7.2/10
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Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

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

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writers:

Harry Brown (screenplay), James Edward Grant (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Sgt. John M. Stryker
John Agar ... Pfc. Peter Conway
Adele Mara ... Allison Bromley
Forrest Tucker ... Pfc. Al Thomas
Wally Cassell ... Pfc. Benny Regazzi
James Brown ... Pfc. Charlie Bass
Richard Webb ... Pfc. 'Handsome' Dan Shipley
Arthur Franz ... Cpl. Robert Dunne / Narrator
Julie Bishop ... Mary
James Holden James Holden ... Pfc. Soames
Peter Coe ... Pfc. George Hellenpolis
Richard Jaeckel ... Pfc. Frank Flynn
William Murphy ... Pfc. Eddie Flynn (as Bill Murphy)
George Tyne ... Pfc. Harris
Hal Baylor ... Pvt. 'Sky' Choynski (as Hal Fieberling)
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Storyline

After his wife takes their son and leaves him, Sgt. John Stryker is an embittered man who takes his misery out on the men under his command. They're a bunch of green recruits who have a hard time dealing with Stryker's tough drills and thicker skin. Even his old friends start to wonder if he's gone from being the epitome of a tough Marine Sergeant to a man over the edge. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A great human story... makes a mighty motion picture. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal Studios

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Iwo Jima See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the book "New Zealand Film" by Helen Martin and Sam Edwards, "During the early sections of the film, the R&R camp at Paekakariki in the lower half of the North Island [of New Zealand] was the setting for the meeting and bonding sequences prior to departing for battle. The same camp is the focus of the reminiscences of one of the women who contributed to Gaylene Preston's documentary 'War Stories' [War Stories (1995)]. See more »

Goofs

After Sgt. Stryker dances with Choynski, he stands a little way from Choynski. The next shot shows them both side by side. See more »

Quotes

Pfc. Al Thomas: You know, my natural dislike for you is turning into a great hatred, Bass.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:To the United States Marine Corps whose exploits and valor have left a lasting impression on the world and in the hearts of their countrymen. Appreciation is gratefully acknowledged for their assistance and participation which made this picture possible. See more »

Connections

Featured in 13 Reasons Why: Tape 2, Side A (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid.
30 April 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Sgt John M. Stryker is a battle hardened Marine who's job it is to prepare his new charges for the realities of war. With no care for making friends, Stryker does what ever it takes to make these men tough and ready for the Pacific conflicts to come.

Sands Of Iwo Jima is unashamedly proud in its jingoistic fervour, and rightly so. Iwo Jima, and the now immortal portrait of weary American soldiers hoisting the flag atop Mt. Suribachi, has become a bastion of bravery, a beacon of triumph if you will. So it's no surprise to find Allan Dwan's film has no intention if deviating from boasting its colours, and hooray to that. Here as Stryker we find John Wayne giving a bit more to his character portrayal than merely some beefcake winning the war. Wayne puts depth and sincerity into Stryker, an air of believability shines through as he shows vulnerability, we believe he can win this war with his men, but we also see tenderness and it lifts Sands higher than your average war picture.

Wise old director Dwan (432 directing credits to his name), weaves the picture together with admirable restraint. Fusing actual newsreel footage with his own tightly handled action sequences, Sands plays out as the tribute and rally call that it has every right to be, even finding place in the film for three of the soldiers who hoisted that now famous flag. Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and John Bradley are the three gentlemen to look out for. The rest of the cast don't really have to do much outside of respond to Wayne's two fold performance, but keep an eye out for a fresh faced Richard Jaeckel as Pfc. Frank Flynn, while I personally enjoyed the brief, but important contribution from Julie Bishop as Mary.

Wayne received a nomination for Best Actor at the Academy Awards (too bad for him that 49 contained brilliant shows from the winner Broderick Crawford & a blunderbuss turn from Gregory Peck), with other nominations going to the Best Story, Editing and Sound categories. Ironically it was a role Wayne didn't fancy doing, but some encouragements from war veterans humbled him into starring.

Lock and load and saddle up for a top entry in the WWII pantheon. 8/10


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