Flying Leathernecks


Action / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 64%
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 4,397


Downloaded times
October 27, 2020



Jay C. Flippen as MSgt. Clancy, Line Chief
John Wayne as J.B. Books
Milburn Stone as Fleet CIC Radio Operator
Robert Ryan as Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
940.1 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
102 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.7 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
102 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 6 / 10 / 10

FLYING LEATHERNECKS (Nicholas Ray, 1951) **1/2

I had previously watched this one on TV, but I recall being underwhelmed by it: I liked the film better a second time around, but it’s clearly no classic (despite director Ray and co-star Robert Ryan’s involvement); contrary to Ray’s best work, which is marked by his personal touch, he’s strictly a director-for-hire on this particular title. The film is one of several war-themed Wayne vehicles from this era, a good number of which I’ve yet to catch up with – FLYING TIGERS (1942), THE FIGHTING SEABEES (1944), BACK TO BATAAN (1945) and OPERATION PACIFIC (1951). It’s similar to Wayne’s FORT APACHE (1948), where he’s now portraying the martinet role played in that John Ford cavalry picture by Henry Fonda – though he’s well-matched with the long-suffering Ryan (cast against type as an overly sensitive executive officer dedicated to his squad). The latter element, then, links the film with such archetypal flying pictures as ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) and TWELVE O’CLOCK HIGH (1949) – where the group leader is constantly forced to make tough decisions in which the life of his men has to be put in jeopardy. For this reason, too, Wayne’s a generally glum presence here – apart from his interaction with Jay C. Flippen as an amiably roguish old-timer; from the remaining supporting cast, Don Taylor is equally notable as the wise-guy crew member who happens to be a relative of Ryan’s. The action sequences are exciting (domestic asides are unsurprisingly dull but thankfully brief).even if utilizing an astonishing amount of grainy WWII stock footage which, while giving it a sense of raw authenticity, also tends to stick out rather too obviously alongside the soft yet agreeable Technicolor adopted for the rest of the film! In the end, FLYING LEATHERNECKS may be corny but it’s reasonably enjoyable – and occasionally stirring – for all that.

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 6 / 10 / 10

The air combats shots are impressive but...

'Flying Leathernecks' illustrates the problems of leadership... Major Dan Kirby (John Wayne) is commander of a Marine Corps fighting unit sent to Guadalcanal to give support to the ground troops... He is short of planes and pilots, and drives his men to the point of complete breakdown... The executive officer, Griff (Robert Ryan) objects to Kirby's hard treatment of the men, but he lets his human feelings cloud his judgment... For a soldier that is bad... Kirby is recalled to the States to train pilots in his new low-level attack technique, and before leaving he informs Griff that he does not consider him fit to command... He hasn't yet got the guts to lead... When they are reunited later, the hostility between them is intense... An emergency arises, and there is a scramble to get into the air to intercept a formation of Japanese bombers... In the air, Griff's brother-in-law develops engine trouble, turns back and suddenly finds Japanese fighters on his tail... He radios for help... It is Griff's decision... Reluctantly, he commands his men to proceed... They are not to turn back... Ray was a dynamic, socially conscious director with a keen visual sense and a gift for attaining fluid motion on the screen... He was more comfortable with the darker shadings of 'Rebel Without a Cause' and 'Johnny Guitar,' but he gets fine performances from his stars... Wayne's strict discipline play well against Ryan's angry intensity, even if everyone in the audience understands that they're going to wind up on the same side by the end of the film... The air combats shots are impressive but Ray never really puts the viewer in the airplane the way the best flying films do... Nothing here comes close to John Guillermin's 'The Blue Max', 1966 or even Howard Hughes' 'Hell's Angels', 1930.

Reviewed by Doylenf 6 / 10 / 10

John Wayne and Robert Ryan raise the film to a higher level...

Any tension FLYING LEATHERNECKS has as a war film from the '40s about the fight against the Japanese on Guadalcanal is bolstered considerably by the decent acting jobs done by JOHN WAYNE and ROBERT RYAN as men who are soon in conflict with each other over training methods. Wayne has his usual tough guy role, hard on the surface but soft inside, and Ryan is the man who stands up to him but soon appreciates him when the going gets rough. Whatever inaccuracies there are in historical details (as pointed out by other reviewers) don't really harm the story which is well photographed in Technicolor and includes a number of hard-hitting action scenes that are the best moments in the film. The domestic moments are the weakest elements of the story. Wayne and Ryan are well supported by JANIS CARTER (as Wayne's worried wife) and DON TAYLOR as a carefree soldier. Well directed by Nicholas Ray, it's not as tense and exciting as it could have been but it passes the time efficiently in its own way with lots of actual war footage appearing in the action scenes.

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