As a retired Army Major and history prof. I love war movies. I find few war movies that are really good at depicting the challenges leaders face in making decisions in combat. "Sands of Iwo Jima" is one of the best at depicting good leadership traits and I reccomend it wholeheartedly.
I always liked John Wayne in war movies more than in westerns. In "The Sands of Iwo Jima the "Duke" plays the hard as nails uncompromising Sgt. Stryker. He is tasked with training a Marine rifle squad before they invade Iwo. Needless to say he is unpopular with the men, but in the end he makes a fighting unit out of them and earns their respect. One of the few movies that the "Duke" dies in. Makes one just want to cry.
A classic war movie that should be viewed by all who like the genre.
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Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film which follows a group of US Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It stars John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara and Forrest Tucker. The movie was written by Harry Brown and James Edward Grant and directed by Allan Dwan. It was produced by Republic Pictures.Allan Dwan impressively juggles combat footage from World War II with a surprise finale and the time-tested scenario of the hardened vet (John Wayne) molding his naive young troops. Dwan had worked as a director since the birth of the industry; though his output since the development of talkies had been spotty, Sands received a strong response from audiences, and became his biggest hit since 1922's Robin Hood. Wayne's solid, Oscar-nominated performance no doubt had much to do with the film's success. ~ Brendon Hanley, All Movie Guide Cast