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Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 28 August 1951 (USA)
Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
...
...
Joan Kirby
...
MSgt. Clancy, Line Chief
...
Dr. Lt.Cdr. Joe Curran
...
Colonel
...
Brigadier General
Maurice Jara ...
Shorty Vegay
...
Lt. Bert Malotke
James Dobson ...
Lt. Pudge McCabe
...
Col. Riley
...
Capt. Harold Jorgensen, Ops. Officer (as Steve Flagg)
Brett King ...
1st Lt. Ernie Stark
Gordon Gebert ...
Tommy Kirby
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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:

Action | Drama | War

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 was said to get Robert Ryan to intentionally overact. 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 »

Goofs

When the Indian crash lands, the distance shot shows the F6F sitting with the right gear collapsed - when the ground crew arrives in the closeup, the left gear is collapsed. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby: When the command meets a commander for the first time, it's like a wedding. Nobody knows how it's going to turn out. Whether it'll be a happy golden anniversary or a divorce. We'll see.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in JAG: New Gun in Town (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A hell of a way to run a war.
11 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Flying Leathernecks" takes an old theme, namely, a struggle between commanders and their subordinates about how to conduct a mission, but treats it rather lamely compared with other films. "Leathernecks" tries to cover too much territory in advancing the cause of air combat Marines as a documentary and establishing a personal story line within a Marine unit.

A subplot concerning one commander's over-identification with his men has resonances with "Twelve O'Clock High," but is not explored to the extent of the latter picture. Again, the result of trying to cover too much ground in one film.

Two Clark Gable pictures, "Command Decision" and "Run Silent, Run Deep," are much stronger in their depiction of such conflict. Even better still are films like "The Caine Mutiny" and "Crimson Tide."


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