Flying Leathernecks (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

Flying Leathernecks1951

Flying Leathernecks (1951)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Flying Leathernecks Photos

Movie Info

In this WWII action film, the tough Major Dan Kirby is stationed in Guadalcanal as the head of a group of fighter pilots. When he mercilessly tries to whip his pilots into fighting form, Captain Carl Griffin tries to get him to ease up on the discouraged young men.

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John Wayne
as Major Daniel Xavier Kirby
Robert Ryan
as Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin
Don Taylor
as Lt. Vern 'Cowboy' Blithe
Janis Carter
as Joan Kirby
William Harrigan
as Lt. Cmdr. Joe Curan
Jay C. Flippen
as Master Sgt. Clancy
Carleton Young
as Capt. McAllister
James Bell
as Colonel
Brett King
as Lt. Stark
Maurice Jara
as Lt. Vegay
Michael St. Angel
as Lt. Jorgensen
Britt Norton
as Lt. Tanner
Adam Williams
as Lt. Malotke
Lynn Stalmaster
as Lt. Castle
Barry Kelley
as General
James Flavin
as Shore Patrol Commander
Harlan Warde
as Admiral's Aide
Harry Lauter
as Freddie
John Mitchum
as Lt. Black
James Dobson
as Lt. McCabe
Michael Devery
as Lt. Hoagland
Ralph Cook
as Lt. Kelvin
Adam York
as Lt. Simmons
Gail Davis
as Virginia Blithe
Gordon Gebert
as Tommy Kirby
Dick Wessel
as Mess sergeant
Milburn Stone
as Ground control officer
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Critic Reviews for Flying Leathernecks

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

Marquee pull of John Wayne and Robert Ryan in the action market has been teamed with a story of Marine fighter pilots.

October 23, 2007 | Full Review…

This is arguably Ray's least distinguished film, a relatively conventional, anonymous WWII drama made for RKO mogul Howard Hughes.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Director Nicholas Ray stamped his indelible style on many a movie (In a Lonely Place, Johnny Guitar, Rebel Without a Cause, etc.), but this ain't one of them.

September 19, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Though John Wayne plays a similar role to that of his other WWII movies (Sands of Iwo Jima), the tough but sensitive commander, this picture is better than the rest due to smooth and crispy direction by Nicholas Ray.

March 9, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Overlong but action-filled.

October 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This is the most ordinary film Nicholas Ray ever made.

August 8, 2005 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Flying Leathernecks


I'm not a huge Robert Ryan fan and this isn't my favorite of Wayne or Ray's either. Overall it's a pretty typical film of the Gung Ho military genre. The action scenes incorporate actual war footage which is pretty cool and Ray's editing is marvelous.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Flying Leathernecks Quotes

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