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Flying Leathernecks (1951)

 -  Drama | War | Action  -  28 August 1951 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,933 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 15 critic

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Flying Leathernecks (1951)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
Don Taylor ...
Janis Carter ...
Joan Kirby
...
MSgt. Clancy, Line Chief
William Harrigan ...
Dr. Lt.Cdr. Joe Curran
James Bell ...
Colonel
Barry Kelley ...
Brigadier General
Maurice Jara ...
Shorty Vegay
...
Lt. Bert Malotke
James Dobson ...
Lt. Pudge McCabe
Carleton Young ...
Col. Riley
Michael St. Angel ...
Capt. Harold Jorgensen, Ops. Officer (as Steve Flagg)
Brett King ...
1st Lt. Ernie Stark
Gordon Gebert ...
Tommy Kirby
Edit

Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Action

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Devil Dogs of the Air  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The squadron's designation in the movie was VMF-247 "Wildcats" but in the movie was based on VMF-223 "The Bulldogs". VMF-223 was a Marine fighter squadron that flew Grumman F4F Wildcats. They were also formed at MCAS Ewa on Oahu and was the first fighter squadron at the Battle of Guadalcanal. The unit still exists to this day as VMA-223, or Marine Attack Squadron 223. Based at Cherry Point, NC, it is comprised of AV-8B Harrier (V/STOL) jets and is under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 14. The unit has flown in every major conflict from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan. See more »

Goofs

In all of the closeups of Japanese pilots, they are in F6F Hellcat cockpits (painted gray). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charade (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
John Wayne and Robert Ryan raise the film to a higher level...
22 August 2010 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Any tension FLYING LEATHERNECKS has as a war film from the '40s about the fight against the Japanese on Guadalcanal is bolstered considerably by the decent acting jobs done by JOHN WAYNE and ROBERT RYAN as men who are soon in conflict with each other over training methods. Wayne has his usual tough guy role, hard on the surface but soft inside, and Ryan is the man who stands up to him but soon appreciates him when the going gets rough.

Whatever inaccuracies there are in historical details (as pointed out by other reviewers) don't really harm the story which is well photographed in Technicolor and includes a number of hard-hitting action scenes that are the best moments in the film. The domestic moments are the weakest elements of the story.

Wayne and Ryan are well supported by JANIS CARTER (as Wayne's worried wife) and DON TAYLOR as a carefree soldier. Well directed by Nicholas Ray, it's not as tense and exciting as it could have been but it passes the time efficiently in its own way with lots of actual war footage appearing in the action scenes.


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