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Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 28 August 1951 (USA)
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Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby
... Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
... Lt. Vern 'Cowboy' Blithe
... 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:

From Guadalcanal to Okinawa...the Marine air-devils blazed a trail of glory...while the women they left behind fought battles of their own! (1956 reissue poster) 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:

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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

Robert Ryan was cast by director Nicholas Ray because he had been a boxer in college and believed that he was the only actor that could play opposite John Wayne and "kick Wayne's ass." 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: Are we all buttoned up?
Joan Kirby: Cat's out... doors locked. All secure sir.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Girl: Anatomy of a Blunder (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
real color war footage
25 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

Major Kirby (John Wayne) takes command of a squadron of Marine fliers Wildcats. The men are undisciplined as they are sent to the Guadalcanal battle. Everybody expected the squad's best flier Captain 'Grif' Griffin (Robert Ryan) to be the new commander but Kirby finds him unable to make the tough decisions.

The story is rather pedestrian wartime action. John Wayne is the hard but fair commander as his usual fare. He's a real man and the college boys are weak. He's there to make real men out of the boys. The movie is most compelling with the real color war footage. Howard Hughes paid for the Techicolor to weave in with the color footage. The action is pretty compelling and makes this more than another bland war story.


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