The G.I. Joe Museum

Fun Trivia for The Story of G.I. Joe  (1945)

Did You Know?  The extras in the film were real American GIs, in the process of being transferred from the war in Europe to the Pacific. Many of them were killed in the fighting on Okinawa - the same battle in which Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese sniper - never having seen the movie in which they appeared.

Did You Know?  William A. Wellman, nicknamed "Wild Bill", was a fighter pilot in World War I and hated the infantry, and therefore had no interest in making a film about them. Producer Lester Cowan tried several times to convince Wellman to direct the film, including showing up uninvited at Christmas with gifts for Wellman's children. Wellman finally agreed to take the job only after meeting and spending several days with Ernie Pyle at Pyle's home in New Mexico, where he saw how much former infantrymen revered him.

Did You Know?  Several of the humorous lines spoken by G.I.s in the film are taken, uncredited, from WWII cartoonist Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" characters.

Did You Know?  War correspondent Ernie Pyle acted as advisor to the film. Pyle was killed not long after the film was completed.

Did You Know?  General Eisenhower called this the finest war film he had ever seen.

Memorable Quotes

Pvt. Robert "Wingless" Murphy:  Look, this is a modern war, ain't it? And I'm a modern guy, and the modern age is up in the air, not down here.

Pvt. Dondaro:  Hey Pop, why wasn't you born a beautiful dame? Or even an ugly one?

Pvt. Dondaro:  Tonight, boy, tonight I dream in Technicolor.

Pvt. Robert "Wingless" Murphy:  Hey Dondaro, what town did we take today?
Pvt. Dondaro:  San Raviollio.
Pvt. Robert "Wingless" Murphy:  Didn't we take that yesterday?
Pvt. Dondaro:  No, that was San Something Else-io.

Capt. Bill Walker:  The new kids that come up, that's what gets you. The new ones, some of them have just got a little fuzz on their faces. They don't know what its all about. Scared to death. You know, Ernie, I know it ain't my fault that they get killed, but it makes me feel like a murderer. I hate to look at 'em, the new kids.

Ernie Pyle (Voice-over; final line in the movie):  For those beneath the wooden crosses, there is nothing we can do, except perhaps to pause and murmur, "Thanks pal, thanks."

Whoops!  A Few Errors.... 

Crew or equipment visible:  When Ernie leaves his sleeping bag and other heavy gear before crossing a small stream, the shadows of the camera crew, boom mics, etc are clearly visible as he begins entering the water.

Factual errors:  The unit Pyle is with -the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division- never fought in the Italian campaign. After the Sicilian campaign ended, it was brought back to England and began training for the D-Day invasion in Normandy. The 1st Division would eventually spearhead the assault on Omaha Beach.

Factual errors:  Much of this film revolves around the battles around Monte Cassino and the controversial bombing of the abbey, with several references to the monastery being used by the Germans as an observation post. Although the film acknowledges that the Germans used it as a defensive position after the bombing, it does not mention that the abbey had been unoccupied by the Germans and that the bombing was unnecessary. Given that this movie was filmed in 1945 while the war was still being fought, it is perhaps understandable that this fact was not mentioned.