Major Daniel Kirby takes command of a squadron of Marine fliers just before they are about to go into combat. While the men are well meaning, he finds them undisciplined and prone to always finding excuses to do what is easy rather than what is necessary. The root of the problem is the second in command, Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin. Griff is the best flier in the group but Kirby finds him a poor commander who is not prepared to the difficult decision that all commanders have to make - to put men in harm's way knowing that they may be killed. Written by
From Guadalcanal to Okinawa...the Marine air-devils blazed a trail of glory...while the women they left behind fought battles of their own! (1956 reissue poster)
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Did You Know?
and Robert Ryan
managed to put aside their vast political differences while making this film, although Ryan was appalled by Wayne's support for blacklisting and the Korean War. However they later did not get along at all while filming The Longest Day
(1962). See more
When Major Kirby is just home from the war, he takes a letter from a mailbox which in a full-screen shot is shown to have a six-cent stamp. Six-cent stamps weren't issued until 1949, four years after the war ended. See more
Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby
You just can't bring yourself to point your finger at the guy and say "go get killed!" You got enough troubles of your own for one man. Stop trying to pack everybody else's around. Schedule that mission.
Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
Featured in The John Wayne Anthology