Flying Leathernecks

  • Film
  • Drama
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Made between the marvellous In a Lonely Place and On Dangerous Ground, this is arguably Ray's least distinguished film, a relatively conventional, anonymous WWII drama made for RKO mogul Howard Hughes - hence the authentic, Technicolor aerial footage of fighters in combat, as a Marine Corps squadron fight the Japs at Guadalcanal. Rather more interesting, perhaps, is the private conflict between Wayne's sternly no-nonsense disciplinarian CO and Ryan's more openly compassionate executive officer, who is afflicted with several of the neuroses commonly found in Ray's protagonists. Finally, however, it's all very predictable, even culminating in a flag-waving endorsement of traditional heroism. Thanks to the solid performances and fine camerawork, the film is not bad, merely professional.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nicholas Ray
Screenwriter: James Edward Grant
Cast: John Wayne
Robert Ryan
Don Taylor
Janis Carter
Jay C Flippen
William Harrigan
James Bell
Barry Kelley
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