Pride of the Marines (1945): Delmer Daves Oscar Nominated WWII Drama, Starring John Garfield as Soldier Who Lost his Vision

Based on the true story of Al Schmid, a young Marine (splendidly played by John Garfield) who lost his eyesight during the battle of Guadalcanal, Delmer Daves’ Pride of the Marines was released while WWII was barely over, thus benefiting from its timely subject.

The movie relates the tale of an average American youngster and his girlfriend (Eleanor Powell) who fought the war on different fronts with immense courage.  Directed in a semi-documentary style, the film recounts the long, difficult struggle of a War hero who has to face civilian life as a blind man.

Screenwriter Albert Maltz, later one of Hollywood’s “blacklisted” artists, was accused by some of injecting too much “social consciousness” into the segments dealing with Schmid’s working class origin.  Nonetheless, as noted the film was relevant and topical, in attempting to help returning veterans, especially the handicapped, and their families to adjust to harsh postwar conditions.

Manipulating promotion: Ironically, the ads for the film showed stars John Garfield, Eleanor Parker and Dane Clark walking arm-in-arm and smiling.

Recycling

Pride of the Marines was adapted as radio play twice, both with Garfield reprising his role, on the January 31, 1945 episode of Lux Radio Theater and the June 15, 1946 episode of Academy Award Theater. In the Lux Radio Theater version, Al Schmid is introduced by phone and speaks with Garfield.

 

Oscar Nominations: 1

Screenplay: Albert Maltz

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winners were Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder for the drama “The Lost Weekend,” which also won Best Picture and Best Director.

 

Cast:

John Garfield

Eleanor Parker

Dane Clark

John Ridgely

Rosemary De Camp

Ann Doran

Ann Todd

Warren Douglas

Don McGuire

Tom D’Andrea

Rory Mallinson

Stephen Richards

Anthony Caruso

Moroni Olsen

Dave Willock

John Sheridan

John Miles

John Compton

Lennie Bremen

Michael Brown

Credits:

Warner

Produced by Jerry Wald.

Directed by Delmer Daves.

Screenplay by Albert Maltz, adaptation by Marvin Borowsky from the book by Roger Butterfield.

 

Release date: August 24, 1945

 

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