Matt Hough

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Matt Hough
A somewhat different view of World War II through air support during the siege of Guadalcanal in the Pacific, Nicholas Ray’s Flying Leathernecks mixes actual fight footage with staged battle scenes to often exhilarating effect.



Flying Leathernecks (1951)



Released: 28 Aug 1951
Rated: Approved
Runtime: 102 min




Director: Nicholas Ray
Genre: Action, Drama, War



Cast: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor, Janis Carter
Writer(s): James Edward Grant (screenplay), Kenneth Gamet (story)



Plot: Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.



IMDB rating: 6.4
MetaScore: 75





Disc Information



Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC...
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Josh Steinberg

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This new master is also showing on HBO Max and I was similarly impressed with how great it looks. I also wholeheartedly agree that Ryan delivers the most engaging and interesting performance in the film.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Thank you for your review. I like the movie more than you do as I long ago accepted the focus of the movie was always about the two different leadership styles between the two main characters and not about character development for the supporting actors. By the way, I did feel the pain of death with a couple of those supporting characters. In the end, one of those main characters finally accepts what the other was trying to teach him in regard to leading men into battle. I look forward to watching my BD after last month watching that beautiful video presentation on HBO Max.
 
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Billy Batson

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Great, I ordered this today. I do love fifties war movies, esp. those set in the Pacific (& starring the Duke doesn't hurt). This can join The Naked & The Dead, & hopefully it won't be too long before we get, Up Periscope & Operation Pacific (I do like it although I do feel that it has a B feature vibe about it).
 

Colin Jacobson

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Never saw this until BD.

It's a decent movie but the ending strikes me as weird:

From the start, we know Leathernecks will lead toward a finale in which Griffin and Kirby warm up to each other, so when that happens, it feels inevitable.
Oddly, Leathernecks predicates their connection on a decision Griffin makes that seems questionable. Throughout the film, we get the impression Griffin can’t make tough choices that might lead to the death of his Marines, and in the climax, he finally buckles down.
However, the film leaves open the question of whether Griffin chose wisely. In a more standard story, he’d Do the Right Thing without a doubt, but here we feel uncertain.

In theory, this adds complexity to the story, but in reality, it just seems weird. The flick’s last scene shows Kirby and Griffin all buddy-buddy, without a hint of remorse, and that comes across as an odd contrast to the predicament involved.
 

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