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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.
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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
Towards the end of the opening cast credits there states: And The three living survivors of the historic flag raising on Mount Suribachi Rene A. Gagnon (as Pfc Rene A. Gagnon), Ira H. Hayes (as Pfc Ira H. Hayes) and John H. Bradley (as PM3/c John H. Bradley). See more »
I first saw this film at the age of 5 and it has been my favourite ever since. This led to my following of the greatest actor of all time JOHN WAYNE. The film follows Sgt John M Stryker, taking a platoon of mostly raw recruits and training them to be mean, tough, and ready for anything Marines, by any way possible, loathed by the squad but by the end of the picture admired by them as they realise what and why he is the way he is.
The film mixes battle scenes with actual footage from the landings and allows for character development instead of just a bunch of guy's grouped together. Wayne deserved his Oscar nomination for his role but you cant leave out the supporting cast. John Agar in possibly his best role and Forrest Tucker as his old adversary also Cassell/Brown and Webb proving equally up to the rolls and a young Richard Jaeckel all playing there parts with zest.
When you look at the events it was based on, the Island hopping of hard bitter fighting the slaughter of both sides on Iwo Jima its self 4,000+ U.S. casualties and 21,000 Japanise you can see why this film is compulsory viewing for all new Marine recruits.
I also believe that this film would have been a masterpiece had it been made without the restrictions of the time compared with the films of today like "Saving Private Ryan".
Whatever your own thoughts are on the film when you next watch it just remember those who fought there and REMAIN there................
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