Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »
In 1952, as the Korean War rages on, American officers land in Kyoto. Among them are Major Ceve Saville, assigned to a fighter squadron, and Lieutenant Carl Abbott. The latter neglects his ... See full summary »
Set during the Korean War, a Navy fighter pilot must come to terms with with his own ambivalence towards the war and the fear of having to bomb a set of highly defended bridges. The ending ... See full summary »
An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their ... See full summary »
After his wife takes their son and leaves him, Sgt. John Stryker is an embittered man who takes his misery out on the men under his command. They're a bunch of green recruits who have a hard time dealing with Stryker's tough drills and thicker skin. Even his old friends start to wonder if he's gone from being the epitome of a tough Marine Sergeant to a man over the edge. Written by
Following the success of the movie, John Wayne was invited to place his footprints in cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. As part of the event, actual black sand from Iwo Jima was flown to Hollywood and mixed into the cement in which The Duke left his footprints and "fist print". See more »
After Sgt. Stryker dances with Choynski, he stands a little way from Choynski. The next shot shows them both side by side. See more »
John Wayne did a bunch of war movies, always playing the heroic soldier. It is ironic then that he was considered medically unfit for service in WWII. Nonetheless, "Sands of Iwo Jima" is certainly the definitive John Wayne war movie. He got his first Oscar nomination for this movie which is enough to make it important just for that (he was only nominated one other time, winning for "True Grit").
The movie plot is just straight formula and has the same collection of ethnic types that you find in every war movie ever made---the fast-talking big city guy, the farm boy, the wisecracking Italian, etc. The battle scenes had to be sanitized for audiences back then and the treatment of the Japanese as the enemy in this movie is outrageously stereotyped by today's standards. Every time the Japanese come on camera the background music turns sinister and the little Japanese actors have an appropriate villainous and fanatical look to them. The only war movie I can think of where the Japanese are humanized in any way is "Bridge on the River Kwai" while there are many movies where the German soldiers and especially General Rommel, are portrayed if not sympathetically, at least respectfully.
Catch the last scene where the three real-life survivors of the Iwo Jima flag raising are given the flag by the Duke to raise on Suribachi. One of the flag-raisers, John Bradley, was so modest about his exploits afterwards that he didn't even have a copy of the famous flag-raising photo hanging up in his home. It wasn't until after he died that his children learned that he had won the Navy Cross for his heroism in the war. The book written by his son, "Flags of Our Fathers" is being made into a movie by Steven Spielberg and is sure to be sensational. No doubt that it will be immediately compared to "Sands of Iwo Jima" which, until "Flags" comes out, is the definitive movie about that battle.
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