Memorial Day Weekend is always a good time to watch one of the many films paying tribute to our nation's armed forces, and tonight I chose GUADALCANAL DIARY.
GUADALCANAL DIARY is based on the book by correspondent Richard Tregaskis, played in the film by Reed Hadley.
It's a fairly standard WWII film, depicting the alternating boredom, misery, and sheer terror experienced by the first Marines to land on Guadalcanal.
Although the Lamar Trotti script is somewhat run of the mill, the movie does do a good job underscoring the bravery of our military in the early days of the war, when ordinary men stepped up to do an unimaginably difficult job. The film also manages to convey some of the horror of war without resorting to graphic violence.
The film is elevated by a fine cast. I especially liked Preston Foster as the Irish Catholic chaplain. The Marines are played by an impressive group of actors including Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte, William Bendix, Anthony Quinn, Richard Jaeckel, Lionel Stander, Roy Roberts, and Minor Watson.
The movie was directed by Lewis Seiler. The black and white cinematography was by Charles G. Clarke; filming locations included California's Camp Pendleton and Catalina Island. The film runs 93 minutes.
This film is available on DVD in the Fox War Classics series. Netflix has the DVD available and also shows the film via streaming. The DVD can also be rented from ClassicFlix.
GUADALCANAL DIARY also had a release on VHS.