Beachhead (film)

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Beachhead - 1954 - Poster.png
1954 theatrical poster
Directed by Stuart Heisler
Produced by Howard W. Koch
Written by Richard Alan Simmons
Richard G. Hubler novel I've Got Mine
Starring Tony Curtis
Frank Lovejoy
Mary Murphy
Skip Homeier
Music by Arthur Lange
Emil Newman
Cinematography Gordon Avil
Edited by John F. Schreyer
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
5 February 1954
Running time
90 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$450,000
Box office US$1,400,000

Beachhead is a 1954 Technicolor war film based on Captain Richard G. Hubler USMCR's 1945 novel I've Got Mine. It was filmed in Kauai by Aubrey Schenck Productions, released through United Artists and directed by Stuart Heisler.


In late October 1943, a battalion of US Marines have landed on Choiseul Island to create a diversion for the impending Allied invasion of Japanese held Bougainville Island.

Four of them (Frank Lovejoy, Tony Curtis, Skip Homeier and Alan Wells) have been selected to carry out a reconnaissance patrol and find a French planter (Eduard Franz) and his daughter (Mary Murphy). They have sent a message to the Allies. The patrol must confirm that the message is authentic, and that the planter is still alive, as he can give the Marines valuable information needed for a successful amphibious landing by the Allied forces.



Filmed on Hawaiian locations on Kaua'i, including Hanalei Pier,[1] the film was budgeted at US$450,000 with the producers arranging to release Tony Curtis from his contract with Universal-International studios.[2] The producers used Hawaiians for many of the roles in the film such as Sam "Steamboat" Mokuahi,[3] Democratic Party organiser Dan Aoki, and Akira Fukunaga, the latter two being veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

The producers went to the US Marine Corps to seek technical assistance for the making of the film. Although the Corps liked the idea of the film, they refused to provide cooperation. As two of the four Marines were killed in the screenplay, the Public Information Officer said that the Marines would not provide any assistance to any film showing the Corps taking 50 per cent casualties as they were in the midst of a new recruiting campaign emphasising a new less danger-seeking image.[4] The producers visited the Pentagon and were provided with Navy, Coast Guard, and Hawaiian National Guard assistance in making the movie.[4] The film was titled Missione Suicido (Suicide Mission) in Italy.

Mary Murphy felt that Stuart Heisler was trying to make her look like a version of the director's own wife. She was also nearly attacked by a drunken cameraman on the film's isolated Hawaiian location.[5]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  2. ^ Mirisch, Walter, I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History, 2008, p.75, University of Wisconsin Press
  3. ^ "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Obituaries". Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  4. ^ a b p.125 Suid, Lawrence M. Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film 2002 University of Kentucky Press
  5. ^ The Wild One's Sweetheart: Mary Murphy Interviewed, Paul and Donna Parla.[dead link]

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