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   2,766 votes »
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Down 21% 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:
Oustanding Character Study See more (31 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)
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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)
 
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)
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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 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:
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:
Featured in La guerra en el cine (2003) (V)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Oustanding Character Study, 29 December 2005
Author: nabor7 from Texas

Watching the interaction between Wayne and Ryan took me back to my days in submarines. A captain who remained distant yet caring and an exec who seemed more crew friendly and down to earth. I thought this was played out very well. Ryan only had to look at his own actions to realize why he had been passed over for command. I believe every command had a scrounger and this was a good addition for realism. I overlooked some location errors and airplane types and focused on what was the real story. Young men were trained quickly and sent into combat and as all young people do even now, feel invincible. This movie portrays war as a reality, men die. As long as the earth is inhabited there will be wars. One reviewer termed this movie as a snuff movie. This was war. Men fought and men died. Guadelcanal was not a pristine resort. We were attacked by an enemy who showed no mercy and as sad as it is, men die in war to protect our freedom. This movie shows how new pilots are forced to face the reality that they may be killed and that they must kill. They were led by a squadron commander (Wayne) who was a veteran and knew what it would take to give his men the highest odds of living. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone who has a moral problem with war. The bottom line for the anti-war crowd is, "reality sucks."

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