The Fighting Seabees

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During WW2, the U.S. Navy implements a new idea of forming construction battalions that also are fighting units, in case of Japanese attack.

ACTORS :  John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O’Keefe

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1944

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The Fighting Seabees  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.

Great movie

The Fighting Seabees  A fine John Wayne movie and no WWII movie collector should be without it. This movie’s great patriotic musical score is also a fine example of strong & very well-written harmonies for male chorus; the score sounds like the U.S. Navy Band’s men’s chorus (an astounding group of music professionals by the way) and is a dramatic performance that supports this very positive story of the Seabees. With some added drama along the way, this movie demonstrates some of the work done by the SeaBees – building facilities & runways on remote islands during WWII; massive runway construction with PSP grid materials, bulldozing, & hut construction, which were all representative of the basics that needed accomplishing during this campaign. This was a refreshing viewing experience in that the then media was supportive of the American fighting man, and while this may make some in today’s culture wince, that’s their problem. Today’s warriors and sailors are just as honorable & deserving of the kind of support that surrounds this kind of movie, and watching this production reminds you of that fact. Very dramatic, perhaps over-acted at times, but a great story about our fine Seabees! If you are a patriot, I believe you’ll enjoy this movie.

Another excellent Wayne wartime propaganda piece

 

Saying this film is “propaganda” is not an insult. No, it was deliberately crafted to encourage Americans that we can and will win the war if we stand firm. And what better image of this than the ever-vigilant John Wayne–the embodiment of the Hollywood image of heroism.

This film reminds me a lot of The Flying Tigers, though the plot isn’t so melodramatic. It’s about a crew of civilian engineers sent overseas to do construction for our troops (such as building runways and other projects). BUT, the evil Japanese in the movie take advantage of the fact that these are unarmed civilians and butcher them at every opportunity. So, what is The Duke and his trusted pals to do? Take up arms and use their own equipment when necessary to beat the stuffing out of the Japs! Yes, guys with bulldozers and clubs NEVER could have inflicted the casualties you witness in the movie, but man if it isn’t entertaining to watch–particularly the explosive ending.

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