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The Fighting Seabees
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Directed By
Edward Ludwig

John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley, Leonid Kinskey

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The Fighting Seabees (1944)
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Movie Review by Clutch Cargo
February 21st, 2013

The All-American WW2 Hero, John Wayne. Whatta Guy!

To say that this was a "propaganda" film is not an insult. Like many other films from the early 1940s this film was deliberately crafted to encourage American patriotism. It was meant to convince its citizens that their fighting men overseas can and will win the war.

There should be no doubt that The Fighting Seabees was a highly over-simplified account of how the U.S. Navy Seabees actually came into existence.

John Wayne plays character, Wedge Donovan, the hot-headed owner of the Donovan Construction Company. Donovan offers his services to the government in an agreement to build airfields and other related support fortifications on a small South Pacific island.

The story centers around Donovan's single-mindedness in getting his men armed so that they can defend themselves when under attack from Japanese soldiers. (As ordinary civilians these men have no authority to bear arms)

The battle scenes in this picture offer some unique twists. As the Japanese advance on the island the Seabees combine ingenuity with resolve by fighting their enemy with bulldozers and cranes. The surreal nature of this exchange actually makes one wonder if such fighting could've actually taken place.

As the hero of the story, only the likes of John Wayne could go into battle without a weapon. Within seconds he swiftly takes out 3 attacking Japanese soldiers while managing to secure a rifle in the process.

This movie's theme is finalized with the line - "We build for the fighters. We fight for what we build."

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