Guadalcanal Diary (1943): Louis Seiler’s War Film, Starring Good Ensemble, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte, Anthony Quinn, Richard Jaeckel

War correspondent Richard Tregaskis’s popular book was the basis for Lewis Seiler’s Guadalcanal Diarytouching, a restrained, decidedly unsentimental chronicle of Marines fighting the South Sea jungles during an American offensive.

Like many other Hollywood WWII pictures, “Guadalcanal Diary” takes liberty with the historical facts.

Even so, the visual style is semi-documentary, enhanced by the casting of ordinary-looking actors, rather than movie stars.

“Guadalcanal Diary” follows its Marines protagonists from their pre-landing shipboard briefings through months of hardship–until they are relieved by fresh Army troops.

Among the feature’s strong characters are William Bendix as an ex-Brooklyn taxi cab driver; Preston Foster as a courageous chaplain; Lloyd Nolan as a tough sergeant; and Richard Jaeckel in his screen debut as a brave youngster.

 

Cast:

Preston Foster

Lloyd Nolan

William Bendix

Richard Conte

Anthony Quinn

Richard Jaeckel

Roy Roberts

Minor Watson

Ralph Byrd

Lionel Stander

Reed Hadley

John Archer

Eddie Acuff

 

Credits

Released: November 17, 1943

Fox

Produced by Bryan Foy.

Directed by Lewis Seiler.

Script by Lamar Trotti and Jerry Cady, based on the book by Richard Tregaskis.

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