Flying Leathernecks

Watch Flying Leathernecks

"From Guadalcanal to Okinawa...the Marine air-devils blazed a trail of glory...while the women they left behind fought battles of their own!"
  • Approved
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 6.3  (5,470)
  • 75

Flying Leathernecks is a 1951 war drama film directed by Nicholas Ray and starring John Wayne, Robert Ryan, and Don Taylor. The movie is set during the Second World War and follows a group of US Marine pilots fighting in the Pacific theater. The film opens with a group of new pilots arriving at a Marine base under the command of Major Dan Kirby, played by Wayne. Kirby is a seasoned veteran with a reputation for being tough but fair, and he quickly establishes himself as a no-nonsense leader. The new recruits are eager to prove themselves, and Kirby is just as eager to mold them into a skilled fighting force.

The pilots are sent on a series of missions against the Japanese, and the film depicts their experiences both in the air and on the ground. They face danger, fear, and physical and emotional exhaustion as they struggle to survive and succeed against a determined enemy.

One of the central conflicts of the film is between Kirby and his executive officer, Captain Carl Griffin, played by Ryan. Griffin is a good pilot and leader in his own right, but he disagrees with some of Kirby's tactics and leadership style. The two clash repeatedly, leading to tension and drama among the pilots.

The film also explores the personal lives of several of the pilots. Don Taylor's character, Lieutenant Vern Blithe, is an aspiring writer who struggles to reconcile his duty to his country with his artistic ambitions. Another pilot, Lieutenant George Haas, played by James Bell, is an older man with a wife and children back home who worries about their safety and longs to return to civilian life.

Flying Leathernecks is notable for its realistic and intense depiction of aerial combat. The film utilizes real footage of World War II-era planes and incorporates it seamlessly with the actors' performances. The dogfights are thrilling and well-shot, and the danger and violence feel palpable.

The movie also explores themes of masculinity, leadership, and sacrifice. Kirby embodies a traditional, masculine ideal of toughness and courage, and the film suggests that it is this toughness that ultimately allows him and his men to succeed. However, the film also implies that this ideal can be damaging and that true leadership requires compassion and empathy as well as physical prowess.

Overall, Flying Leathernecks is an engaging and well-crafted war film that showcases strong performances from its lead actors and exciting action sequences. It is a tale of heroism and sacrifice that vividly depicts the brutal reality of war in the air and on the ground.

Flying Leathernecks is a 1951 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 75.

Flying Leathernecks
Where to Watch Flying Leathernecks
Flying Leathernecks is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Flying Leathernecks for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (5,470)
  • Metascore