I found Go for Broke! on Prime. You could probably find it on imdb as well.
I saw Go for Broke! as a teenager in the 1950s and assumed the film was from the 1940s, since the action and the message was aimed at working together and fighting for America; but I was wrong, the film wasn’t produced until 1951. I did enjoy the film and have rewatched it a number of times since.
I attended Clover Park High School, graduating in 1964. There was a Japanese internment camp on the grounds of the Puyallup Fair (Camp Harmony). There were many farmers in the area around Puyallup and Sumner of Japanese ancestry. There were racial issues even before the internment. Two of my high school friends had relatives who fought with the 442. My buddy Larry Miki, may have had a father who fought in the 442 and appeared in the film.
In late August of 1965 I was sitting on the beach at Ocean Shores with my buddies, Rich and Larry Miki. They asked what my plans were for the upcoming year of college. I had attended a full-year at Olympic College in Bremerton. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Go back to Olympic, I guess.” They said, “Why not join us at the University of Puget Sound?” By the end of the week, I was enrolled at UPS . . . and by the end of the first quarter, Rich and Larry had flunked out. I stayed on. Larry wrote letters to Rich and me. He was stationed in Mississippi. Racial issues remained. He had to ask his commanding officer if he was white or colored when he needed to have a drink of water or visit the bathroom. The officer looked at Larry and said, “You’re white.”
“A tribute to the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team, formed in 1943 by Presidential permission with Japanese-American volunteers. We follow the training of a platoon under the rueful command of Lt. Mike Grayson who shares common prejudices of the time. The 442nd serve in Italy, then France, distinguishing themselves in skirmishes and battles; gradually and naturally, Grayson’s prejudices evaporate with dawning realization that his men are better soldiers than he is. Not preachy.” — Rod Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Trailer: imdb.com/video/vi3250503705/
Van Johnson is a brand-new officer just out of officer training school. He grew up in Texas and expected to re-unite with his Texas Buddies upon graduation. His commanding office lets him know that there will be no transfer. Johnson takes this out on his troops. Henry Nakamura as Tommy is an ideal example. Tommy is short and his uniform doesn’t come close to fitting him. He has the sleeves rolled up and wears gaiters to cover up his rolled up too long pant legs. Johnson goes by the book for both barracks inspections, uniforms, and training. Tommy is a character you want to take under your wing, but he’s no slacker. All of the soldiers in the 442 are Nisei, Japanese Americans born in the United States, and they are dedicated and moving up in rank as well. Johnson comes to appreciate the worthiness of his troops. Several of the main characters in the film were played by actual members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Also, as a film from the 1950s: It’s interesting to see familiar faces for TV shows from just a few years later: a thinner John Banner (Sgt. Schultz) from Hogan’s Heroes, Hugh Beaumont from Leave it to Beaver, and Richard Anderson, a multiple guest on The Rifleman.
“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army was a regimental size fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese descent who fought in World War II, despite the fact many of their families were subject to internment. The 442nd, beginning in 1944, fought primarily in Europe during World War II. The 442nd was a self-sufficient force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The 442nd is considered to be the most decorated infantry regiment in the history of the United States Army. The 442nd was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations and twenty-one of its members were awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II. The 442nd’s high distinction in the war and its record-setting decoration count earned it the nickname “Purple Heart Battalion.” The 442nd Regimental Combat Team motto was, “Go for Broke”. – military-history.fandom.com/wiki/442nd_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)”
“To the astonishment of many, including many in his own party, on July 26, 1948 Harry Truman made one of the biggest contributions to date for racial integration and equality. In issuing Executive Order 9981 Truman ordered the desegregation of the armed forces. These documents trace what some call the beginning of the Civil Rights movement.” – trumanlibrary.gov/education/presidential-inquiries/harry-s-truman-and-civil-rights
An excellent movie revealing a little known aspect of WW II
robertaharold7 August 2004
I have watched GO FOR BROKE several times and will do so again at random. It irritates me that I was unaware that we had Japanese American troops fighting in Italy and France until I encountered the technical adviser of GO FOR BROKE at Tyler Junior College in 1977. He was my English teacher, having retired from the Army. Very significant in his army career was his time with the Nisei whom he trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and went on to the war in Europe with them. He was heart broken over the deaths of so many of his valiant warriors. He said they had saved his life over and over during battle. Sometime later one of the Japanese Americans, Jack Wakamatsu, wrote a book “Silent Warriors” about their experiences. I could not find it locally so contacted the author after finding him on internet. We had several conversations during the three years of acquaintance. He was on the set when GO FOR BROKE was being filmed. He told me that the red headed Texan portrayed by Van Johnson was in real life the technical adviser. Fictitious names were used in the movie. Both the technical adviser and Jack Wakamatsu are now dead. I feel that Van Johnson would be interested in what became of them and I would like to contact him. I have no idea how. GO FOR BROKE is my favorite of Van Johnson movies. I wish there could be a follow up of the lives of those brave Nisei, those fortunate enough to survive, that is. All too many are buried at Epinal near Bruyeres, France not far from where they rescued the surrounded Texas 36th Battalion.
Please, watch the film and if you like it share it with others to enjoy.