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Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 28 August 1951 (USA)
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1:54 | Trailer

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ON DISC
Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

James Edward Grant (screenplay), Kenneth Gamet (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Maurice Jara ... Shorty Vegay
Adam Williams ... Lt. Bert Malotke
James Dobson James Dobson ... Lt. Pudge McCabe
Carleton Young ... Col. Riley
Michael St. Angel ... Capt. Harold Jorgensen, Ops. Officer (as Steve Flagg)
Brett King Brett King ... 1st Lt. Ernie Stark
Gordon Gebert 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Devil Dogs of the Air See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

In the final scene when the F4U Corsairs are flying over the field, the "Japanese" aircraft wrecks in the foreground are Grumman F6F Hellcats. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby: You just can't bring yourself to point your finger at the guy and say "go get killed!" You got enough troubles of your own for one man. Stop trying to pack everybody else's around. Schedule that mission.
Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin: Roger!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oustanding Character Study
29 December 2005 | by nabor7See all my reviews

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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