Tell It to the Marines

( 1 )

Overview

A tough-as-nails Marine sergeant sets about training a rag-tag group of boys into men. Though sporting a rough and gruff exterior, the sergeant is really a caring, gentle sort. During training, he is especially rough on a smart-alecky young man, whom he hones into a first rate fighter. More tension arise between the men when they fall for the same girl. In one of the film's highlights the sarge, and his protege save an imperiled group, including the girl, from a vicious gang of Chinese bandits. After the rescue, ...
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Overview

A tough-as-nails Marine sergeant sets about training a rag-tag group of boys into men. Though sporting a rough and gruff exterior, the sergeant is really a caring, gentle sort. During training, he is especially rough on a smart-alecky young man, whom he hones into a first rate fighter. More tension arise between the men when they fall for the same girl. In one of the film's highlights the sarge, and his protege save an imperiled group, including the girl, from a vicious gang of Chinese bandits. After the rescue, the selfless sergeant gracefully steps aside and returns to training recruits to allow the heroic young Marine and the girl to find romantic bliss. Featuring a nice blend of comedy, adventure and romance, Tell It to the Marines was MGM's second highest grossing film of 1926. It is also one of the rare instances when Lon Chaney, known as "the man of a thousand faces," appeared sans elaborate make-up.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Janiss Garza
On paper, the pairing of brusque Lon Chaney Sr. and breezy William Haines just doesn't compute; on film, however, it became a winning combination for MGM, which cleaned up at the box office with this tale of Marine life. Chaney had recently scored in the blockbuster Phantom of the Opera -- one of a string of major successes -- but he didn't need makeup to brilliantly bring gruff Sergeant O'Hara to life. Haines, on the other hand, was the new kid on the block; although he'd been in films for several years he had only just achieved stardom with Brown of Harvard. As in Brown, he plays a wise-cracking, self-centered young man, Skeet Burns, who has signed up for the Marines purely for a free train ride to San Diego and a quick hop across the border to the horse races in Tijuana. But he winds up in O'Hara's regiment, suffers through some tough training and hard lessons, and emerges four years later as a better man. Although Burns has at least as much screen time as O'Hara, Chaney's multifaceted characterization dominates the film. With a mug not unlike the one on his bulldog, he still manages to charm pretty Navy nurse Norma Dale (Eleanor Boardman), along with the audience. Haines has to work hard to keep up, and it's to his credit that he doesn't vanish completely under the power of Chaney's performance. While Chaney needs no tricks to make Tell It to the Marines his own, one actor -- the Chinese bandit leader at film's end -- is a wicked scene-stealer; it's Warner Oland in a very memorable bit. Although the picture retains a streamlined MGM feel, the details of the Marine's day-to-day activities have a crisp reality, no doubt due to the U.S. Marine Corps, which offered its cooperation during filming. Though not a recognized classic, Tell It to the Marines stands as an excellent example of mid-1920s filmmaking.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/24/2012
  • UPC: 883316489307
  • Original Release: 1926
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Academy Aperture (1.37:1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 37,733

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lon Chaney Sgt. O'Hara
William Haines Private "Skeet" Burns
Eleanor Boardman Norma Dale
Eddie Gribbon Corporal Madden
Carmel Myers Zaya
Warner Oland Chinese Bandit Leader
Mitchell Lewis Native
Frank Currier Gen. Wilcox
Maurice E. Kains Harry
Technical Credits
George W. Hill Director
Dr. William Axt Score Composer
Cedric Gibbons Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Arnold A. Gillespie Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Ira Morgan Cinematographer
Richard Schayer Screenwriter
Blanche Sewell Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tell It to the Marines
1. Chapter 1 [9:59]
2. Chapter 2 [9:59]
3. Chapter 3 [9:59]
4. Chapter 4 [9:59]
5. Chapter 5 [9:59]
6. Chapter 6 [9:59]
7. Chapter 7 [9:59]
8. Chapter 8 [9:59]
9. Chapter 9 [9:59]
10. Chapter 10 [9:59]
11. Chapter 11 [3:24]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Tell It to the Marines
   Play
   Chapters
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    A tired premise now, but a great picture upon its release, and t

    A tired premise now, but a great picture upon its release, and that's the perspective from which this film should be considered. Chaney's performance is convincing and human, while Haines does a fine job as the smart-mouthed recruit. This film is a terrific period piece, and is a swell representation of Chaney's ability as an actor. While Lon's acting is never understated, he gives his character a uniquely sincere authenticity that earned him his well-deserved accolades in prior film roles. He was a fine actor, and it's a shame that he was taken from us at such a young age (47). Luckily for us, his surviving film performances continue to awe and inspire actors today, and I'm always impressed with the conviction that he gave to each role. He was, to be sure, one of a kind.

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