Watch Pride of the Marines
- 2 hr
Pride of the Marines is a 1945 war drama based on the life of Marine Al Schmid, who was blinded during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. The film stars John Garfield as Schmid, Eleanor Parker as his love interest Ruth, and Dane Clark as his best friend Lee. The movie begins with Schmid as a confident and carefree man who looks forward to enlisting in the Marines. As soon as he arrives in San Diego, he meets Ruth, a beautiful and outgoing girl who works at a local cafe. Despite their initial hostility towards each other, they begin to fall in love.
As the war breaks out, Schmid is sent to Guadalcanal, where he becomes a rifleman in Company H. The scenes on the battlefield are intense, with realistic gunshots and explosions, and a sense of urgency and fear that permeates. Schmid, along with Lee and other Marines, are shown trying to survive the relentless attacks from the Japanese, while battling exhaustion and illness.
During one of the battles, Schmid saves Lee's life, but is severely wounded in the process. He undergoes surgery and awakens to find that he has lost his sight. The movie then shifts its focus to Schmid's struggle to adjust to his disability, both physically and emotionally. The scenes that follow are some of the most poignant in the film, as we see Schmid try to come to terms with his new reality.
Back in the United States, Schmid is welcomed home as a hero, and receives a medal for his bravery in battle. But he is still tormented by his blindness, and he struggles to find a way to live a meaningful life despite his disability. He rejects Ruth's attempts to help him, and sinks into a deep depression.
It is only through the efforts of his fellow Marines, who visit him and encourage him to accept his blindness, that Schmid begins to heal. In one touching scene, they take him on a fishing trip, where Schmid catches a fish despite his lack of sight. The camaraderie and support of his friends helps Schmid to regain his confidence and sense of purpose.
Throughout the movie, Garfield delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Schmid. He conveys the character's initial cockiness and bravado, as well as his profound despair and anguish after losing his sight. Parker is also excellent as Ruth, who is torn between her love for Schmid and her desire for him to be happy.
The movie is expertly directed by Delmer Daves, who skillfully balances the intense battle scenes with the quieter moments of character development. The dialogue is sharp and naturalistic, and the supporting cast, including Clark, Ann Doran, and Rosemary DeCamp, are all top-notch.
In the end, Pride of the Marines is a moving and inspiring film about the resilience of the human spirit. Schmid's journey from a proud and determined Marine to a wounded and broken man, and finally to a rehabilitated and hopeful person, is expertly portrayed by Garfield and the other actors. The film's themes of courage, loyalty, and sacrifice resonate as strongly today as they did when the movie was first released.