Salute to the Marines (1943)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Drama, War


Salute to the Marines (1943) Poster

Wallace Beery stars in this patriotic World War II drama about a tough retired Marine who is caught in the middle of the Philippines campaign, experiencing action, heroics, and tragedy. ... See full summary »


6.7/10
194

Photos

  • Wallace Beery in Salute to the Marines (1943)
  • Wallace Beery in Salute to the Marines (1943)
  • Wallace Beery, Fay Bainter, and Marilyn Maxwell in Salute to the Marines (1943)
  • Wallace Beery and Fay Bainter in Salute to the Marines (1943)
  • Wallace Beery, Donald Curtis, William Lundigan, Marilyn Maxwell, and Dewey Robinson in Salute to the Marines (1943)
  • Wallace Beery, Donald Curtis, Keye Luke, William Lundigan, and Marilyn Maxwell in Salute to the Marines (1943)

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User Reviews


3 November 2003 | Fred_Rap
Star-spangled hogwash
In this leisurely-paced Technicolor flag-waver, grizzled, beer-bellied lout Wallace Beery plays a thirty-year sergeant major stationed in the Philippines just before the war. When he's forced into retirement, long-suffering wife Fay Bainter has to cope with his refusal to adapt to civilian life in their sleepy island village. He antagonizes the peace-loving neighbors with his gross manners and anti-Japanese sentiments, trains the local children in military maneuvers, and gets into brawling confrontations with shifty Niponese sailors. But once Pearl Harbor is attacked and the enemy advances on their town, Beery rallies the villagers to defense and goes out in a blaze of glory.

The climactic combat action is a long time coming, since the bulk of the movie is devoted to Beery's fatuous, self-aggrandizing antics. Whether condescending to his native troops (he refers to them as "little fellers" as though they were exotic incarnations of Jackie Cooper) or pouring on the 'aw shucks' geniality to a passel of adoring kids, this slob-king is a grating, grandstanding humbug. (What appeal could this man have possibly held for contemporary audiences? Perhaps as a fanciful role model for home front-bound middle-aged men -- the run-to-seed but still vital codger.)

No less phony is the hubba-hubba Marilyn Maxwell as his incessantly smirking daughter; it's tough enough to believe the refined, genteel Bainter could have ever had a booty call with Beery, much less produced so dishy a specimen from such rot-gut sperm.

If one can last through all this spurious slop, the final thirty minutes deliver a Johnny-come-lately wallop. As Japanese bombers hover over a crowded church, director S. Sylvan Simon uses rapid-fire editing to build tension to a fever pitch. What follows is a grand scale action set-piece that is eye-filling and surprisingly fierce, weakened only by the unhinged spectacle of the tubby, lead-footed Beery traipsing through brush to single-handedly knock out an enemy machine gun emplacement. The movie seems to be telling us that a regiment of lumbering, dissipated fat men could have shortened the war by years. Fat chance.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Thursday 11 April 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); in Seattle it first aired 4 June 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Chicago 18 June 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 19 June 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Portland OR 19 June 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in New Haven CT 26 June 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 3 July 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Norfolk VA 7 August 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), and in New York City 26 October 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in San Francisco it was first telecast 19 November 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later.


Goofs

When the Baileys are leaving for church, Jennie Bailey tears off a daily calendar page indicating the date is December 7, 1941. Shortly after, the Japanese launch a bombing attack on their village, destroying the church. Factually, the Japanese launched the attach on the Philippines 10 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Since the Philippines are located west of the International Date Line, the earliest the attack could have occurred in the Philipphines is 11 am December 8, 1941.


Soundtracks

O God of Love, O King of Peace
(1861) (uncredited)
Music from "Hesperus" by
Henry Baker (1854)
Hymn by Henry W. Baker (1861)
Sung by the congregation in church on the morning of December 7, 1941

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy | Drama | War

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