Guadalcanal Diary

Synopsis: Concentrating on the personal lives of those involved, a war correspondent takes us through the preparations, landing and initial campaign on Guadalcanal during WWII.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Lewis Seiler
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
93 min

Today, Sunday July 26th 1942,

is a peaceful, lazy day of rest

here on our transport

somewhere in the South Pacific.

And very pleasant it is too, here in the

beautiful white sunshine of the port deck

with the blue panel of the sea to watch

and a good song rising clear.

Where Father Donnelly, Notre Dame 1917,

all-American fullback for two years,

now simply Chaplain Donnelly,

is working the second shift.

Say, Sammy, your voice is OK.

Why not? My father was

a cantor in the synagogue.

We"re on the signal bridge, where

Colonel Grayson and his staff are relaxing,

as contented as if seated on their front

porches of a Sunday morning back home.

What a way to travel to war.

l wish we had the funnies.

So we could see if Mammy Yokum

got the termites out of the turnip patch.

However the favourite occupation,

as usual, is shooting the breeze.

Exchanging scuttlebutt.

Boy, l"d sure like to be back home,

sailing me a boat on Chesapeake Bay.

lf l was back home l wouldn"t be on no boat.

lf l was back in Laredo

l"d go and see my Conchita.

- Maybe Lolita.

- Well, make up your mind.

All right, Conchita.

And Lolita.

Ebbets Field, that"s for me.

Watching them beautiful Bums.

Bums is right.

- Just leading the league.

- Oh, sure. That league.

Got any dough which says

the Yanks will take us in the Series?

The Dodgers ain"t even in it yet.

What good"ll dough do where you"re going?

- How do you know where we"re going?

- Oh, pipe down.

Besides, l don"t care

if l never see any more dough again.

Of course, you monkeys understand

l"m talking about Confederate dough.

Say, ain"t you a war correspondent?

- That"s right.

- Put my name in the paper.

The funny paper.

- Sure. What is it?

- Johnny Anderson.

You can call him Chicken.

He"s just sprouting his pinfeathers.

A certain party l know

will get a kick out of that.

You know your mother

don"t let you go out with no dames.

Pipe down, will you?

l got him.

(PA) Sweepers, man your brooms.

Clean sweep-down fore and aft.

Pleasant too to stretch out

in the calm tropical night

with the lapping of the waves

beating a soft, faint obbligato to our song.

They"re a great bunch of kids, Father.

- They"ll do all right.

- Mm-hm.

Any news yet as to where we"re headed?

Even the colonel doesn"t know that.

So then l says ""Listen,

do you think what l"m thinking?""

She gives me one of them looks

and says ""Yeah.""

That"s a tomato every time.

- Writing to that babe of yours?

- Why not?

- Some doll, huh?

- Yeah, she"s a real hunk of woman.

- And she don"t give me no arguments either.

- She don"t, huh?

You know, l had me a dame like that once.

But so did a lot of other guys.

- Good night, Chicken.

- Good night, Taxi.

OK, boys.

Come on, come on.

Cut out the skylarking. Hit the sack.

Lights out, one minute.

Hey, Sergeant.

Do you know yet what we"re up to?

Oh, the same old thing - manoeuvres.

Don"t say l told you.

Up and down landing nets,

in and out of boats - l"m geting tired of this.

The way you looked at Onslow Beach

you could stand plenty of practice.

One of these days we"re gonna

run up against the real thing.

- Hey, Tex.

- Yeah.

- Hot, ain"t it?

- Yeah.

Hoter than a Texas catle car in August.

- So you think it"s hot, do you?

- Yeah.

How would you like

a nice tall glass of ice-cold beer?

Beer. Strictly a middle-class beverage.

The last time l was in Brooklyn

it was just such a night as this.

We was having cocktails.

The old lady brought them in,

l took one taste, and boy, what a kick.

- You know what she did?

- What?

She took "em out and

put in another slug of gin.

- What a sweet old lady.

- Yeah.

- Well, good night, Taxi.

- Good night.

Yes, this has been a peaceful, lazy day of rest

almost everywhere on the ship.

Despite the fact that tomorrow or the next day

we"ll know where we"re headed.

Where possibly we may be wounded or die

on some Japanese beachhead.

- What"s going on?

- l don"t know.

- Where"d they come from?

- Look at "em.

ls that a task force for ya!

How many are there?

Must be about a thousand.

- So we"re out on manoeuvres, eh?

- My eye. Looks like the real McCoy.

- Where"s Jordan? He"ll know the answer.

- Jordan, come here.

Give us the lowdown. What are they?

The Pepsi-Cola. The llluscious.

- Boy, that"s a heap of "em.

- Now if we only knew where we were going.

Looks like we mean business, Colonel.

lt"s a cheerful thought to be going into this

with all this power and force behind us.

- What"s this coming?

- That"s the FCPL.

They got a civilian with them.

How do you do, Mr Weatherby?

l"m Colonel Grayson.

- Dispatches, sir.

- Well, now maybe we"ll find out something.

- Tokyo?

- Could be.

Gentlemen, we"re going to atack

the Japanese strongholds

on Guadalcanal and Tulagi

in the Solomon lslands.


The Navy and Coast Guard will put us ashore.

Once established, our objective is an airfield

which the enemy has almost completed.

Mr Weatherby, who has supervised

a copra plantation there,

will tell you some of the difficulties

you may expect to encounter.

Well, fellas, this is

a detailed map of Guadalcanal.

After crossing the beach

you"ll have to penetrate a field of grass

from four to six feet high - and it"s

good stuff for the Japs to hide in too.

""Headquarters, fifth regiment, first marine

division, fleet marine force, 26th July 1942.""

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Lamar Trotti

Lamar Jefferson Trotti (October 18, 1900 – August 28, 1952) was an American screenwriter, producer, and motion picture executive. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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