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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:

AIR-DEVILS OF THE SKY! 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

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

When John Wayne first observes the damage done to the Japanese ships his goggles are up. Next scene he looks around some more and his goggles are down covering his eyes. 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 The Majestic (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Saturday Afternoon Action Flick in the 1960s
13 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen "Flying Leathernecks" countless times since I was a boy. This morning on TCM, it was on again and I almost missed my Saturday morningtee-time with my golf buddies. They were forgiving though, as they, like me, had grown up with the stories of our fathers, uncles and cousins whohad served in WWII and of course, it was a JOHN WAYNE film. You ALWAYS have to stop and watch the Duke anytime he takes on the Japanese. The movie utilizes much Navy combat film from WWII, most of it not of the Guadacanal campaign and the aerial "combat" was typical of most war flicks in the 1940s and '50s. While it has many production errors (not matching recreated action with actual combat footage, reversing damage/wounds on planes and pilots, etc.) it is still a good movie to kick back with and watch a simple story.


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