5.9/10
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12 user 1 critic

Tripoli (1950)

In 1805, the United States battles the pirates of Tripoli as the Marines fight to raise the American flag

Director:

Will Price

Writers:

Will Price (story), Winston Miller (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Payne ... Lt. O'Bannion
Maureen O'Hara ... Countess D'Arneau
Howard Da Silva ... Capt. Demetrios
Phillip Reed ... Hamet Karamanly
Grant Withers ... Sgt. Derek
Lowell Gilmore ... Lt. Tripp
Connie Gilchrist ... Henriette
Alan Napier ... Khalil
Herbert Heyes ... Gen. Eaton
Alberto Morin ... Il Taiib
Emil Hanna Emil Hanna ... Interpreter
Grandon Rhodes ... Cmmdre. Barron
Frank Fenton ... Capt. Adams
Rosa Turich ... Seewauk
Ray Hyke Ray Hyke ... Crawford
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Storyline

The U. S. Marine Corps hymn starts with"From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli", and this film's story purports to be the reason why, and is give or take a few incidents in this movie: It is 1805 and the Tripoli pirates have challenged America's right to freedom of the seas---all of them, anywhere---so United Stares warships were sent to that port to bottle up their fleet and set the riff-raff right concerning who could sail where. (History begins to suffer a bit along about this point.) A U. S. Marine unit, headed by Lieutenant O'Bannon, was sent to attack them from the rear. He organized his unit around Hamet, Pasha of Tripoli, in exile after being overthrown by his brother. In Hamet's court was Sheila D'Arneau, a diploma's daughter, who disguises herself as a dancing girl, and joins the group of eight U. S. Marines and Hamet supporters in their march across the Libyan desert. O'Bannon and Shelia argue all the way to Tripoli. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli ... the guts-and-glory story of the U.S. Marines! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The First Marines See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Springs, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time this film was made, Maureen O'Hara was married to its director, Will Price. See more »

Goofs

The Battle of Derna took place in 1805, as stated in the opening of the film. The flag that O'Bannion raises over the city of Derna shows only 15 stars. Kentucky was the 15th state to be admitted in 1792. Tennessee was admitted in 1796 and Ohio in 1803, making a total of 17 states by 1805, meaning the flag should properly have shown 17 stars. See more »

Quotes

Countess D'Arneau: Oh, I might have known.
Lt. O'Bannion: You're lucky, those sentries have orders to shoot to kill.
Countess D'Arneau: Why didn't you tell me that instead of scaring me to death?
Lt. O'Bannion: Nobody can tell you anything. We better get back before they take a shot at both of us.
[He tries to help her up]
Countess D'Arneau: I am able to get up myself!
[she fell]
Countess D'Arneau: Oh, now look what you did!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
To the shores of Derna
13 December 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although Tripoli is never reached, this film is the story of the US Marines hoisting the American flag for the first time over foreign soil at the port city of Derna in Libya. Our capture of that city forced a negotiated peace on the Sultan of Tripoli and ended our war there which began against the Barbary States and the pirate ships they employed for plunder and ransom.

Now how Maureen O'Hara as an exiled French countess in the court of the exiled Sultan figured in these events is something left to the writers of this film. At least her flaming red hair was explained somewhat in this particular potboiler.

In her memoirs O'Hara thought her casting in these films was as ridiculous as anyone else, but she thought that just keep working, take anything they give you and the better roles will eventually come.

John Payne plays the real life Lieutenant O'Bannion who with his squad of US Marines led the land action while the Navy bombarded the guns guarding Derna from sea attack. He did not have a romance with a French exiled countess. Howard DaSilva has a nice and droll part as a Greek mercenary captain. This flag waver of a film was an ironic twist in DaSilva's career, he went on the blacklist shortly afterward.

Philip Reed is the exiled Sultan who lives pretty good for a guy in exile and he's the diplomatic catspaw the United States used. And I mean used since he was not restored to his throne as promised in the film and in real life. Of course as he's shown here Reed is quite the duplicitous character so nobody cares if he was or not. What he was in real life, who knows. But there are those who feel America broke a commitment. In any event the Sultan of Tripoli stopped seizing our ships and that's what we wanted.

What is an interesting if not often told tale of American history is reduced to the Saturday matinée kiddie potboiler of the pulp fiction variety. Tripoli has not worn well over the decades.


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