The Fighting Seabees (1944) Movie Script

We're the Seabees
of the navy,
We can build
or we can fight.
We'll pave our way
to victory,
And guard it
day and night.
And we promise
that we'll remember
The 7th of December.
We're the Seabees
of the navy,
Bees of the Seven Seas.
Where's Ryan?
You see Wedge?
- I can't hear you!
- Hi, Wedge!
- Oh, I'm sorry.
- It's quite all right. Excuse me.
- Bob!
- Oh, I am sorry.
Let's not make this a habit.
The lady's difficult.
Excuse me.
Sorry, you can't
come through here.
It's all right, I'm Connie Chesley,
Inter-Ocean news service.
Pleased to meet you. I'm Ben
Hedburg. So what, cookie?
It's all right, Coxswain.
You can let her through.
Yes, sir.
- Hello.
- Connie.
- How are you?
- I'm just wonderful, darling.
- And you?
- Good.
- Mr. Collins.
- Howdy, Wedge.
- Rollie.
- Hi, ya, Wedge.
Yump, how are ya?
Glad to see ya, Brick.
Hans, good to see you.
Where's Denny Ryan?
Denny ain't comin' back.
- Anyone else?
- Evans, Burns and Long Louie.
- Where's Johnson?
- Hello, Wedge.
Hello, fella.
Well, this one's nearest
my heart, anyhow.
- What happened?
- They wouldn't give us any guns.
We wanted to fight, but we didn't have
no chance. They wouldn't give us guns.
Who wouldn't give you guns?
That gold braid over there.
The Japs sneaked in a landing party,
infiltrated our covering posts,
and then rushed the workmen.
The workmen?
You see, they're technicians who
couldn't be replaced within 7,000 miles.
Getting them means more to the
Japs than getting us, out there.
Something ought to be done about
this, Bob. Something will be done.
- And I mean to see that it's done.
- Mister?
I gave you a gang of men to
build an airfield in the pacific.
They were whole men.
Take a look at 'em now!
- I hope you can sleep nights.
- Aren't you mixing your pronouns a little?
Didn't you refuse them arms
to protect themselves?
That's right.
- And I'm not apologizing for it.
- Apologies won't bring back my men.
- Are you Donovan?
- Yes.
- Then, you're just the man I want to see.
- About what?
About what's eating
you right now.
I didn't arm your men because civilians
found armed are shot like spies.
- It's a rule of war.
- What do you think happened to them?
I know what happened to them. That's
why the rules have to be changed.
We're not fighting men anymore.
We're fighting animals.
I want your men armed in
the future, legally armed,
and I'll need your
help to do it.
Well, on second thought, I guess
you don't make the rules.
Keep talking, sailor.
I'm Lieutenant Commander Yarrow.
This is Miss Chesley.
I'd like to talk to you about
this as soon as possible.
- Could you join us for dinner?
- Well, I can't.
I'm giving a welcome-home party
for my men at the St. George.
Why don't you two join us?
We could talk then.
- Fine. We'll be there.
- I'll be expecting you around 9.
And so, to you gentlemen of the
Donovan Construction Company,
who have been so devoted,
so unbegrudging,
so stuffy, so...
Ladies and gentlemen, I
have a toast to offer.
Mr. Donovan!
Where do you work-a, John?
On the Delaware Lackawann'.
What do you do-a, John?
I push-a, push-a, push.
What do you push-a, John?
I push, I push-a da truck.
Where do you push-a, John?
On the Delaware Lackawann'.
A-wan, a-wan, a-wan, on
the Delaware Lackawann'.
Where do you work, me boyo?
I'm in Donovan's employ.
How's your boss, me boy?
He makes workin' seem a joy!
How're ya doin', Jock?
I've money in every sock.
And who do you work for, Jock?
A man you better not knock.
Where do you work, you?
Whenever there's work to do
And after the war is gone.
There's plenty more work to be done.
And what do you
like to eat?
I am crazy for caviar,
but I haven't got caviar!
So I eat anything there are!
I want to thank you, John,
for the job they put me on.
And who do you
work for, John?
A mighty man is he.
How do you like the dough?
Indeed-y I don't know.
But again the world go on.
So humanity's work is done.
Excuse me a minute,
will ya?
-You're welcome, Commander.
- Oh, thank you.
I'm Eddie Powers, Donovan's
factotum, meaning, "Man Friday."
That's Latin.
I see. Well, I'm glad to know you,
Friday, even if it's only Thursday.
- This is Miss Chesley.
- The navy's "Blue Monday."
Pleased to meet you. If you follow
me, you'll wallow in bubble water.
- Well, here's Mr. Donovan.
- Hello, hello.
- The navy and his lady.
- You hear our song?
Not a sour note in
the whole gang.
- Nothing like it at the metropolitan.
- I'll say.
You seem to be a man of
many talents, Mr. Donovan.
Don't be so susceptible, Connie.
I play a mean mouth organ myself.
You do, sailor? We'll have
to play a duet sometime.
You were saying this afternoon
that I could help you.
- That's right.
- How?
By coming with me to Washington,
representing the construction angle.
Helping me sell my
plan to the navy.
Sell the idea of arming construction
gangs? What is there to sell?
- Well, there's a...
- Oh, nothing at all, just an Admiral or two,
and a few battleships
to be pushed around.
There's more to it
than you think.
Could you find me a thousand men-
cat-skinners, hoisters, drillers...
every kind of specialist in
their proper proportion?
You have 'em, sailor.
All we'll have to do...
You do things easily, Mr. Donovan,
by just a wave of the hand.
Who was it flung seeds on the earth,
and saw furrows of armed men...
rise from them between
sunset and sunrise?
- Or vice-versa?
- That was St. Patrick, ma'am.
Eddie, will you do me a favor?
Name it, boss, and
it's a fait accompli,
meanin' "in the bag".
That's French.
Take baby snooks out
and buy her a Popsicle.
Connie, it looks like...
I'm quite capable of recognizing
a hint when I hear one.
Shall we waltz, Mr. Powers?
I must be warnin' you, Miss.
I'm no terpsichorean.
It's a relief to be out of earshot
of that important baboon.
Oh, don't let the boys hear
you call him that, lady,
or you'll go home in a state
of "ecdysical" embarrassment.
- I will?
- You will.
Oh, Mr. Powers,
if I go home in a state of "ecdysical"
embarrassment, how will I go home?
Wearin' nothin' but your hat!
Frankly, I don't get it,
his throwing a brawl
like this for his men,
when they come home with
five dead and four crippled.
That's Donovan's way of showing his
appreciation for the men who did a job.
- I suppose you'd like a drink.
- Well, that I would, ma'am.
Shall we sit here?
Please, that's for the
five who didn't come back.
I see.
How did you come to work
for Donovan, Eddie?
I didn't. He came to me.
To you?
Yep. I was the boss of a
sewer gang in Brooklyn,
and he braced me for a job.
I should have chased him off, but
I gave him a muck shovel instead.
He looked starved.
I'll never forget.
He was only 14... and
skinny as a rail!
But I'd still like
that drink, ma'am.
Well, Eddie, suppose you
go and get yourself one?
Well, thank you.
How you doing?
I haven't had a real
chance to talk to him yet.
He has promised to come to
Washington. They'll listen to him.
His reputation in
construction is tops.
There's more than that to his
reputation. I looked in our files.
Let me warn you that
your friend Donovan...
is a hotheaded ape with
a hair-trigger temper.
When he's nice, he's very, very nice,
and when he's not, he's stinkin'.
Hello. Yeah?
Wait a minute. Hey, Wedge.
The manager of the hotel
wants to talk to ya.
So it's you again.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You're the manager and we're
makin' too much noise.
So what? I rented this suite
till 10:00 tomorrow morning.
- I don't want any more calls.
- Ain't wantin' to get any more calls?
- No.
- Ain't gonna make any calls out?
Hey, Wedge.
This her is "Twinkles" Tucker.
She claims to be a champion jitterbug.
But she says she'll no dance
with anyone but the boss.
Come on, Wedge. Get in
there. Oh, come on, Wedge.
- What do I do now?
- Pull.
Hey, jitterbug!
Attaboy, Wedge.
- I like your finish.
- Yeah, "finish" is right.
So don't forget,
we've got a date.
Gonna see you tomorrow
in Washington, 11:00.
- Captain Joyce's office.
- I'll be there, right on the pin.
Say, uh, what do you
two do for an encore?
- Right on the pin. Ready to go?
- All set.
- What are you doing here?
- Waiting to join you two...
in a little celebration
at lunch time, I hope.
It's in the bag.
You can order the wine.
- Captain Joyce will see you now.
- Oh, thank you.
Don't you wish you could come
inside and hear what's going on?
Might make a front-page story.
- Want me to fix it up for ya?
- Don't bother.
I'll know more about it in
24 hours than you will.
- It's nice to see you, Bob.
- Thank you, sir.
- This is Mr. Donovan. Captain Joyce.
- Good morning, Mr. Donovan.
- Good morning.
- Your name is a familiar one to this bureau.
- Sit down, won't you, please?
- Thank you.
Commander Yarrow wanted you on hand
when he discussed some matter with me.
Mr. Donovan had a construction job on the
island when the Japanese attacked, sir.
- Most of his crew were killed.
- Yes, I know.
If these men had been in uniform,
they might still be alive.
They would be alive.
- And I submit, sir...
- No, thank you...
that every day this war makes
more and more demands...
for construction under
combat conditions...
airfields, roads,
beachhead installations.
The navy has been impressed by
that fact ever since pearl harbor.
We've been giving it
consideration in principle.
You have a definite
suggestion to offer?
I'd like to suggest the raising
of a model basic unit,
large enough to include the specialists
and machinery to do any kind of a job.
Say a 1,000 men, sir,
self-contained, self-sufficient.
- A battalion, a construction battalion.
- Right.
And I can get you the men for it:
bulldozers, blasters, drillers, cat-skinners.
Any men you want, and the
best in the country.
That would be a model basic
unit indeed, Mr. Donovan.
I'll take it up
with the Admiral.
In the meantime, you're
attached to my office.
I want you to prepare a
complete, detailed report.
- Concentrate first on a training program.
- Yes, sir.
Why waste time?
What training do they need?
Training to fight.
Training to fight? You might as
well start training them to drink.
I'm offering you construction
crews, not white-collar lads.
They know what it is to fight.
Every rock tunnel they
drill costs a man a mile.
And every steel span they
bridge costs another.
- They know that when they take the jobs.
- But, Mr. Donovan...
All they want is something in their
hands when the trouble starts.
That's not the navy's opinion, sir.
We send no man into action until he
has been disciplined, conditioned,
and taught to use his weapon.
That'll take months.
It may take 3 months,
it may take 12 months.
That doesn't make
any difference.
If we send out one
untrained man,
some mother may pay for our
impatience with the life of a son.
Look, I've got 3 contracts
in the pacific,
and my men mean as much to
me as yours do to the navy.
What are they, expendable?
I want 'em armed.
The arming of civilians is prohibited
by an international convention,
not by the United States Navy.
There is nothing you or
I can do about that.
Isn't there?
I have a contract here for
an airfield on island X-214.
I'm going there personally
and take my best crew.
And if Tojo and his bug-eyed
monkeys get in our way,
you and the navy may find out
you have a construction unit...
and a combat unit
rolled into one!
- Wait, Wedge.
- For how long, 3 months, 12 months?
I'm sorry, gentlemen.
I'm not built for waiting.
You learn that in the navy, not
in the construction business.
What happened?
You'll know more about it in 24
hours than I do, Miss Chesley.
Hey, Collins. Where about's
is Flatbush from here?
That's it over there, and you
better take a good look at it,
because the Dodgers'll win the World
Series before you ever see it again.
This job's supposed to take
30 days, not 30 years, Collins.
- Got a cigarette?
- Yeah.
So long, New York.
We won't see a good-lookin' pair
of legs until we see you again.
Oh, I wouldn't say that, Speck.
Well, if it isn't Inter-Ocean's
special ace! How are you, Connie?
Fine, you old son of a gun.
Hello, fellows.
- Say, this is great!
- How do you do, Mr. Donovan?
Well, what are you doing aboard?
Same thing as these alleged
gentlemen of the press.
Oh, by the way, the
Captain wants to see you.
What for?
So he can throw your junk out of the
bridge deck cabin and put mine in.
Are you gonna be a
nuisance on this trip?
No more than usual, Mr. Donovan.
Sure you're not running
out on your boyfriend?
You'll know more about
that in 24 days.
Twenty-four days? How come?
They flew Bob out to island
X-214 last Wednesday,
as officer in charge
of construction.
Oh, and now, if you don't mind,
I'd like to get settled in your...
I mean, my cabin.
So, teacher's pet is on her
way to Australia for news too.
Uh-huh, on 30 minutes'
notice, sweetheart.
Anybody got an extra pair
of nylons in their pocket?
- Nylons?
- That ought to be easy, I always...
Excuse me, I think I
observe an acquaintance.
You're a fine bundle
of mollycoddles.
I give you a little party last
night, and now look at ya.
Why don't you be men, like I am?
Hey, Novasky, a glass
of ice-water, quick.
I think I had too
much fish last night.
Was that what you was drinkin'?
Looks like we're shipmates,
old sesquipedalian.
- "Sesquipe-who-lian"?
- "Pedalian."
- Oh, sesquipedalian, is it?
- Uh-huh.
- Eddie? Eddie, is that good?
- I wouldn't know, Novasky.
I never run across that canary in all
the crossword puzzles I've seen so far.
That means, "a user of big words",
Mr. Powers. Now we're even.
Beautiful, isn't it?
Oh, it's you.
Yes, it's pretty.
Watching a ship's wake
always makes me think...
of the things that time
puts behind us forever:
Hopes, dreams, illusions.
What does it make
you think about?
If they changed the
pitch of that propeller,
we'd get a couple of more
knots out of this thing.
I thought I'd caught you
being human for once.
Don't you have anything under
that thick hide of yours...
except cylinders
and a carburetor?
A spark plug, maybe.
The last time I saw a night
like this, I was in Hawaii.
- Ever been to Hawaii?
- No.
- Europe?
- No.
Why not?
- Never had the time.
- Why didn't you make the time?
Oh, for the same reason.
Do I bore you, Mr. Donovan?
No, no.
Keep talking.
I will if you listen to me.
I'll listen to anything
you have to say.
Then that makes it easy.
Why don't you help Bob put across his
ideas for the construction battalions?
- Oh, I tried...
- You tried.
If you hadn't been such a hotheaded ape,
he'd be working on it in Washington now.
- What do you mean, now?
- I mean, he was sent on this mission...
to keep you from
hunting trouble.
To play nursemaid to me, huh?
Don't be so contemptibly self-centered.
There's a war on.
What Bob wants to
do is important,
and you're the only
man who can help him.
Work out the details for
a model unit with him.
Then fly back with
him from the island.
Eddie Powers can
take over your job.
Your going on it was
only a gesture anyway.
The navy will have to listen
to you when you talk its way.
They respect you for what you
are, for what you've accomplished.
And if it's any added
inducement, Wedge, so do I.
I'm sorry I did that.
For a minute, you
made me forget.
- Forget?
- That you're Bob Yarrow's girl.
- This is beautiful, ain't it?
- Yeah, but it's hot.
- Oh, we'll have a swell time here.
- Yeah, a hot time.
Just like the movies,
eh, Novasky?
Yeah, just like the movies.
Soon, me and Natasha will be
right under them palm trees.
Soon, you and Natasha will be
knocking down them palm trees.
Oh, sure enough. Wait, you
blow 'em up! That's right.
How do you do, gentlemen?
I'm glad to see you.
How are you, Captain?
I'm Lieutenant Kerrick, commanding
the navy detachment on the island.
This is Lieutenant Commander Yarrow,
the officer in charge of construction.
- How do you do, sir?
- How do you do?
I believe we have some
friends of yours on board, sir.
Hello, Bob!
Connie! What in the
world are you doing here?
I'm on my way to Australia
for Inter-Ocean.
"A woman's viewpoint on the war down
under by our special correspondent."
By my special correspondent.
Come on, I want you...
Oh, sorry, Kerrick.
- Lieutenant Kerrick, this is Miss Chesley.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
- Come on, let's go ashore.
- Eddie!
- Powers!
Get 'em ashore.
Step on it.
Okay, Wedge. All right, men,
hit the deck. We're goin' ashore.
Showin' him a job is like showin'
Sawyer Collins a bottle of rye!
A bottle? Who has it?
Come on, come on.
We'll find a jug on shore.
- Come on, now, get out of here.
- Wait for me!
It's lovely here, Bob.
How far is it to the barracks?
Along the beach a little
ways, and off to your right.
- Nice seeing you again, Yarrow.
- I hope it'll be nice, Wedge.
It will be if you
leave me alone.
I'm just here to do a job.
The navy way.
Then how about telling me
where my men are to stay?
Oh, that's Lieutenant Kerrick's end.
Will you talk to Mr. Donovan
about where to billet his men?
We'll make room for
'em in the barracks.
I don't want 'em
in the barracks.
They're not used to regulations.
In the islands, Mr. Donovan, it's
not always what one wants.
It is with me.
- Are you comfortable here, Bob?
- Sleeping under a palm tree isn't so bad.
- As you'll find out tonight.
- I will?
Yes, you're staying ashore.
But don't worry about anything.
We've rented a porcupine
to chaperone you.
Oh, I can't believe it!
It's like a little paradise.
- Complete, even to the serpents.
- Serpents?
Oh yes, but these aren't on the ground.
They have wings, and call
themselves mosquitoes.
- These are copra sheds, aren't they?
- Uh-huh.
- Using 'em?
- No.
I'll have them cleaned out
and fumigated for my men.
I'd advise against it.
I know what's best for
my men, Lieutenant.
- How are you, folks?
- Hey, some friends of yours?
Preposterous, never saw the
people before in my life.
- No glamour.
- Too plump.
Don't worry, they'll all look thin
enough after you're here a month.
Hello there.
You know, Bob, I think it'll improve
the north end if we dig a little deeper.
- Sounds like a good idea, Tom.
- We'll need bedding and dishes.
We'll take care of our own food, but
you gotta take care of our water supply.
- I've already made provision for that.
- Good.
Now, where's the site
for our airfield?
Come on over here.
I'll show it to you on a model.
With only 30 days to complete this job,
we better start as of now.
You see, here's the station.
And over here's the quarry where you'll
be supplied with your servicing materials.
Now, this brush section
is the site of the airfield.
We'll start first with the
east-west landing strip.
Start east-west?
That'll add a week
on to the job.
Yes, but we want a place for planes
to land as soon as possible.
I don't see any difference,
but then, I'm no sailor.
Maybe I can show you
the difference.
This wind rose shows
that for the next 60 days,
the prevailing winds will blow
from an easterly direction.
And since an airplane has to
land into the wind, or crack up...
We'll start with the east-west strip.
- Right.
It's first things first
in the navy, Mr. Donovan.
First of all is the
military consideration.
You make with the pencils, and
we'll make with the shovels.
Have you ever tried to make a
story jell when it didn't want to?
Not since I was a plebe before
the commandant at Annapolis.
This is awful. The home office will
take one look and put me on ice.
You better come up with something
good before the next boat sails,
or you'll be in the
soup for staying over.
Oh, well, maybe Wedge Donovan
will dig up a buried city,
or get himself
captured by cannibals.
Maybe he will.
Speaking of that big ape, have
you seen him around today?
I'm on my way to see the "big ape" right now.
Want to come along?
I certainly do.
Where is he?
Much too close,
I'm afraid.
As a matter of fact, he's
standing between us right now.
I suppose I should pretend I don't
know what you mean by that.
- But I won't.
- Am I wrong?
Yeah, you're wrong.
Connie, look, for the past
few days, all you've done is...
All I've done is what?
Well... is to tell a man in a
thousand little ways...
Tell what man in a
thousand little ways?
Well, not with words maybe,
but with looks, actions and...
Aren't you ashamed?
All right. Maybe, as
you say, I'm wrong.
This is the last one, Yump!
It's enough.
Come on, Brick.
Let's get out of here.
- Oh, I'll be all right here.
- I'd rather you came with me.
Okay, Johnny.
I'll check on that one.
You know, Wedge, I could
shoot these dynamite sticks...
just as good as Yump.
Why don't you give me
a chance blasting?
- Never made a mistake?
- Never.
Well, that lets you out.
In order to be a good blaster,
you've got to have made a mistake...
and still be alive.
Why do they say Yump's the best?
'Cause he's the oldest.
Fire in the hole!
There she goes!
Get that stuff ground up
as quick as you can.
- I'll be down at the north end.
- Right, boss.
Get back to work, Brick.
Swede, I know I can blast
just as good as Yump.
Get outta here.
Some day I'm gonna blow you up.
Mr. Collins!
Oh, there you are.
That was a bonnie wee
tune I was singin'.
I must get it in my
own key someday.
- Could you tell us...
- Would you, uh, care for a cigarette?
I'd like one.
Oh, it's silly the way
they pack these things.
You know, you can't get at 'em.
Would you excuse me just a moment?
Here we are. Now, if you
would do me the honor.
Hadn't you better count
your fingers, Sawyer?
Oh, it always turns out the
same. Ten or 12, roughly.
Where's Mr. Donovan?
- Sawyer.
- Aye, aye, sir.
I want eight twelve-by-twelves,
ten feet.
Don't give me ten eight-by-eights,
twelve feet.
- And I want 'em without hemstitchin'.
- What? No tattin'?
Go on. Go on.
And you'd be lookin' for
Wedge, I suppose, Miss?
That's right.
You'll find him down by the
quarry, or over on the north end.
Aren't you afraid he'll stumble
into that saw someday?
If he does, I'll kick his teeth in.
It's the only rip blade we've got left.
Why don't you make him
cut down on his drinking?
Now now, would you want a man to
work in an unnatural condition?
But how can he...
- Bob.
- Yeah?
- May I speak with you alone, please?
- Oh, sure, Tom.
- Excuse me, Connie.
- Sure.
I have a job to do, Miss.
You'll have to excuse me, too.
Dispatch report just came in
from naval headquarters.
Big task force is
forming up north.
We've been ordered on the alert till
we learn what the Japs are up to.
- Thought you'd like to know, Commander.
- Yeah.
- Any chance of 'em coming this way?
- Who knows?
- Harbor entrance protected?
- Yes, we mined that.
But there's another entrance
at the far end that's wide open.
The mine layer that was bringing
the mines was torpedoed, and...
I didn't think you'd want
the civilians to know.
No, no, no.
This is...
Better that they don't know.
Thanks, Tom.
What's the secret, are you
going to tell me this time?
Oh, no. This one
I keep all for myself.
- Hello, Charlie.
- Hi, Wedge.
- Hey, they're doin' all right.
- Yep.
They check with you about
section three yet?
Yump'll have that gravel up
here for you pretty soon.
We can use it.
- Hello.
- Hi.
Yarrow, I'm ready for those
changes in the blueprints.
You mean, you'll be ready
for them in the morning.
I mean we're ready
for 'em tonight.
I'll put a gang to work and have
the foundations laid by midnight.
What are you going
to use for light?
Electricians are rigging some floods.
I'm sorry. Blackout regulations.
All work stops at sunset.
If you'll give us light, we can bring
this job in under the deadline after all.
Sorry, Wedge, no light. And speaking of
foundations, where are your daily reports?
These specifications call for a 1-2-3
mix and it's been two days now...
Gonna be difficult, huh?
I won't stand for halfway
measures, Wedge.
Or did you learn
that in Washington?
You've been tying up my production
schedule ever since we hit this island.
All I want are your reports.
They've gotta know
what you're doing.
How will they know
from the reports?
When the job's finished, there'll be no
more sand, no more gravel, no more cement.
Yeah, but there will be
a report to that effect.
All right, Commander.
The reports'll be on your
desk in the morning.
You know, he almost
makes me dislike him.
How's it go?
- Can you cook, too?
- Uh-huh.
Corned beef and cabbage
for dinner tonight.
- Stop kidding.
- Oh, I'm not kidding.
You really whipped up
corned beef and cabbage?
- Uh-huh.
- Just for me?
- Oh, don't be coy.
- I like it too.
Do you, uh, smoke a pipe too?
Do you think I'd enjoy it?
What's it gonna get you, Connie?
All this business
of filling my pipe,
pouring my drinks,
corned beef and cabbage.
You've got Eddie Powers and
the rest of the gang laughing...
at those cute little lunches
you bring to the job.
Very well, if you don't want me
to bring you lunch to the job,
I won't bring you
lunch to the job.
And I don't want my slippers
waiting for me every night, either.
And no flower for your
buttonhole in the morning?
Oh, Wedge, you're mean.
Connie, this is strictly
from Brooklyn, but...
why don't you dance with
the guy that brung ya?
Don't ever kid
yourself that I'm not.
Why the act?
Because innately,
you're a gentleman.
Thank you.
Not that anyone would suspect it
from the way you've been acting.
No. But because I know
you're a gentleman, I...
- Thank you again.
- I know that sooner or later,
kindness and consideration
is going to wear you down.
Eventually, you might even agree that
Bob's idea for a navy construction unit...
is so much bigger
than Wedge Donovan...
that you'll agree to
become part of it.
That's why I'm
being nice to you.
And believe me, for
no other reason.
I'll bet you make the best corned
beef and cabbage in the world.
Beautiful eyes, too.
Oh, about those sandwiches...
if they're gonna have corned
beef in 'em tomorrow,
you better make a couple
extra ones for Eddie Powers.
And don't forget the
rest of the boys.
You go out to the south end and clear
those trees out. Come here, bill.
Go over and get those bushes
out of there, right away.
Eddie, you're slowing
down to a walk.
I expected you to have that
third section finished today.
For your information, my fine feathered
friend, I'm six days ahead of schedule!
And if it weren't for butterfly rum,
you'd be eight days ahead!
Butterfly rum, is it?
Well, if you're gonna finish this job, you
better tell 'em to cut out that music.
Practice alarms. All right,
get 'em down to the quarry.
All right, come in, men, all of you.
Come on in. Hurry it up.
Here, come on, lads.
Come on, get in the quarry.
Come on, you back there.
Come on.
Take it out!
Get goin', men.
Get goin'.
Hurry up, men.
Hurry up. Hurry up, men.
- Come on, hurry up!
- Let's move!
All right, come on you men.
Get going.
Step lively.
Bring those trucks in.
Murphy! Don't you ever get
tired of playing this game?
Post seven reports
enemy sighted, sir.
- Surface craft.
- Very well.
- This must be the real McCoy.
- It is.
- What can I do?
- Well, I'll explain the situation to you,
so as things develop you'll
know what's going on.
Lieutenant Kerrick has
left me in charge here...
while he's withdrawn
his force up the hill.
Until he knows where the
main attack is coming from.
Enemy sighted, sir.
Two destroyers.
Bearing 2-7-0 degrees.
Very well.
- Relay that message to Lieutenant Kerrick.
- Aye, aye, sir.
- We'll be shovin' off now, Murphy.
- Aye, aye, sir.
All right, let's go.
We're moving back.
All right, Donovan, get going.
And take it easy up that dirt road.
Enemy gunners don't ask for a better
target than the dust cloud from a truck.
Okay, we'll stay put, as long as
the navy keeps the Japs off of us.
You'll stay put as long as the
navy tells you to. That's an order.
That's one way
to win an argument.
We have most of the women and
children down at the bomb shelter.
Take her with you!
McClory! Load up on
those trucks, men!
Bring those trucks in!
Get aboard there, men.
Come on, let's get outta here.
According to specifications,
score one for the navy.
Get inside.
Stay back, away
from the entrance.
- What's goin' on, Wedge?
- We got visitors.
The Japs figure on
taking over the island.
- You mean they're comin' ashore?
- Right.
We took some of
this before, Wedge.
- We ain't sittin' it out again.
- You bet your life we ain't.
They're not knockin' us
off like Ryan and Olson.
And Evans, and Buttons.
And Long Louie.
How far is it from here to
where these "Japanesers" will be?
They might be a stubborn race,
but they come apart easy.
Kerrick and his sailors are
waiting for them at the airfield.
Then what are we waiting for?
Come on, let's get going!
All right, gents! This war is reserved
for the boys in the little white hats.
We're to stay here where we're safe.
Navy orders.
Oh, them navy.
- You got him, Wedge?
- Yep.
I know some first aid, Wedge.
Maybe I can help him.
Can't help him.
Take care of him.
- Eddie?
- Right here, Wedge.
- Where'd you stash those guns?
- In the covered truck, next to the crane.
Look out.
Run to your right, Wedge!
Here you are, boys.
Help yourselves.
Range 1-5, double-oh.
Range, a thousand yards.
They're walking right into it.
Shall we let 'em have it?
Why don't you wait a couple
minutes longer, Tom?
Let 'em get their necks
really stuck out.
The crazy fools.
Now we'll have to attack.
Fix bayonets.
Take to cover!
Take to cover.
Get in the underbrush.
Take to cover.
For the first time in my life,
I'm sorry I'm in a uniform.
What did you want us to do? Stay
and get picked off like clay pigeons?
We had 'em cold. No human could have
lived in that cross fire for five seconds.
You mashed it by bringing
your civilians in here.
We couldn't fire
without killing you.
All right, go on. Look around.
See what you've done.
Every civilian here was wounded or killed
because a fool wouldn't obey orders.
- Find a doctor!
- Yes, the doctor.
Oh, Connie, why didn't you
stay in the bomb shelter?
- I was running to f...
- Anything I can do, sir?
She does look pretty bad, sir.
Get out of here.
Do I?
Do I look bad, Wedge?
Yeah, your lipstick's
on crooked.
Wedge, I'm frightened, I...
I don't want to die.
Oh, cut it out, crybaby.
Wedge, hold on to me!
I can't see you.
It's your hair.
Don't run out on me now, Connie.
Who'd get me my slippers?
Or fill your pipes.
Or put a flower
in my buttonhole?
- Cook... cook...
- Corned beef and cabbage.
I loved it!
You called it an act.
Oh, that was double-talk.
I'll trade you...
for plain English.
I love you.
Well, wh-what am I...
supposed to say?
only what you feel.
I love you.
Connie, I love you.
Did you hear what I said?
I love you!
Please hurry.
Step outside, please.
A little rough.
You did a lot of talking
in there, Wedge.
I'd have done the same thing
for anyone in that condition.
What difference
does it make?
She might live.
- How is she?
- She's resting easily.
She has
a 50-50 chance.
Hey, Chico.
Chico, please.
Hey, Chico.
My leg.
The bandage
is too tight.
Underneath there... Oh!
Hiya, boss.
Who won?
Looks like our team
got in over our heads.
Our team won, didn't it?
- Did you see Johnny there in action?
- Yeah.
And that monkey with things on his
collar, the one Whanger got hold of.
Did you see how he fell apart?
Aw, snap out of it, Wedge. Ain't we
been tangled with tough jobs before?
And ain't we always licked 'em?
Well, we'll lick
'em this time too.
We won't get the chance.
Navy's ordered this
island evacuated.
So we'll square accounts on
another island. You'll see.
Something you
fellas oughta know.
Go ahead, Yarrow.
Spill it.
Donovan made a mistake today.
But that's one of the most
terrible things about war.
You gotta think instantly, make
your moves almost without thinking.
And yet, what you think or do preserves
or destroys what you value the most...
your men.
And when it's over, you can't
think too much about that.
You can't take it too hard...
because you have to
keep right on going.
I'm ordered back to Washington.
The first man I'm gonna see when
I get there is Captain Joyce.
And you're going with me.
I'm here with my hat in
my hand and no alibis.
I was wrong.
Rotten wrong and everything.
But I had to learn
it the tough way.
I suppose Bob told you that his
plan for a construction battalion...
has been approved.
Commander Yarrow has had no
other subject of conversation.
Mr. Donovan helped me with the organization
of some of the specialist platoons.
Our first barracks at Norfolk are building.
Recruiting is about to open.
Oh, that reminds me, Donovan.
You once offered to help us
find the right sort of recruits.
That's right.
How many men do you need?
A full battalion to begin with.
We'll need 1,100 men.
Ten hundred and
ninety-nine, sir.
I thought you'd say that.
I'm in this thing any
way you can use me.
Pushing a barrow, if
that's the best I can get.
Sit down, Lieutenant
Commander Donovan.
- Lieutenant Commander?
- I suppose I'm a little premature in...
addressing you that way, but I feel
sure your papers will go through.
Congratulations, Wedge.
Oh, I, uh, beg your
pardon, Commander.
Congratulations, sir!
Yes, Admiral Scott.
A name for the new
construction battalions?
Well, what's the matter with
"construction battalions"?
"No oomph," sir?
Well, a name like that would
hardly be on my desk, sir.
Hold hard, sir.
I do have it.
It's the initials of the words
"construction battalion."
Spelled s-e-a-b-double e-s.
How do you like that?
Right, sir.
The Seabees they'll be.
We're the Seabees
of the navy
We can build
or we can fight
We'll pave our way
to victory
And guard it
day and night
And we promise
that we'll remember
The 7th of December
We're the Seabees
of the navy
Bees of the Seven Seas
Donovan, the way you want this job
done will take three days longer.
I don't care if it takes
three weeks longer.
That's the navy way, and that's
the way you're gonna do it.
And don't forget
those daily reports.
All right.
You'll get your reports.
Sure, I've changed. I was never
one for sittin' on fences.
How about some chow?
Oh, from Connie in Honolulu.
- She on her way back?
- No, not yet, but she's doing fine.
She oughta take a good, long rest.
Two or three months, at least.
Maybe by that time you'll have figured
out what you're gonna say to her.
Hello? Yes. Yes...
I'll call you right back.
- Hello, Kitty!
- Oh, Connie, it's good to see you.
- You look wonderful.
- Thank you. So do you.
- I think you've gotten a little thinner.
- Oh, thank you.
Oh, what beautiful flowers.
- You must have had an exciting trip.
- Well, it was rather hectic.
- Where do we start, Kitty?
- With these telephone calls, I guess.
Most of them are from Commander Yarrow.
He's due in town today.
Anything from, uh, Mr. Donovan?
- Lieutenant Commander Donovan?
- No.
- Maybe a telegram.
- No.
Well, might as well start work.
All right.
Hello, Connie.
I'm so glad!
You're glad.
How do you think I feel?
And you're just as
good as new again.
How do you come to
be in Washington?
For regimental orders, and to
meet some of the staff officers...
who'll be responsible for
our maintenance in the field.
Oh, so you can cuss them by name
if you run short of supplies.
Seabees think of
everything, don't they?
Some Seabees do.
Heard anything of Wedge?
Only what you wrote to me.
You didn't write him?
Of course not.
I told you once before that I can
take a hint as delicately put...
just as well as anybody else,
and if he doesn't hanker after my
acquaintance, it won't be thrust upon him.
Well, if that's the way things
are, I'd better break a date.
- With whom?
- Oh, Wedge, of course.
- Wedge is here in Washington?
- Sure, sure.
We've got a 24-hour leave. I'm meeting
him at the Mayflower for dinner.
Thought you might like to
go along, but if you feel...
The way I feel isn't going to interfere
with your leave, or even his.
Who knows when you
might get another?
Of course I'm going to
the mayflower with you.
Why, you don't think I could
be that petty, do you?
After all, the three of us
have been under fire together.
You wouldn't kid a pal,
would you, Connie?
Or yourself, maybe.
I don't know yet, Bob.
Pardon me.
- Martini, please.
- Yes, ma'am.
I'm a friend of the head
waiter, so we've got a table.
Miss Chesley, Lt. Commander Donovan.
We've met.
A long time ago.
Shall we find
our table?
- Good evening.
- Commander Yarrow's table.
Commander Yarrow's table, please.
Very good, sir.
This way, please.
Well, this calls
for champagne.
- Uh, cocktails.
- Very good, sir.
You should've warned me.
I'd have polished up the gold braid.
Your first lesson in battle tactics:
surprise attack.
Your reconnaissance is faulty, Commander,
or you wouldn't have been caught napping.
Yeah, but how do you
like the tailor?
A gentleman and an officer, by an
act of god, congress and his tailor.
Cigarette, Connie?
You know, you could've
written a girl a postcard.
And have everyone from here to
Honolulu read our mail? Not me.
Such consideration
is heartbreaking.
Don't be too tough on him.
We sweated him pretty hard.
Sure. Boot training, officer's
training, military training.
I could've walked to you for the ground
I've covered. Look at my broken arches.
What a pity you didn't
walk on your head.
Well, Bob kept me
up to date on you.
- I know everything that's happened.
- That's more than I can say.
I remember
the Japs attacking.
From there to the hospital
ship, the pages are missing.
It's a little embarrassing,
It's like waking up on the street
and discovering you've
forgotten to put on your shoes.
Did I do or say
anything I shouldn't?
Huh? No!
Shall we dance?
I'm still waiting for you
to tell me what happened.
You still have beautiful eyes,
and you cook corned beef and cabbage
better than anyone else in the world.
That I remember.
You really wanna
know what you said?
Well, you said, just before
you passed out, quote:
"You think you're an
important ape, don't you?"
"Just because a girl lets you hold
her hand in a moment of weakness,"
"don't get funny ideas,"
"'cause I'm still dancing
with the guy what brung me."
I said that to you?
Well, I couldn't vouch
for the exact words.
And what did you say?
I said you were dead right.
Is that the way you want
the record to read?
That's the way I
want it to read.
Good night, Miss Chesley.
Oh, I was telling Connie
I forgot I had a date.
And there she is.
Probably burning after
waiting an hour.
Well, uh, I'll be
seeing you both.
Have fun.
Looks like we're stood up.
Looks like we're
not the only ones.
Here we are.
Won't you come in?
No, thanks. I'd rather not.
Bob, I wanna tell you that I
know you're the best there is.
But that you don't want me.
Of course I want you.
I've always wanted you.
Whatever else may have happened,
I know I've let you down,
but I just can help myself.
I wish there was something I could
say against him, but I can't now.
Whatever was wrong with him
before, and there was plenty,
the Seabees have made right.
I just can't seem to
get him out of my heart.
- Whenever I come near him...
- You can't help that.
That's the way I feel about you.
He turned me down tonight.
Yes, I know he did.
You know?
Because I overheard what
you told him on the island.
Oh, Bob.
And you can still
talk to me like this?
For the same reason that
you're still reaching after him.
I just told you,
I can't help it.
Thanks for understanding.
You'd better go to bed now.
All this excitement
is too much for you.
I guess it is.
- Good night.
- Hey?
I thought a sailor always
kissed a girl good night.
It's a old navy custom.
Good night, my dear.
My very dear.
It's not good night,
Connie, it's good-bye.
But why good-bye?
My orders this morning were to take
the regiment to the pacific coast...
to a port of embarkation.
Well, I hope the old man'll
have some good news for us.
There's only one thing
I want to hear.
Good morning, Captain.
Good morning, sir.
Good morning.
I have the orders
you've been hoping for.
The regiment will assemble with full service
equipment for embarkation at 2200 tonight.
That's good.
I can say to Comdr. Yarrow, and to
you battalion Commanders as well,
that I believe your men are ready
for whatever lies before you.
Naturally, it is a particular
satisfaction to be able to say that...
in the case of a unit which is making
its first appearance in naval history.
You'll have a chance to make
Seabee traditions,
and I feel confident
that you'll make them.
That's all, gentlemen. Good
luck, Commander. Thank you, sir.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
So that leaves the situation
something like this...
Oh, by the way, Kane, have you made
preparations for landing the galley equipment?
- Yes, sir.
- Fine.
Uh, how's Hunter, Wedge?
He's making the trip by rail.
I was just telling the boys that yesterday a
marine landing force cleared out our sector.
- We're ready to move in.
- No Japs left?
Only snipers and small patrols.
Naturally, you're expected to
protect yourself against them.
Our main base will be here.
We'll disperse our installation so the Japs
can't lay all their eggs in one basket.
Kane and Brackett will handle
the beaches, Stewart the docks.
Hunter's outfit'll take
care of the airfield,
that is, if he ever gets
over his seasickness.
- That leaves the oil farm for me.
- That's right, it's a hot corner too.
Five miles from anybody.
These shoal waters have some
narrow channels in 'em.
Watch 'em, Wedge.
The Japs might try to sneak
in patrols in small boats.
I will.
When do we land?
Tomorrow at dawn.
Japs or polecats.
- Looks like we're alone.
- Yeah, so far.
This'll be the campsite.
- Lt. Hood!
- Aye, aye, sir.
We'll go up the crest and
establish a line of resistance.
Whanger, Sully, Murph,
Brick, Yump, Swede, Jacobs.
I'll stay here and
mind the fire.
Yump, get down.
Don't worry, Commander.
There ain't no Japs here.
Turn me loose!
I'll get that Jap sniper!
Brick, get ahold of yourself!
- Jacobs!
- Yes, sir.
I want a machine gun emplacement
here and one over on that spur...
so we can cross-fire this area.
Aye, aye, sir.
Signal the ship we're ready...
- to start unloading operations.
- Aye, aye, sir.
Keep your chin up, kid.
- Yes, sir?
- Where's Mr. Donovan?
Tank number five, sir,
over back of the ridge.
I was wondering when
we'd rate another visit.
I meant to get over
sooner, Wedge,
but I'm kinda busy myself.
Hey, you're doing fine here.
First tankers ordered in next week..
Fifty thousand barrels of oil
oughta whet our appetite.
Could take a hundred if it
weren't for these snipers.
Had three men hit today.
- Where'd they get you?
- Only the leg, Wedge.
- I'll make it.
- Stay put.
Bill, get a stretcher!
What do they expect a handful of patrols
to do, clean out this whole jungle?
Give me a couple of companies...
and I'll clean it out, pronto.
You're not here to fight Japs. You're
here to fight time, and you're doing great.
Yeah, doing great, watching my men get
knocked off like ducks in a birdbath.
What's the sense of it?
That's what I'd like to know.
Our job is to see that
our task force gets oil.
Task force?
Yes. There's a carrier, a couple of
cruisers and three transports coming in.
You're here to see that
this depot gets finished.
Defend it if you have to,
but get the job done.
Yes, sir.
That's it, Wedge.
That's it if Powers has
finished the main gate.
Lt. Hood's compliments, sir
I mean respects, sir.
The tanker's ready
to start pumpin'.
We'll open the main valve as soon
as the last section is completed.
Thanks, Collins.
Stand by to load stretchers!
She's ready, chief.
Open 'er up.
Mr. Powers, we've done many
a job together, you and I.
Sure, with me doin' the
work and you the thinkin'.
Nevertheless, you're gonna get
the honor of finishing this job.
Turn that valve. And remember,
you're not windin' a watch.
Yes, sir, Mr. Donovan.
Yes, sir.
must be heaven
For my mother came
From there
Dum ya-da-da-dee
Ireland, de...
Tell Lieutenant Hood I want
every man not on guard duty...
with full combat equipment.
But, Wedge, Commander
Yarrow's coming here today.
I don't care if the old man's
comin' here. That's an order!
Your orders clear?
Aye, aye, sir.
Proceed with your
scouting parties.
Carry on, men.
Here it is, sir.
Big fog bank north
of the island.
I don't like that. Japs
might sneak in behind it.
In pea soup? They're as
blind as we are in that stuff.
I wasn't thinking of
planes, Lieutenant.
A lot of surface craft could
float in under that blanket.
I'll be over at Lt. Comdr. Donovan's
headquarters if you want me.
Yes, sir.
- Where's Lt. Comdr. Donovan?
- He's out there, sir.
Took about the whole force to run
the Japs out of the jungle cover.
Who's in charge here?
I am, sir. Couldn't get along
so good with this game leg.
How many men have
you got in the camp?
Counting cooks, yeomen and
everybody, about 15 men, sir.
I want every man that can walk
or hold a rifle to fall in immediately.
Aye, aye, sir.
They won't fight.
They just fade away.
How about Lt. Hood?
It was the same there. They got a
few. The others kept movin' back.
Well, there's 10 or 12 here
won't go back.
Pass the word to reform!
Tell them we'll refuel them as
fast as they can get here. Yes, sir.
All guns, commence firing.
D-21 tower from fox 20.
Carrier flight planes coming
in for fuel and ammunition.
Tell them to come in low
at east end. Condition red.
They're all here, sir.
Coast battalion's under attack
from the sea. Unable to send help.
A strong Jap force approaching
up the north canyon, sir.
- Carry on.
- Aye, aye, sir.
The Japs know this
island as well as we do.
The best approach to our
tanks is up the big ravine.
We'll post our men and command
the entrance. - Aye, aye, sir.
Fix your bayonets and
follow me, on the double.
Fall back!
Fall back, men!
Fall back to the ridge!
See if... Commander
Donovan's back.
Get word to him.
I want to see him.
Yes, sir.
Commander Yarrow wants
to see you, sir.
He's up there
behind those rocks.
Tell Lieutenant Hood to consolidate
positions and hold here.
Aye, aye, sir.
Reporting, sir.
Upon completion of this mission,
I'll be making a full
report about your...
disobedience of orders.
Probably mean a court-martial.
Yes, sir. Is that all?
Island is under general attack.
I know.
If those oil tanks
are destroyed,
every ship,
every man in our task force
will be left helpless.
Protect those tanks at any cost.
They will be, sir.
Go on, Seabee. Hold the island.
Can do, sir.
- Jap tanks. Tell Donovan.
- Okay.
Jap tanks are coming up
the north canyon, sir.
Get back to your post.
Mike, have 'em get that heavy equipment
moved back where it'll be safe.
Aye, aye, sir.
They're bringin' in tanks!
That'll teach 'em to monkey
with construction men.
- What did you shoot him for?
- I was afraid the fall might kill 'im.
Get on that tank!
A hundred and fifty yards.
Another column.
Looks like they're
trying to outflank us.
He says there's another Jap
column comin' up the canyon...
moving in behind the oil tanks.
- Wedge, if they fire those tanks...
- Yeah, I know...
it'll barbecue every
Seabee in this ravine.
We can't split our forces.
We're outnumbered now.
Get me a thermite
bomb and some wire.
Aye, sir.
What are you gonna do?
Beat 'em to those tanks.
Gonna set off number three and
we'll have our own barbecue.
That'll fill that north
canyon with enough hot oil...
to scorch those nips
back six generations.
Don't ride it too close.
Give yourself time to jump.
Don't worry.
I'm not taking any chances.
- Finish that.
- Aye, sir.
I want every spare machine gun you
got at the head of this canyon...
so you can rake
the whole ravine.
- But they've passed there already.
- They'll be back.
Hold your fire till you get 'em under
your guns, then let 'em have it.
The president of the
united states...
takes pleasure in presenting the services
set forth in the following citation...
for conspicuous courage and
heroism in combat at island X-371...
during June, 1942,
at which time this battalion,
greatly outnumbered and at a
great cost of their own men,
refused to give ground...
and with typical American
overturned a burning fuel tank
in the path of the enemy,
wiping out his landing force...
and thus preserving
our refueling base.
Your deeds speak
for themselves...
and will continue to do so...
from the shores
of the Pacific...
to the Arctic,
from the coasts of Europe to
the distant strands of Asia.
Memorials on which will be
inscribed, in blood and fire,
your own immortal challenge:
"We build for the fighters.
We fight for what we build."
Oh, son, how are you?
It's so nice to see you.
I'm proud of you, Bob.
Proud of all the Seabees.
Wedge was a great guy, Connie.
One of the best.
Yes, he was.
You're both great guys.
You loved him, didn't you?
I loved you both.
That might be a little difficult
to understand, but it's true.
It's not too difficult.
When the reports of the attack
came in over the teletype...
and we didn't know whether
any of you would come back...
a girl can be in love with
two men at the same time...
until that happens.
What are you trying to say?
I'm doing a very bad
job of saying...
I love you, Commander.
We're the Seabees
of the navy
We can build
or we can fight
We'll pave our way
to victory
And guard it
day and night
We'll always promise
That we'll remember
The 7th of December
We're the Seabees
of the navy
Bees of the Seven