USA 1951


  Although not in the realm of a blatant US propaganda film it still approaches that branding - and why not? - two of the best Yank macho-men in all of film history - John Wayne and Robert Ryan both giving excellent performances of leaders under immense combat duress - thank director Nick Ray for any input and promotion of the personal psychological aspects in the film. Wayne plays Major Daniel Xavier Kirby, a new commander of a Marine Flying Corps squadron in the South Pacific - World War II. He is tough-as-nails and believes in pushing his men to their ultimate limits... and circumstances dictate that course of action. Ryan is his more humanist second-in-command, Capt. Carl 'Griff' Griffin, and they square-off on more than one occasion. Lots of aerial battle scenes (that hooked Howard Hughes into the project) and a lot of stock war footage. It's a typical war drama with hardly a female character (save Kirby's wife Joan played by Janis Carter), filled with combat action and male bonding. Ray's work is restrained but his style is there, if buried far beneath the surface in more than one stirring conflict scene. This film is exactly what you might expect by looking at the cover or posters - but actually it's a little better than that.

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Release: August 28th, 1951

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:42:09 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:49)

DVD Release Date: May 4th, 2004

Snapper Case
Chapters: 27




This is an excellent image - bright, detailed, and beautiful colors. Only single-layered but minor digital noise and dirt - mostly a very clean print. The stock war footage looks obvious but I suppose this is how the film as shown theatrically. The transfer is impressive. Subtitles are well-done and the one channel audio is consistent. No extras save a trailer but the price is right. I doubt this will be re-issued in an upgrade unless some supplements are included. Great war film if you are in the mood.

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC


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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,


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