Flying Leathernecks
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The Technicolor adventure epic Flying Leathernecks offers two things that film cultists can never get enough of: star John Wayne and director Nicholas Ray. Filmed at the behest of RKO chieftain Howard R. Hughes, Leathernecks is a paean to the Marine Flying Corps of World War II. Wayne plays Major Dan Kirby, a squadron commander, whose no-nonsense attitude is sharply at odds with the easygoing approach of executive officer Captain Carl Griffin (Robert Ryan). Griffin eventually learns the value of discipline at all costs, while Kirby becomes more humanized as he gets to know his pilots. Jay C.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Marquee pull of John Wayne and Robert Ryan in the action market has been teamed with a story of Marine fighter pilots."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Overlong but action-filled."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The Flying Leathernecks packs a surprising amount of intelligent insight in with its nationalistic rally cry."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"This is arguably Ray's least distinguished film, a relatively conventional, anonymous WWII drama made for RKO mogul Howard Hughes."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"This is the most ordinary film Nicholas Ray ever made."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Pure WWII jingo and John Wayne. But stylish and heroic nonetheless."
‑ Steve Crum,
More reviews for Flying Leathernecks on Rotten Tomatoes