Sands of Iwo Jima

on March 01, 1950 by BOXOFFICE Staff
Classic Reviews If consideration is given the popularity of John Wayne, the subject matter and, above all, the limitless exploitation possibilities of the latter, there is no apparent reason why this should not garner its share of the patronage the ticket-buying public is prepared to devote to the current cycle of top-budget features dealing with World War II. While it follows the previously set pattern of many such epics, the film is substantially produced, impressively delineated and understandingly directed. First of the war films devoted to the marine corps, which branch of the armed services cooperated in its making, it is accorded an aura of spectacle through the judicious and carefully edited interpolation of combat footage filmed during the battle of Iwo Jima and leading up to the thrilling and widely publicized climax, the planting of the Stars and Stripes on Mount Suribachi. Directed by Allan Dwan.

Those U.S. marines destined to make World War II history at Iwo Jima learn to fight the hard way under Sergeant John Wayne, seasoned campaigner, whose tactics make it a case of hate at first sight. His particular enemies are Corporal Forrest Tucker and Private John Agar, son of a marine officer killed at Guadalcanal, who himself does not want to be a marine. Wayne proves his own courage at Tarawa, and during a brief leave in Hawaii his bitterness is revealed to have stemmed from an unhappy marriage. He is somewhat softened as the squad reaches Iwo Jima; in that desperate fighting Agar redeems himself in Wayne's eyes, and by heroic efforts the island is captured, although Wayne is killed by last-minute Jap bullet.

Here is the Glorious, Incredibly Thrilling, Human Story... of the Marine's Greatest Hour... a Sweeping, Surging, Smashing Saga of Heroism That Will Never Be Forgotten. Republic 109 mins.

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