Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
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Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949)
After his wife takes their son and leaves him, Sgt. John Stryker is an embittered man who takes his misery out on the men under his command. They're a bunch of green recruits who have a hard time dealing with Stryker's tough drills and thicker skin. Even his old friends start to wonder if he's gone from being the epitome of the tough Marine drill instructor to a man over the edge.
John Wayne ... Sgt. John M. Stryker
John Agar ... Pfc. Peter Conway
Adele Mara ... Allison Bromley
Forrest Tucker ... Pfc. Al Thomas
Wally Cassell ... Pfc. Benny Regazzi
James Brown ... Pfc. Charlie Bass
Richard Webb ... Pfc. 'Handsome' Dan Shipley
Arthur Franz ... Cpl. Robert Dunne / Narrator
Julie Bishop ... Mary
James Holden ... Pfc. Soames
Peter Coe ... Pfc. George Hellenpolis
Richard Jaeckel ... Pfc. Frank Flynn
William Murphy ... Pfc. Eddie Flynn (as Bill Murphy)
George Tyne ... Pfc. Harris
Hal Baylor ... Pvt. 'Sky' Choynski (as Hal Fieberling)
Yes, today some of it seems campy and jingoistic, but Sands of Iwo Jima, is such a classic that it can't help being a worthy way to spend 100 minutes.
First of all, there is John Wayne as Sergeant Stryker. Stryker was the model on which virtually every screen portrayal of a tough sergeant is based. The character's angst and intensity also give us a rare glimpse of John Wayne's true acting ability. In most movies he just portrayed himself, but there is no swagger in Stryker, just loneliness, fear, and hope. He is by far the most convincing character in this movie, and one of the top from any war movie, period.
Next: the history. Ok, the actual characters have no basis in fact, but the battles certainly do. The battles for Tarawa and Iwo Jima were very important to the war and tragically costly in lives. They deserve to be remembered. The production mixed a lot of actual footage taken at the actual battles and mixed it in with the regular film. The two look fairly similar since both are black and white, but you can tell what is real and what was shot for the movie. One's first reaction to this might be that the production went cheapskate, but, in a way, the use of real stock battle footage was more moving than an epic legion of extras like in The Longest Day. You just can't beat reality for realism, and seeing the real islands and the real marines is an eerie reminder of how many men died in those horrific battles.
Finally: the supporting cast. Ok, I can't rave about them all, but most were entertaining, especially Wally Cassell. Also, Forrest Tucker puts in a fine performance, the only one remotely close to Wayne's in its depth.
Some of the anachronisms are a bit funny, but my only real complaint in the whole movie was John Agar's character Peter Conway. I don't know who was at fault for it, Agar or the writers, but his character is hard to take. I think we are meant to like him, but for about the first 90 minutes that is pretty much impossible.
Although Clint Eastwood's recent Flags of Our Fathers has told the real story about the flag raising at Iwo Jima, it hasn't diminished any of the impact that Sands of Iwo Jima has, either back when it was released or viewed today.
In fact because the three surviving flag raisers, Joseph Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes all were in this film it's even more proof of how the symbolic flag raising has become mythologized.
Of course the real heroism was in capturing the island that was less than a 1000 miles from the main islands of Japan and the airfields on Iwo Jima that could be used by our bombers for land based flights. It took about a month to do that, the flag was raised on the fifth day.
I read a history of the United States Marine Corps from it's formation during the American Revolution. Over the course of its history it was interesting to learn that the Marines many times were threatened with extinction, to be folded into either the army or navy right up to and including World War I.
Right after World War I a very farsighted man named John A. Lejeune became the Marine Corps Commandant and he saw that we would be in a war in the Pacific with the Japanese as our foes. He also saw that the survival of the Marines as an entity involved them training for a very specialized kind of mission, amphibious warfare. He started training them for that and come World War II they were certainly ready.
John Wayne as Sergeant Striker got one of his most memorable parts of his career in Sands of Iwo Jima. Striker is a tough as nails Marine Corps lifer whose got a job to whip a lot of recruits into shape for the later Pacific landings after Guadalcanal. He's also got one lousy personal life as his wife's left him and taken their son.
Wayne got his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor in this part. There's a couple of other films he should have gotten a nomination for, but that's another story. Among his competition in 1949 was Kirk Douglas for Champion, Richard Todd for The Hasty Heart, and Gregory Peck for Twelve O'Clock High. Note three of the nominees were for World War II related films. But the winner that year was Broderick Crawford for All the King's Men. At least Peck and Wayne both got Oscars later in their careers.
John Agar who was trying to carve out a reputation as being more than Mr. Shirley Temple back then plays the son of a former commander of Wayne's who has a problem with his Dad and takes it out on Wayne attitude wise as a surrogate father. Julie Bishop and Adele Mara play women drawn to both Wayne and Agar respectively.
Of the supporting cast who play members of Wayne's platoon, my favorite is Wally Cassell, the wisecracking city kid who finds a tank to help his platoon out during a sticky situation.
Flags of Our Fathers teaches us about how the flag raising symbolism became part of the Marine Corps heritage. Sands of Iwo Jima exploits that symbol in the best sense of the word. After almost sixty years, it's still a fine film with a grand performance by the Duke.
I first saw this film at the age of 5 and it has been my favourite ever since. This led to my following of the greatest actor of all time JOHN WAYNE. The film follows Sgt John M Stryker, taking a platoon of mostly raw recruits and training them to be mean, tough, and ready for anything Marines, by any way possible, loathed by the squad but by the end of the picture admired by them as they realise what and why he is the way he is.
The film mixes battle scenes with actual footage from the landings and allows for character development instead of just a bunch of guy's grouped together. Wayne deserved his Oscar nomination for his role but you cant leave out the supporting cast. John Agar in possibly his best role and Forrest Tucker as his old adversary also Cassell/Brown and Webb proving equally up to the rolls and a young Richard Jaeckel all playing there parts with zest.
When you look at the events it was based on, the Island hopping of hard bitter fighting the slaughter of both sides on Iwo Jima its self 4,000+ U.S. casualties and 21,000 Japanise you can see why this film is compulsory viewing for all new Marine recruits.
I also believe that this film would have been a masterpiece had it been made without the restrictions of the time compared with the films of today like "Saving Private Ryan".
Whatever your own thoughts are on the film when you next watch it just remember those who fought there and REMAIN there................
* In one scene, combat veteran Sgt. Stryker (John Wayne) instructs bumbling recruit Pvt. Choynski (Hal Baylor) on the correct way to march and hold a rifle. In real life Baylor was an ex-Marine who fought in the battles of Saipan and Tinian in WW II; Wayne had never served in the military.
* The three men who were part of the flag raising (made famous by the photograph Joe Rosenthal had taken) and survived the battle for Iwo Jima, appear in the movie. Rene A. Gagnon, Ira H. Hayes and John H. Bradley are seen with with John Wayne as he instructs them to hoist the flag. (Wayne gives the folded flag to Gagnon). The flag used to recreate the incident is the actual flag that was raised on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945. It was loaned to the movie by the US Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia.
* Following the success of the movie, John Wayne was invited to place his footprints in cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. As part of the event, actual black sand from Iwo Jima was flown to Hollywood and mixed into the cement in which The Duke left his footprints and "fist print".
* Kirk Douglas was originally cast as Sergeant Stryker.
* John Wayne almost turned the film down at first, since at 42 he was rather old for the part and because he felt the American public had had enough of war films.