Sands of Iwo Jima (1950)




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From director Allan Dwan, Sands of Iwo Jima is a drama set during the Second World War and follows John Stryker (John Wayne), a relentlessly tough Marine sergeant as he trains a squad of naïve, rebellious recruits at a New Zealand military station in 1943. Recently left by his wife, Stryker has become exceedingly bitter and tough, leading his contemporaries to question his behavior and his men to dislike him for his harsh training methods. The wisdom of Stryker's ways, however, is demonstrated when they fight in the legendary battle of Iwo Jima. Using footage of real WWII battles, the Sands of Iwo Jima features John Wayne's first Academy Award-nominated performance, though Broderick Crawford ultimately won the 1950 Best Actor prize. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi
Rating: NR
Genre: Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By: Allan Dwan
Written By: Harry Brown , James Edward Grant
In Theaters: limited
Republic Pictures Home Video


John Wayne
as Sgt. John Stryker
John Agar
as Pfc. Peter Conway
Wally Cassell
as Pfc. Benny Regazzi
Adele Mara
as Allison Bromley
Forrest Tucker
as Pfc. Al Thomas
Richard Webb
as Pfc. Shipley
Arthur Franz
as Cpl. Robert Dunne/Narrator
James Holden
as Pfc. Soames
Peter Coe
as Pfc. Hellenpolis
Richard Jaeckel
as Pfc. Frank Flynn
Bill Murphy
as Pfc. Eddie Flynn
William Murphy
as Pfc. Eddie Flynn
George Tyne
as Pfc. Harris
James Brown
as Pfc. Charlie Bass
Hal Baylor
as Pvt. `Ski' Choynski
John McGuire
as Capt. Joyce
Martin Milner
as Pvt. Mike McHugh
Leonard Gumley
as Pvt. Sid Stein
William Self
as Pvt. L.D. Fowler Jr.
Bill Self
as Pvt. L.D. Fowler, Jr.
Dick Wessel
as Grenade Instructor
David Clarke
as Wounded Marine
Gil Herman
as Lt. Baker
Dick Jones
as Scared Marine
Don Haggerty
as Colonel
Dorothy Ford
as Tall Girl
John Whitney
as Lt. Thompson
The Three Living Survivors of the Fla
as g Raising: Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon Pfc.
Rene A. Gagnon
as Himself (as Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon)
Ira H. Hayes
as Himself (as Pfc. Ira H. Hayes)
John H. Bradley
as Himself (as PM 3/c John H. Bradley)
Hal Fieberling
as Pvt. "Ski" Choynski
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sands of Iwo Jima

Critic Reviews for Sands of Iwo Jima

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 6, 2008
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of director Allan Dwan's most popular successes, Sands of Iwo Jima is an intimate rendering of a monumental event featuring John Wayne in one of his most emotionally complex roles.

Full Review… | January 20, 2015
Slant Magazine

One of John Wayne's best performances, and an entertainment above average on its own.

March 8, 2008

In one of his best roles, Wayne's Stryker is a sergeant disliked by his recruits due to his ruthless training and rigid code of ethics. The film established the two-generational plot as a Wayne staple, here contrasted with John Agar's "soft" soldier.

Full Review… | January 12, 2007

Audience Reviews for Sands of Iwo Jima

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.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

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.

danny d
danny d

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.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

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