IMDb > Flying Leathernecks (1951)
Flying Leathernecks
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Flying Leathernecks (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
6.4/10   3,053 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
James Edward Grant (screenplay)
Kenneth Gamet (story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Flying Leathernecks on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 August 1951 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
AIR-DEVILS OF THE SKY! See more »
Plot:
Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Take Off Those Boots, Mister. See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby

Robert Ryan ... Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
Don Taylor ... Lt. Vern 'Cowboy' Blithe
Janis Carter ... Joan Kirby

Jay C. Flippen ... MSgt. Clancy, Line Chief
William Harrigan ... Dr. Lt.Cdr. Joe Curran
James Bell ... Colonel
Barry Kelley ... Brigadier General
Maurice Jara ... Shorty Vegay

Adam Williams ... 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hal Bokar ... Lt. Deal (uncredited)
Barry Brooks ... Squadron Commander (uncredited)
Charles Brunner ... Charlie's Father (uncredited)
Richard Condon ... 1st Pilot Replacement (uncredited)
Ralph Cook ... Lt. Kelvin (uncredited)
Inez Cooper ... Nurse (uncredited)
Chuck Courtney ... 3rd Pilot Replacement (uncredited)
James Craven ... Fleet CIC Commander (uncredited)
Victor Cutler ... 2nd Pilot Replacement (uncredited)
Gail Davis ... Virginia Blithe (uncredited)
Michael Devery ... Lt. Hoagland (uncredited)
Jayn Lee Dockstader ... Infant (uncredited)
Chris Drake ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Jane Easton ... Girl (uncredited)

Sam Edwards ... Junior (uncredited)
Frank Fiumara ... Lt. Hawkins (uncredited)
Shela Fritz ... Charlie's Mother (uncredited)
Grady Galloway ... 4th Pilot Replacement (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... MP Sergeant (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Intelligence Officer (uncredited)
Douglas Henderson ... Lt. Foster (uncredited)
James Hickman ... Hicks (uncredited)
Frank Iwanaga ... Japanese Pilot (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Indian Affairs Clerk (uncredited)
Mona Knox ... Annabelle (uncredited)
Keith Larsen ... Charlie (uncredited)
Harry Lauter ... Freddie (uncredited)
Tony Layng ... Lt.Woods (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Gene Marshall ... 6th Pilot Replacement (uncredited)
Mickey McCardle ... Marine (uncredited)
Paul McGuire ... Major Benson (uncredited)
Eda Reiss Merin ... Mama Malotke (uncredited)
John Mitchum ... Lt. Black (uncredited)
Rollin Moriyama ... Japanese Pilot (uncredited)
Al Murphy ... Grease Monkey (uncredited)
Brit Norton ... Capt. Walter Tanner (uncredited)
Leslie K. O'Pace ... Peter (uncredited)
Jimmy Ogg ... Messenger (uncredited)
Peter Ortiz ... Captain (uncredited)
Patricia Prest ... Greta Malotke (uncredited)
Noel Reyburn ... Madden (uncredited)
Melville Robert ... Jack (uncredited)
Elaine Roberts ... Jill (uncredited)
Don Rockland ... Lt. Stuart (uncredited)
Mavis Russell ... Mrs. Jorgenson (uncredited)
Hugh Sanders ... General on Guadalcanal (uncredited)
Lynn Stalmaster ... Lt. Billy Castle (uncredited)

Milburn Stone ... Fleet CIC Radio Operator (uncredited)
Bernard Szold ... Papa Malotke (uncredited)
Mort Thompson ... 5th Pilot Replacement (uncredited)
Richard Ullman ... Jeep Driver (uncredited)
Harlan Warde ... Admiral's Aide (uncredited)
Dick Wessel ... Mess Sergeant (uncredited)
Mack Williams ... Colonel (uncredited)
Adam York ... Lt. Simmons (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicholas Ray 
 
Writing credits
James Edward Grant (screenplay)

Kenneth Gamet (story)

Beirne Lay Jr.  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Edmund Grainger .... producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
William E. Snyder (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Sherman Todd 
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
James W. Sullivan 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
John Sturtevant (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Michael Woulfe (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Cliff P. Broughton .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sam Ruman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Frank McWhorter .... sound
Clem Portman .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Mantz .... pilot: camera airplane (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... aerial camera operator: Technicolor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
 
Other crew
Howard Hughes .... presenter
Richard Hughes .... technical adviser (as Colonel Richard Hughes U.S.M.C.)
Morgan Padelford .... Technicolor color consultant
Sid Davis .... stand-in: John Wayne (uncredited)
Edmund Grainger .... fill-in director (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • United States Marine Corps  dedicated to: and especially to Marine aviation - appreciation is gratefully acknowledged for their participation and assistance which made this picture possible (as the United States Marine Corps)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (archive footage) | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-8 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:12 (DVD rating) (2012) | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1951) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (2004) | USA:Approved (PCA #14994) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The fighter planes seen in the early part of the film are not the actual Grumman F4F Wildcat planes which were part of the Guadalcanal air campaign but Grumman F6F Hellcat planes. Hellcats were more readily available at the time the movie was made in 1951 as not many Wildcats had actually survived World War II. Moreover, Hellcats painted white and red also doubled as enemy Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter planes of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS).See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Early in the movie, it states the date was summer 1942. This would make the planes and insignia incorrect. After Pearl Harbor, the insignia removed the red circle inside the white star, but didn't have the white sidebars. Further, the planes shown are Grumman F6F Hellcats. In 1942 the Navy/Marines used the Grumman F4F Wildcat. The Hellcat didn't tangle with Japanese planes until the later half of 1943.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
17 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Take Off Those Boots, Mister., 30 April 2004
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA

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.

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