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Sands of Iwo Jima Reviews

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Conner R

Super Reviewer

August 10, 2010
Probably the most influential WW2 movie ever made, you can see ever other movie proceeding it to have similar scenes and characters. Maybe it's because this uses stock footage from the real war, was made so close to the war and has The Duke playing the lead; this is one of the best war movies ever made. No, it's not as well made as Apocalypse Now! or as realistic as Platoon, but this has it where it counts and was made a full 30+ years before either was made. John Stryker is one of the most iconic soldiers in any movie, he represents the true tortured soul and sympathetic tough guy. When a movie like this can still be powerful today, you know they did something right.

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2007
im not usually big on john wayne, but this is one of his four or five performances that i really enjoyed, and as a film this one is phenomenal. some absolutely great story telling for a war fillm nearly 60 years old. although storytelling in older films is usually better than in more recent films, war films have often been an exception to that. but this one gripped me. a must watch.

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2007
Superb war film. The Duke was never better than as the haunted Sergeant Stryker, a man hated by his men (with a few exceptions) for his unyielding toughness, but it is by that attitude that he hopes to keep them alive in combat. Watch it and see how good John Wayne really was.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2008
A good war film with John Wayne, set in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. Wayne plays a tough sargeant trying to whip a bunch of new soldiers into shape to fight the Japanese. Exciting battle sequences, and a moving shot of the American flag going up on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The only problem I had with this film is that, for a film called Sands of Iwo Jima, they didn't even land there until the last 20 minutes of the movie. They hit Tarawa and Saipan first. But since that's history, I guess I'll have to live with it. I'm not a huge John Wayne fan, but I like him more in war pictures that Westerns. And this is one of his better ones, and he received an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2007
Let's face it, no-one watches John Wayne films with the expectation of sensitive soul-searching, so this is the usual kind of rugged, macho flag waving you'd expect from the duke. But it is done with intelligence and heart, and is a pretty solid war story on the whole.
John B

Super Reviewer

March 11, 2014
A film that plays on lingering patriotism after the war. It is considered to be one of the best John Wayne although it is a very straight forward effort with no nuance.

Super Reviewer

August 31, 2008
Wayne is giving a surprisingly excellent portrait of a fascist sergeant,preoccupied in reforming thoughts and supposedly liberal ideas.Impressive battle sequences and social morality yet if Patton was and is an overrated piece of militarism,I believe am really soft rating it with an extra half for the decent neutrality of Iwo Jima events,despite the usual historical patriotism.

Super Reviewer

April 3, 2007
Have I told you before that John Wayne kicks ass?
July 4, 2012
One of Wayne's best combat films. Most of the cast and story are fairly ordinary but it's strengths lie in Wayne and it's one of the few films were Wayne's character actually is "killed." Overall cast is decent.
December 20, 2011
I really think it's a good movie that shows some of the things that soldiers went through in that battle
June 6, 2007
I might be writing these a bit too quickly, but then I have to get through a lot of these tonight so I can get the review for Back to the Future done before I leave for camping tomorrow.

My buddy, Roy, is a United States Marine. Like all Marines, he's very Semper Fi, which makes me very Semper Fi. But as much as I could ever support him, this movie will always do more. This movie is Super-Marine-Friendly. From the opening credits, blazing the image of the Corps to playing an epic score "From the Halls of Montezuma..." Really, you can't any more Marine than this.

Is the movie all that great? Yes and no. It's a classic and I can totally tell why. The only issue is that I've seen this movie time and time again. I'm not talking about the Iwo Jima story. Although I saw that in Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. This really isn't an Iwo Jima story. I mean, everything builds up to it and the end takes place at Iwo Jima, but this is a story about the Marines. It's a pretty traditional story with all the stock military characters. There's the gruff sergeant who doesn't take no sh*t from no strangers. There's the kid with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. There's the guy who can't wait to make a fortune the second he gets out. The brothers who fight. To coward. Really, everyone's here in one story. Luckily for us, the story is pretty good.

This is one of the movies that made John Wayne really famous. Sure, he's done a ton of other stuff and personally, I'm going to say that some of his other stuff is actually probably better. But he does his stuff in this movie. Perhaps he's not as conflicted as he is in The Searchers, but he's got some stuff going on here that you really have to respect. The main thing that you really have to see that you normally don't get is the fact that he's a father and a hard ass. Yeah, the conflict is there, but it doesn't really get to the heart of it. Sure, we touch on it, but the story is all over the place and primarily focused on the "becoming a soldier" aspects. I mean, the movie was made in 1949, so I don't know how much propaganda was made at the time (remember, we still had to deal with Korea and the Russians are around the corner, but I suck at dates) But this feels a lot like some of Cagney outings where we see the soldier who has to train, despite his bad attitude, only to learn that the toughness was really important.

Honestly, my big beef is that the movie isn't all that great. It's a fun war movie, but that's about as far as it goes. I've seen so many really great war movies that have a lot more substance. But this movie is a bit of patriotism. Sure, patriotism doesn't a good movie make, but I always seem to dig them a little bit. I mean, one of my favorite movie is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. That's really the draw of this movie. That and John Wayne. If you are a big John Wayne nerd, then you might really dig this movie. Heck, if you are a John Wayne nerd, then you've already seen it. It's a good time and it is not all that long. Take it from there.
August 26, 2008
It's a classic for it's time. Nice original footage, and some good battle segments. But most of the acting is pretty poor.
September 27, 2006
Incredible, very captivating, a true story of the attack on the island durring WWII, it's told incredibly well.
October 25, 2007
John Wayne is at his grittiest best as a seargent of hard scrabble marines fighting the imperial Japanese in this rousing patriotic thriller that displays the raw valor and sacrifice of this generation of man.A reminder that freedom does not come free.Excellant casting.A fine vehicle for John Wayne's memorable performance.
March 13, 2007
Marine sergeant John Stryker seems a martinet and a bully as he trains young Marines for combat in the Pacific war. In the end, as survival in the bloody battle of Iwo Jima depends on the lessons Stryker has drilled into them, his troops discover why he was so hard on them.
December 8, 2007
wayne greatest war movie great special effects of a late 40s movie. he makes the marine corps proud. he plays the bad ass sargnet that you would think he would play and as a marine he would have made a good one.
September 30, 2007
This not only patriotic but its heroic and action packed. Way to go jarheads. If it weren't for you we wouldn't have this awesome display of freedom here today
May 17, 2007
I love John Wayne westerns, but his war movies are all the same = John Wayne + Cliched dialogue = same story, different name,
April 27, 2007
Great pic, though some of the dialogue is a little too flamboyant, even for the era. I do love a good John Wayne film, and he did far too few war movies in his career.
April 5, 2007
I don't think the film would have been so great if it wasn't for the amazing acting. John Wayne was a strong role in this film as well as a couple supporting bits. Definitely a worthwhile movie.
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