunct history professor I thought it was important to review what I consider the best war movies depicting the challenges of leadership and the command of men. I always liked John Wayne in war movies more than in westerns. In "The Fighting Seabees the "Duke" plays Lt. Cmdr Wedge Donovan, a civilian construction manager who is tasked to form the Navy's first Construction Battalion, (CB CBs=Seabees). The new CBs have to both build and be ready to fight. Donovan a hard nosed construction manager at first chafes under military control, but once commissioned, he learns the importance of doing things the Navy way. This turns him into a great leader and his unit into a very effective force. One of the few movies that the "Duke" dies in. Makes one just want to cry.
planktonrules 29 April 2013
Saying this film is "propaganda" is not an insult. No, it wasdeliberately crafted to encourage Americans that we can and will winthe war if we stand firm. And what better image of this than theever-vigilant John Wayne--the embodiment of the Hollywood image ofheroism.This film reminds me a lot of The Flying Tigers, though the plot isn'tso melodramatic. It's about a crew of civilian engineers sent overseasto do construction for our troops (such as building runways and otherprojects). BUT, the evil Japanese in the movie take advantage of thefact that these are unarmed civilians and butcher them at everyopportunity. So, what is The Duke and his trusted pals to do? Take uparms and use their own equipment when necessary to beat the stuffingout of the Japs! Yes, guys with bulldozers and clubs NEVER could haveinflicted the casualties you witness in the movie, but man if it isn'tentertaining to watch--particularly the explosive ending.
28 April 2013
This review is from: The Fighting Seabees (DVD) My son had been asking to see this movie. I had never seen this John Wayne movie before, so it was a treat to watch. It's a good movie, not John Wayne's best but not his worse. If you like John Wayne in his war movies you will enjoy this movie. Highly recomend to see.