South Sea Woman

Synopsis: Marine Sergeant James O'Hearn is being tried at the San Diego Marine base for desertion, theft, scandalous conduct and destruction of property in time of war. He refuses to testify or plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. Showgirl Ginger Martin takes the stand against his protest. She testifies O'Hearn won't talk because he is protecting the name of his pal, Marine Private Davey White. Ginger tells how she, broke and stranded, met the two marines in Shanghai two weeks before Pearl Harbor. White proposes marriage so that Ginger can be evacuated from China as his wife. Before the ceremony, the two Marines get into a fight with the natives and escape with Ginger aboard a small motor boat. They wind up in Namou, a Vichy French island, and are quartered in a run-down hotel. O'Hearn discovers a Nazi yacht delivering radar supplies to the island, and plans to seize it with the help of the Free French. White refuses to join and says he is deserting and intends to remain on the island with
Director(s): Arthur Lubin
Production: Warner Home Video
99 min

Gentlemen, the general court-martial

will convene.

- Is the prosecution ready to proceed?

- Aye, sir.

- And the defense? And the defense?

- Yes, sir.

Bring in the accused.

Provost sergeant,

reporting with the prisoner.

James o'Hearn, master gunnery sergeant,

United States Marine Corps.

Very well.

The accused will sit over there.

Your husband, ma'am?

- Brother?

- Court-martial will open.

Does the accused object

to any member of this court?

No, sir.

The judge advocate will read

the charges and specifications.

The accused will rise.

"Charge one, desertion.

Sergeant o'Hearn,

United States Marines Corps...

...while so serving at Marine Headquarters

Fourth Marines, Shanghai, China...

...did, on or about November 24th, 1941...

...desert from said barracks

and from the Naval service...

...and did remain a deserter for 276 days

until apprehended and taken into custody.

Charge two, theft... that Sergeant o'Hearn

did feloniously steal...

...a private yacht valued at $275,000,

leaving a receipt...

...bearing the forged signature

of the president of the United States.

Charge three, shanghaiing sailors.

Sergeant o'Hearn,

by assault with a deadly weapon...

...and by threat of murder,

on the French colonial island of Namou...

...did forcibly assemble a crew

to sail said stolen yacht.

Charge four, scandalous conduct tending

to the destruction of good morals.

Sergeant o'Hearn did take from Shanghai

a woman named Ginger Martin...

...and keep her with him constantly

for said 276 days...

...without benefit of wedlock.

Charge five,

willful destruction of private property... that Sergeant o'Hearn did,

maliciously and without provocation...

...sink a saloon."

Oh, no.

James o'Hearn, master gunnery sergeant,

United States Marine Corps.

You heard the charges

and specifications against you?

- Yes, sir.

- How say you, guilty or not guilty?

I have nothing to say, sir.

You refuse to plead guilty or not guilty?

- You stand mute?

- Yes, sir.

Sergeant o'Hearn,

you served under me at Nicaragua.

I never found reason to doubt

your fighting qualities as a good Marine...

...or your ability to turn the air blue

with the gift of gab.

Why now do you choose to stand mute?

There's a time to talk, sir,

and a time to keep your mouth shut.

You are aware, are you not,

of the seriousness of these charges?

I am.

You are aware that you face

a possible sentence of death...

...not to mention a total imprisonment

of 143 years?

The last hundred won't hurt, sir.

And you still insist on standing mute?

Deaf, dumb and mute.

Lieutenant Miller,

United States Marine Corps...

...appointed defense counsel

pro tem, sirs.

Sergeant o'Hearn, you have no objection

to Lieutenant Miller acting as your counsel?

Why should I have counsel

if I'm not putting up any defense?

That's the point, sirs.

Since the sergeant... I mean,

the accused, has chosen to remain mute... says in Section 413

of the Naval Courts and Boards...

It says here...

It says here:

"If the accused stands mute...

...the court shall direct a trial to proceed

as if the accused had pleaded not guilty."

- Isn't that right, sirs?

- That is correct.

Then I can defend him

like he pleaded not guilty?

I told you that was correct.

Sir, I object. I don't want any bathtub

jarhead beating his gums to save me.

- Objection not in order.

- But, sir...

The accused will sit down.

The prosecution will proceed.

Chief Boatswain's Mate

orville H. Masterson...

...United States Navy.

Chief Boatswain's Mate

orville H. Masterson...

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Edwin Blum

Edwin Harvey Blum (2 August 1906 – 2 May 1995) was an American screenwriter.He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and died in Santa Monica, California. Films written by Blum include Stalag 17, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Gung Ho. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "South Sea Woman" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Apr. 2021. <>.

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