The D.I. (film)

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The D.I.
Directed by Jack Webb
Produced by Jack Webb
Written by James Lee Barrett
Starring Jack Webb
Jackie Loughery
Don Dubbins
Lin McCarthy
Monica Lewis
Music by David Buttolph
Cinematography Edward Colman
Edited by Robert M. Leeds
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • May 5, 1957 (1957-05-05)
Running time
106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.5 million (US)[1]

The D.I. (1957) is a black-and-white military drama film starring, produced and directed by Jack Webb.[2] The film was produced by Jack Webb's production company Mark VII Limited and distributed by Warner Bros.[3]

Webb's co-star is his future wife Jackie Loughery, a former Miss USA.

The film was the first screenplay by screenwriter James Lee Barrett and was based on his teleplay The Murder of a Sand Flea.[4] Barrett had been on Parris Island as a Marine recruit in 1950.[5]


Technical Sergeant Jim Moore, a Drill Instructor on Parris Island, has a thorn in his side, Private Owens (Don Dubbins), who always caves in when the pressure is on. Convinced he can make Owens into a Marine, Moore pushes Owens to the point of desertion.

Barrett's screenplay expanded the play by introducing subplots of Moore having a romance with a local shop girl (played by Webb's future wife Jackie Loughery) and having Owens' mother (Virginia Gregg) make a trip to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to beg the Corps to keep her son in order to make a man out of him.


Following the Ribbon Creek incident that took place at Parris Island on the night of April 8, 1956, the Marine Corps was deluged for requests from various producers to make films exploiting the incident. Unlike many producers seeking to make exploitation films about Marine Corps brutality, Jack Webb based his treatment on a teleplay by former Marine James Lee Barrett The Murder of a Sand Flea broadcast on the Kraft Television Theatre on 10 October 1956[6] with Lin McCarthy repeating his role. As the screenplay made no mention of the incident of Ribbon Creek and gave a positive view of the Marine Corps, the Marines enthusiastically cooperated with Webb providing many technical advisers and actual Marines [7] to appear in the film as Marines.[8] Portions of the film were shot at Camp Pendleton, California. The film premiered at Parris Island in May 1957 and was shown during the training of Marine Corps Drill Instructors; as Webb's Drill Instructor neither used profanity or physically struck his recruits.[9] Singer Monica Lewis provided a musical interlude, performing the provocative song "(If'n You Don't) Somebody Else Will," backed by the Ray Conniff orchestra and chorus, which was released as a single by Columbia Records.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top Grosses of 1957", Variety, 8 January 1958: 30
  2. ^ "The D.I.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  3. ^ "The D.I.". TCM. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  4. ^ My Name's Friday (1957). Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ IMDb
  7. ^ Alvarez, Eugene (2007). Parris Island: Once a Recruit, Always a Marine. Charleston, SC: The History Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-59629-292-5. 
  8. ^ Stevens, John C. (2007). Court-Martial at Parris Island: The Ribbon Creek Incident. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. p. 64. ISBN 1-55750-814-3. 
  9. ^ Smith, Larry (2007). The Few and the Proud: Marine Corps Drill Instructors in Their Own Words. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-32992-6. 

External links[edit]