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 »
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.
In 1836 General Santa Anna and the Mexican army is sweeping across Texas. To be able to stop him, General Sam Houston needs time to get his main force into shape. To buy that time he orders... 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 »
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
Due to the assistance of the US Marines, producer Edmund Grainger and director Allan Dwan were able to keep the production budget for this movie to around the US $1 million mark. See more »
When Pfc. Thomas (Forrest Tucker) goes for more ammo and stops for coffee, the coffee is being brewed in a helmet over an open fire. He hands over his metal cup, and the fellow by the fire holds it in his bare hand as he fills it from the helmet. Ouch. Anyone who has been camping will see the error here. 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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