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The Fighting Lady
Directed by Edward Steichen
Narrated by Charles Boyer
Robert Taylor
Release date(s) 1944
Running time 61 min.
Country U.S.
Language English

The Fighting Lady (1944) is a documentary/propaganda film produced by the U.S. Navy.

The plot of the film revolves around the life of seamen on board an anonymous aircraft carrier - "the Fighting Lady". Frequently mentioned is the old adage that war is 99% waiting. The first half or so of the film is taken up with examining the mundane details of life on board the aircraft carrier as she sails through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific Ocean, finally seeing action at Marcus Island {attacked in 1943}.

After Marcus, intelligence reports that an armada of Japanese ships is massing near Truk, in the Carolines, so the Fighting Lady and some of her task force are sent on a "hit and run" mission to neutralize it and return to Marcus, but not to attempt a landing. Once the ship returns from the Truk raid, it is then sent to the waters off the Marianas and participates in the famous Marianas 'turkey shoot'. At the very end some of the servicemen who appeared in the film are reintroduced to us, and the narrator informs us that they have died in battle.

The film is notable for its use of Technicolor footage shot by "gun cameras" hoisted directly on naval artillery during combat. This gives a very realistic edge to the film, while the chronological following of the ship and crew mirror the experiences of the seamen who went from green recruits through the rigours of military life, battle, and, for some, death.

Because of war time restrictions, the name of the aircraft carrier was disguised as "the Fighting Lady"; afterwards the ship's true name became public - she was the USS Yorktown (CV-10).

Due to her fighting heritage, and to honor all carrier sailors and airmen, the Yorktown is on permanent display at Patriots Point in Charleston, SC.

Alfred Newman's majestic musical theme was reused in Hell and High Water and in many 20th Century Fox film trailers.

See also

List of Allied propaganda films of World War II

External links

Preceded by
Desert Victory
Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Succeeded by
The True Glory

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