One of the first big-studio productions to acknowledge America's entry into WWII, 20th Century-Fox's To the Shores of Tripoli was filmed with full the cooperation of the US Marine Corps. John Payne plays Chris Winters, a wealthy, wise-lipped young Marine recruit who learns the true meaning of "Semper Fidelis" the hard way, courtesy of tough-as-nails drill sergeant Dixie Smith (Randolph Scott). Chris also falls in love with Navy nurse Mary Carter (Maureen O'Hara in her first Technicolor appearance), which leaves his poor hometown sweetheart Helene Hunt (Nancy Kelly) in the lurch. By film's end, Chris is one of the Few and the Proud as he and his buddies are shipped off to combat overseas. Portions of To the Shores of Tripoli were filmed in Hawaii just before the Pearl Harbor attack; according to studio publicity, some of the cameramen managed to capture portions of the Japanese raid on film, though none of these scenes seem to have made their way into the final release print.
by Hal Erickson synopsis