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The Fighting Seabees (John Wayne) [DVD]


Price: £5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Fighting Seabees (John Wayne) [DVD] + Operation Pacific [DVD] [1951] + Back to Bataan (John Wayne) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley, Duncan Renaldo
  • Directors: Edward Ludwig
  • Producers: Albert J. Cohen
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Jun 2006
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FMFZYE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,191 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

In 1942, tough construction foreman Wedge Donovan (John Wayne) is posted to the South Pacific to repair installations close to the Japanese lines. The bullheaded Wedge helps set up a Construction Batallion (or Seabee), but discovers the need for military instruction when his men come under fire. Meanwhile, he finds romance with his commander's daughter - reporter Constance Chesley (Susan Hayward). The film's score was nominated for an Oscar.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "natthebat" on 25 Jan 2005
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of several films John Wayne starred in during the war that was intended to boost the morale of the folks at home. However, it is still a great war film even today with spectacular action for its time (1944).
Wedge Donovan (John Wayne) is the CEO of a large construction company that is building airfields in the Pacific for the Allied planes. However, as a rule, they must not be armed with any kinds of weapons. Donovan strongly disagrees with this, pointing out that his men are in hostile territory and must be given the right to defend themselves. Eventually they are allowed rifles but Donovan bluntly refuses that his men be trained as soldiers.
Then the inevitable happens. On a deadly assignment in the South Seas, the Donovan Construction Company come under heavy Japanese fire. The resulting battle is a one-sided massacre that eventually convinces Donovan that his men must have the proper training in order to defend themselves. With this in mind, a brand new army regiment is set up, The Fighting Seabees (a play on the initials of the regiment's given name, Construction Battalion - CBs) and Donovan is made its leader. They now must both build and fight.
But will fate repeat itself when the Japanese attack again?
This film features very human characters and is still a very fine war film, sixty-one years after its creation. I hope it comes to DVD soon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Sep 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Wayne plays "Wedge Donovan" big cheese of a civilian construction unit working with the navy to build landing strips on the Pacific Islands; Dennis O`Keefe plays the navy liason officer he has to work with and Susan Hayward provides the love interest for both.
The story, which is about the formation of the Construction Battalions (CB`s, geddit?) is utter tosh, although the units did of course exist and did sterling work; this is the Hollywood wartime propaganda machine in full swing, so little things like historical fact are set aside somewhat. It is a film of its period and the circumstances of the time; the Japanese are demonised, the civies can`t wait to do their bit, American spirit and know-how will win the day... you know the kind of thing. If you are the wrong side of 40 you grew up watching films like these on TV and can probably make allowances for the material; I can`t speak for anyone younger, but viewed as a wartime adventure story it is still fairly entertaining, though probably not one of Wayne`s best. For the student of this kind of film there`s a whole essay worth of stuff as most of the common warprop. characters and cliches are here; I also suspect Hayward was being tried out by the studios to see how she might handle a leading actress role; she really is only there to provide eye-candy and romantic interest but she manages to be in most scenes of the film, quite a feat for such a male-dominated picture!
If you`re a John Wayne fan or like war films from this period you`ll want this DVD; picture quality is first-rate and sound is good clear mono. There are no extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darth Maciek TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Dec 2013
Format: DVD
This rather average war time propaganda film made in 1944 is a tribute to a formation less glamorous than the Army infantry or the Marines, but which was absolutely crucial to American war effort in the Pacific War - US Navy Construction Battalions or CBs, whose members were commonly known as "Seabees"... Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

1. Historical background

Construction troops, which appeared in large numbers in different armies during World War I, were usually considered as second or even third-rate units, to which were mostly affected people considered not fit to perform fighting duties. In totalitarian regimes appeared after 1917, construction troops were usually composed of people not trusted enough to be affected to real fighting units - in Imperial Japan between 1931 and 1945 a large majority of construction troops was made of Koreans and Formosans and in Soviet Union, not only under Stalin but in fact until 1991, most construction troops were made of Central Asian recruits, whose loyalty was considered weak. III Reich went even further and the construction units of the sinister para-military Todt Organisation used in fact mostly slave labour...

After 1941 United States however made a different choice. The US Navy Construction Battalions, created officially in June 1942, even if not exactly an elite unit, were to be a highly specialized engineering formation using complex machinery and most recent construction technics - and therefore it had to recruit very skilled people, not society rejects, with civilian engineers to become officers and the foremen and other experienced old timers transforming into the NCOs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Rae Hughes on 16 Jan 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found this movie just as good as the rest of them the action in it was excellent and it was awesome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kim elliston on 17 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
great film if you have a few hours to kill has a nice story and a very unexpected ending great
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By Steve on 14 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As somone who was brought up on John Wayne movies This is old but one of his best. The normal Wayne film Heroic But well worth a watch. So if you like me like John Wayne watch this one.
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