In WW2, highly decorated Marine Sgt. Jack Connell comes home to the USA from the Pacific War and trains recruits for the army until his fighting spirit prods him to request a return to active duty on the front lines.
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Jill St. John
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George Roy Hill
Max von Sydow,
Jack is the sole survivor of a Japanese attack on his squad at Guadalcanal. Because of his heroism and the fact that he is still alive, he becomes a Medal of Honor hero. He returns to train new recruits for the Marines and falls for a girl named Peggy. When training and marriage leave him with an empty feeling, he decides on a transfer back to the front lines. Soon he will find that marriage and life will change his outlook on the grueling battles that lie ahead.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chad Everett and Claude Akins also appeared together in Claudelle Inglish (1961), The Dakotas : The Chooser of the Slain (1963) and Medical Center : Time of Darkness (1973). See more »
The TWA airliner shown during the bond sales tour is a Convair 440 which did not fly until 1947. See more »
Lt. Col. E.J. Baseman:
Y' see what you want, and what I want have very little to do with it. Jack, now this war is just getting started and a lot of the people, or should we say some of the people back home haven't the slightest comprehension as to what its all about. Now Washington, headquarters, hell the war department would like someway somehow to enlighten those people. One week from today you are being given the congressional medal of honor in Washington. They're gonna hang a medal around your neck, put you in a...
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A B-Movie at best, but when you're in it changes everything. M1 rifles on Guadalcanal? Japanese soldiers with rubber bayonets. Several modern day vehicles in the background at various points. But hey! It did honor a real life Marine hero.. Manila John Basilone.
In August 1966, I was 19 years old, had just graduated Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego and had relocated to Camp Pendleton for Infantry Training Regiment.
Reveille went 30 minutes early for us one day... 0500 instead of 0530. Once we were in formation, we were double-timed (shuffle run) 5 miles to a location none of us had ever been to before. It was the location of the current day's shooting of The First to Fight.
In one scene, they took two of our platoons and put us behind a platoon of actors on the side of a hill with a path running down it. When they yelled action, the actors were to run down the path and turn left. We were to run down the path and turn right. As we waited, one of the film's crew came up through the platoon of actors spraying water on them that was supposed to make them look sweaty. After he finished when them he came to us, took one look and said I don't think you fellas need this. Having run 5 miles to get to the "lot" he was right. Unfortunately, that scene was left on the cutting room floor.
The scene we were in that made the final cut occurs about 50 or so minutes into the film. Chad Everett is mad as his men for not picking up on instruction and is berating them. Our 4 platoon company is marching around in rectangles in the background making it appear there were a lot more Marines present than were actually present.
I've always wanted to ask Gene Hackman if he remembers the movie we made together. I'm sure that would draw a quizzical look. He'd certainly have no idea who I was... but it's one of my favorite memories and favorite stories to tell... but a pretty crappy movie when you get right down to it.
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