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Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. ... See full summary »
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Col. Mike Kirby picks two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam. First off is to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy the second mission is to kidnap a North Vietnamese General.
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
The New York Times reported on 5 February 1950 that Republic Pictures was developing a sequel to this movie entitled "Devil Birds", again to star John Wayne, but nothing came of it. See more »
Two errors are visible when Stryker is attacked by the Jap: Stryker's positioning and arm movement is not consistent, and the Jap is hit by the handle of the entrenching tool before Conway throws it. See more »
Officer giving the preinvasion briefing:
Now, nobody knows exactly what they've got on this island, but they've had forty years to put it there
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While this photoplay is based on the Battle for Iwo Jima, most of the incidents and, except where true names are knowingly used, all of the characters are fictitious. Any resemblance between any such events or characters and actual events or persons is coincidental. 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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