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The Fighting Seabees (1944)

John Wayne , Susan Hayward , Edward Ludwig  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, William Frawley, Leonid Kinskey
  • Directors: Edward Ludwig
  • Writers: Borden Chase, Dale Van Every, Ethel Hill, ∆neas MacKenzie
  • Producers: Albert J. Cohen
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2000
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0782011284
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fighting Seabees" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Presents important stories from the Old Testament, from Abraham to Moses leading his people back to the promised land.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: NR
Release Date: 26-MAR-2002
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This movie provides one telling of their story. During WWII, there was a serious need for men in the military who had the know how and the determination to carry out essential construction work, particularly in the Pacific Theatre of operations.
In this movie we learn a bit about the plan and recruitment of men to serve as hybrid construction workers/soldiers. John Wayne was a natural choice to serve as the prototypical SeaBee -- an undisciplined individual, but determined, willing and able.
Join JW and his colleagues as they work and fight their way across the Pacific, building runways and roads, and anything else that needed to be made. During their spare time, they did some fighting, and JW finds time for some romancing (doesn't he usually?).
A good telling, and an interesting movie, but not quite 5-star material. Well worth a watch though!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Navy Heritage - US Navy Seabees July 16, 2004
By etscw
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie has become a part of lore among the men and women of the finest combat contstruction organizations of the US military. It is a nice Hollywood adaptation of the creation of the US Navy Seabees. And who can forget the best character in the movie -- Natasha! It's not often that you see JW's character make the ultimate sacrifice. I watch this and see the beginning of some traditions and attitudes still in practice today. "With Compassion for Others, We Build - We Fight, for Peace with Freedom," from the Seabee Museum. Remember their montra: Seabee Can-Do.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shows the Seabees Doing It To It October 14, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The Navy Seabees did a whole lot to win the war in the Pacific. This movie shows how civilian contractors failed in combat situations, and how the Navy created a new kind of builder-warrior. And who better to illustrate the metamorphasis than The Duke?
The Duke puts on a uniform, accepts rank and begans growling for reports the Navy way. In exchange, he and the crew have become people who can fight as well as build.
While it's kind of a low budget film, many people will relate to the scene where The Duke sends the bulldozer into the machine gun nest.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seabees in Action in the Pacific Theater of WWII March 24, 2008
Format:DVD
The setting of this movie is an island in the Pacific in June 1942. Besides getting entertained by the blazing combat action and the fervid patriotic mood, the viewer gets an education on the Seabees. The term itself comes from a phonetization and dramatization of CB's, which stands for Construction Battalions.

Wedge Donovan (a young John Wayne) takes command of a US Navy group of engineers who are using bulldozers, cranes, etc., to build various installations for military use. At first, civilians are involved and, not understanding the realities of a combat environment, they suffer severe casualties during a Japanese attack.

Wedge Donovan trains and, in time, leads the newly-named Seabees in a subsequent counterattack against a large group of Japanese invaders. Now it is the Japanese who suffer heavy casualties. The Seabees trap the Japanese in a flaming ravine, and pour gunfire upon them. Wedge Donovan gets decorated for leadership in this military success.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lesser Wayne Vehicle November 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
In one of his lesser starring efforts, John Wayne plays the leader of a construction company that goes on to help form the Fighting Seabees, an armed group of workers. Prior to the Seabees, the construction crews building air strips and other military installations weren't allowed to carry arms. Wayne is stubborn and determined to say the least, and he pushes to have his men armed for battle as they work on curiously named islands in the Pacific during the Second World War. The film's focus is torn between the establishment of the Seabees and Wayne's romance with journalist Susan Hayward. Neither plotline is developed enough, and considering that it appears to be a war film, there's not much to the fighting in the film. It's not a bad film, but it suffers from a low budget and a script that needed much more work. However, there is a rare chance in this film to Big John jitterbug, which is good for a laugh.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair DVD May 8, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I was disappointed with the quality of the DVD. The movie was not restored, it was copied from a fair print. I liked the movie.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie! October 12, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Being in the USNavy myself, I have met and known many Navy SeaBee's. I greatly enjoyed watching this John Wayne movie. I respect the "Can Do" reputation of these individual's even more now.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow, but worth watching July 14, 2002
Format:DVD
Compared to today's action thrillers, this is sedate. However, there is more to a movie than speed. What it does well is remind us of our heritage. Although Hollywood may not have been accurate in its portrayal of the Seabees, this movie goes a long way in helping us understand their courage and contributions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The "DUKE" builds for the Navy
Standard WWII era movie to keep folks back home backing the war effort. Good acting by all characters. Read more
Published 8 days ago by William A. Mcelhiney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
anything John Wayne
Published 19 days ago by Rick
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fighting Seabees
Great movie.
Published 28 days ago by packrat
5.0 out of 5 stars Good war time movie
I am a John Wayne fan and he does not disappoint me in this movie. Susan Hayward does well too. This is a movie that is free of any bad language so the entire family can watch.
Published 1 month ago by Joyce Bramhall
2.0 out of 5 stars OK
Its ok of a movie the director well lets just say he would be better at cartoons non the less John is great as usual but Bluray definetly NOT worth it
Published 1 month ago by john sokirka
5.0 out of 5 stars movie
Movie was bought as a gift for my Father and Mother for Christmas. I am replacing all his VHS tapes with DVD's They arrived in good condition an on time. Thank you.
Published 1 month ago by Tari Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Seabees
John Wayne is my favorite. You need to purchase this movie. Great item to put in your inventory of movies.
Published 2 months ago by BobT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I bought it as a gift. They loved it very much and was happy to get it. It is a must have for any movie collection.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars The Duke Dirty Dancing!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Has there ever been a film about the SeeBees? I had heard the term but was unaware of their contribution. Read more
Published 3 months ago by DoMeNiQuE CoE
1.0 out of 5 stars Shamefully Inaccurate
This movie's portrayal of the formation and contribution of the Seabees is embarrassingly inaccurate, to the point of being insulting to the skilled, brave men who have served in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by ZUCKMEISTER
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