Directed by Lewis Seiler
USA 1943

 

  Guadalcanal. "Guadalcanal Diary" is the title of this new film which Twentieth Century-Fox has based rather loosely upon the fine record, with that same title, which Richard Tregaskis wrote. It opened yesterday at the Roxy before an audience which was visibly stirred and which, no doubt, had the impression that it was witnessing the Battle of Guadalcanal as it was fought.

With the latter impression, we would take issue—just on the basis of Mr. Tregaskis' book. But there is certainly no question that this picture is stirring and inspiring in many ways. For Twentieth Century-Fox has crammed it with heroic action of the grimmest sort. It has not scrupled at showing the dying and the dead in relation to the living fighting on against a stubborn, tricky foe. It has put many incidents into the picture which illuminate a soldier's character. And it has admirably stuck to the business at hand, which was fighting a war, without any pretty digressions along the incidental byways of romance.

As a matter of fact, the first part of the film is almost documentarily real—the part showing the shipboard preparations and the landings on Guadalcanal, And it is in this part that the film sticks most closely to the facts set down in Mr. Tregaskis' book. Here we see the marine force approaching the zero hour—the hour of dawn on the memorable morning of Aug. 7, 1942. We see the attack troops lined up in the half-light on their ship's deck, the misty island off to starboard, and the muttered comment through dry lips, "This is it!" We catch the electric excitement of the men going into their landing boats, while the naval guns boom a withering barrage and covering planes sweep aloft from carrier decks.

The suspense and excitement continue as the men go ashore on Guadalcanal and complete their initial penetration of the abandoned Japanese positions. But, oddly enough, the sense of danger and the nightmare that lay ahead is never realized in this picture as strongly as it is in the first part. One reason is that much footage is devoted to the gags of the marines—the wisecracks and stagey chatter which is familiar from previous films. And another is that the fighting is also comparatively routine, without any true indication of the tension of jungle warfare. And then, too, it seems too fortuitous that the four or five marines we stay with most enjoy a miraculous immunity from death—except for one, just at the end.

Excerpt from Bosley Crowther's review at the NY Times located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 27th, 1973

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also part of the Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat which includes Halls of Montezuma, Decision Before Dawn, D-Day the Sixth of June and Guadalcanal Diary
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:54:48 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono)  
Subtitles English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical trailer
• War trailer
• Fox Flix

• 'Support Our Troops' ribbon fridge magnet

DVD Release Date: October, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

 

 

Comments:

Like Halls on Montezuma this was originally released, digitally, in 2001, but this DVD is now included as part of the Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat Collection. Nothing has been added or improved and the VOB files on the disc still show the 2001 date. It looks very good with strong detail and excellent grey-tones and contrast. This is another dual-layered DVD progressively transferred and with a minimum of supplements. I see very few artifacts and digital noise. Uncharacteristically the subtitles are (thankfully) off white when usually on black and white releases Fox has chosen bright yellow.

The film is fabulous with a great ensemble cast. One of the best World War II propaganda entries and perhaps the best of the South Pacific campaign. Great value in this DVD.    

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Also part of the Heroes of War Collection - Frontline Combat which includes Halls of Montezuma, Decision Before Dawn, D-Day the Sixth of June and Guadalcanal Diary
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!