Up 24,211 this week

Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War, Action  |  28 August 1951 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,263 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 16 critic

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



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 04 Jun 2011
a list of 45 titles
created 24 Jun 2011
a list of 29 titles
created 29 Nov 2013
a list of 37 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Flying Leathernecks (1951) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Flying Leathernecks.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Flying Tigers (1942)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.

Director: David Miller
Stars: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1942, after the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese, U.S. Army Col. Joseph Madden stays behind to organize the local resistance against the Japanese invaders.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Beulah Bondi
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Philip Dorn
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Captain Ralls fights Dutch shipping magnate Mayrant Sidneye for the woman he loves, Angelique Desaix, and for a fortune in gold aboard the Red Witch.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young
Blood Alley (1955)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

His ship seized by the Chinese Communists, American Merchant Captain Tom Wilder languishes in prison but Chinese villagers help him escape to sail them to Hong-Kong.

Directors: William A. Wellman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Paul Fix
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
Jet Pilot (1957)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Air Force Colonel Jim Shannon is tasked to escort a defecting Soviet pilot who is scheming to lure Shannon to the USSR.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Jules Furthman
Stars: John Wayne, Janet Leigh, Jay C. Flippen
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dramatized account of the role of the American PT Boats in the defense of the Philippines in World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed


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 ...
Barry Kelley ...
Brigadier General
Maurice Jara ...
Shorty Vegay
Lt. Bert Malotke
James Dobson ...
Lt. Pudge McCabe
Col. Riley
Michael St. Angel ...
Capt. Harold Jorgensen, Ops. Officer (as Steve Flagg)
Brett King ...
1st Lt. Ernie Stark
Gordon Gebert ...
Tommy Kirby


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




Drama | War | Action


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 August 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Devil Dogs of the Air  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)


(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is often considered merely another assignment of Nicholas Ray's at RKO for Howard Hughes to prove his political and professional alliance during the Red Scare. A blatant pro-war movie that Hughes cared about and Ray did not, Ray disagreed with the film's politics and is said, along with Robert Ryan, to intentionally over-act. Ryan and Ray, who were leftist liberals, constantly fought against John Wayne and Jay C. Flippen, who were conservatives and supported the Blacklist. See more »


During the 1st patrol off Guadalcanal after the nightly ship bombardment, "Jigsaw 4" is returning to base due to an engine problem (assumed cowardice by Pilot). Later in the same patrol, another Pilot is leaving formation and is shot down (later killed by Japanese Infantry) also under codename "Jigsaw 4". See more »


Referenced in The Majestic (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Take Off Those Boots, Mister.
30 April 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

The central story is elementary. Wayne arrives to command a group of Hellcats on Guadalcanal. His executive officer is Robert Ryan. Wayne is a taciturn, no-nonsense typa guy who doesn't suffer humanitarians easily. Ryan is a humanitarian. (A fairly decent reflection of offscreen attitudes here.)

Ryan is always saying things about his wisecracking, fun-loving men like, "They're just kids." And Wayne's first priority is to force them to become disciplined and efficient warriors. He's distant enough that when he sends the men a bottle of saki, he tells the messenger not to reveal the identity of the donor. Not that Ryan is a namby-pamby. He's shown as gentle but not coddling. And he's smart too. One of his men complains that every time he goes up, his chances of coming down alive are narrowed. Ryan explains Baldt's theorem, or whatever it is, which states that your chances remain the same no matter how many times you've flown. Just like flipping a coin. With each flip, your chance of getting heads or tails is even, no matter how many times you've flipped it. (This ignores something called The Law of Limits, I think, but I don't want to get in over my head here so I'll quit.) Okay, maybe Ryan thinks too much, but at least statistics isn't as bad as a taste for Shakespeare, which was John Agar's failing in "Sands of Iwo Jima." Math is a man's job, finally, whereas Shakespeare is only one step removed from fairyhood.

Anyway the conflict intensifies and Ryan finally turns on Wayne, saying, "I've had a belly full of you!" There is a fierce confrontation and Wayne departs to train pilots elsewhere in ground support using Corsairs, a legendary Pacific fighter. He does not recommend Ryan as his replacement because Ryan, as we all know, hasn't got the guts for command.

Now -- you've got the picture of the conflict. We have, on the one hand, the stern, distant, not unfeeling Wayne leader. And on the other hand we have the casual, humanitarian Ryan who identifies with his men too much. Okay. The conflict is resolved at the end of the picture and the two men agree to meet later and get drunk together. I ask you: in whose favor is this conflict resolved? No power on earth could drag the answer from me.

This movie was directed by Nicholas Ray, although you'd never know it. Comedy relief is provided by the scrounging line chief, J. C. Flippen, who refers to non-aviation types as "mud Marines" and is patronizingly tolerated by Wayne. All the combat footage is from official Navy film. You have seen every shot exactly one thousand, two hundred, and forty-two times before.

Those F4U Corsairs were marvelous airplanes with a top speed of about 450 miles an hour.

17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What planes did they use? muvphreek
directors cut duho-1
Discuss Flying Leathernecks (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: