In 1924, “Skeet” Burns applies to join the United States Marine Corps, but only to get a free train ride to San Diego, California. When he arrives, he escapes from veteran Marine Sergeant O’Hara and boards another train to “Tia Juana” for the horse races. However, upon his return, he enlists after all and comes under O’Hara’s charge. At the base, Skeet spots Norma Dale, an attractive Navy nurse. He tries to become better acquainted with her, but his unsubtle, overconfident approach meets with a cold reception. He also discovers that O’Hara is smitten with Norma as well. It becomes clear to O’Hara that Norma does like Skeet when she asks him to take Skeet along on a sea training cruise despite his unsatisfactory performance and attitude. She finds he has already done so. On board ship, Skeet picks a fight with a “gob”, a sailor, unaware that his intended victim is actually the Navy heavyweight champion. O’Hara and his men are assigned to Tondo Island, a dreary naval station described as being “six miles this side of Hell”. There, he is tempted by Zaya, a pretty native who is attracted to him. Before things get too serious however, he changes his mind. When she tries to hold onto him, he has to untangle himself from her. This results in a brawl with the outraged locals in which O’Hara has to rescue Skeet. Hearing unflattering gossip about the affair, Norma writes Skeet a letter breaking off their relationship. Skeet mistakenly believes O’Hara told her about the incident in order to improve his own romantic chances with Norma. The Marines are relieved and are sent to join the Asiatic Squadron, stationed at Shanghai, China. O’Hara and Skeet find Norma there; she greets the sergeant warmly, but refuses to give Skeet a second chance. She and other nurses are then sent to Hangchow to deal with an epidemic. When news arrives that a bandit army is threatening the city, the Marines are ordered to the rescue. During the tense evacuation, O’Hara and his men are chosen to be the rear guard at a bridge. Fierce fighting breaks out. When O’Hara is wounded, he orders Skeet to rejoin the column, but Skeet refuses to obey. The detachment is saved by the timely arrival of an aerial squadron. After his four year enlistment ends, Skeet and Norma buy a ranch, in which Skeet offers O’Hara a partnership. However, the old veteran declines, saying that he and the Marine Corps are made for each other. —wikipedia
George William Hill (April 25, 1895 – August 10, 1934) was an American film director and cinematographer.
He began his film career at age 13 as a stagehand with director D. W. Griffith. A cinematographer of silent films known for his skill in lighting female stars, he worked on a series of independently produced features for Mae Marsh and others in the postwar WWI years and was eventually recruited by the burgeoning major studios to be a director, beginning in 1920. Hill directed The Midnight Express (1924), which the New York Times noted was “…a far better production than one is apt to gather from the title…” and also that “…the story is unfolded with skill and imagination.”
Through the following years, Hill’s directing career began to gain serious traction and his assignments allowed him access to top stars such as Marion Davies and Jackie Coogan. Hill directed Lon Chaney’s biggest money-maker, Tell It to the Marines (1926). Four years later, Wallace Beery headed the… read more