Published on May 30th, 2007 | by Chris2
The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
It's John Wayne for cryin out loud! The Duke! How can you not enjoy this!
Seriously, "The Sands of Iwo Jima" takes us to that hell-hole of an island in the Pacific, and the steps along the way. Sergeant John Stryker (John Wayne) is the seasoned and gruff company Sgt. who takes his band of raw recruits (and their replacements) just out of training onto the beaches of Iwo.
Granted, this is about as "gung ho" a movie as you're going to get, even for the era. Viewed today, it makes an interesting counterpart to Eastwoods "Flags of our Fathers."
Masterfully edited in are plenty of stock footage scenes from Iwo. There are times when you have difficulty realizing which is the stock footage and what is not.
There are plenty of moral dilemmas that come up in these kind of pictures, for example the consequences of thinking of one's self when your duty should be towards your fellow Marines.
Of note is the conflict between Stryker and PFC Conway (John Agar) who is struggling against his duty and "legacy" as a Marine vs. his desire to become more than what his father was. The fact Stryker served with the elder Conway doesn't help matters. In the end, though, Conway comes to terms with this.
Stryker himself finds redemption in meeting a lonely war widow and her child, and in the end, well, Stryker brings a bit of purpose to his life where there wasn't any, except for the Corps.
"Sands" is an entertaining few minutes, and I'm glad I took the time to watch. For its time, and despite the "gung ho" factor, it really does portray the fear and despair these guys must have felt.
I'm giving it a seven, mostly on "classic" factor alone. Worth a re-view? Maybe, but definitely on the "must view" list.
Sands of Iwo Jima
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This classic World War II actioner has Wayne as a tough but compassionate Marine Corps sergeant, John M. Stryker. Tough name, too. Stryker's job is to turn a bunch of raw recruits into a fighting machine...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Lions Gate
Manufacturer: Republic Pictures
Original Release Date:
- John Wayne
- John Agar
- Adele Mara
- Forrest Tucker
- Wally Cassell
Summary: "The Sands of Iwo Jima" takes us to that hell-hole of an island in the Pacific, and the steps along the way. Sergeant John Stryker (John Wayne) is the seasoned and gruff company Sgt. who takes his band of raw recruits (and their replacements) just out of training onto the beaches of Iwo.