The invasion of Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942, launched the Solomon Islands Campaign, what you could consider the middle stage or second act of the Second World War in the Pacific. The fight in the Solomons was, in many ways, the real war in the Pacific Theater of Operations. This was the period in which the two sides were closely matched and the outcome of the war was actually at stake. After this campaign, the remainder of the war largely consisted of a Japanese holding action against the United States’ inexorable march west toward the Home Islands.
This adaptation of war correspondent Richard Tregaskis’ non-fiction book about the early stages of the battle is reverential, faithful to the facts but clichéd and lacking in realistic drama. The Marines in this movie seem more like a Cub Scout troop in an episode of Father Knows Best than a real military unit. Even the level of interpersonal conflict found in Sands of Iwo Jima would have vastly improved this film.