Sands of Iwo Jima

  • PG
  • Allan Dwan (1949)
  • US
  • 105 min
Sands of Iwo Jima
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

In this well-made re-enactment of one of the most significant conflicts of the war in the Pacific, John Wayne leads his marines to hell and back and they love him for it, every bloodsoaked, heroic foot of the way. It was made on the cheap, often shows its age and is particularly anti-Japanese in its sensibilities. But it's still eminently watchable - propaganda aside - and the Duke nabbed his first Oscar nomination to boot. Apparently, Kirk Douglas was in line for the role of Sergeant Stryker, but, according to the film's producer, Wayne wanted the role so badly "he could taste it." If you believe Wayne's son, though, the Duke worried about the script and only relented when war veterans lobbied him to play the part.

Plot Summary

A tough, embittered US marine sergeant sets out to mould a group of raw recruits into men fit for action against the Japanese in the Pacific during the Second World War. Although his training methods are often brutal, his controversial approach looks set to pay dividends when they finally see real combat. Adventure, starring John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara and Forrest Tucker.

Cast and crew


Sergeant Stryker
John Wayne
Private Peter Conway
John Agar
Corporal Al Thomas
Forrest Tucker
Allison Bromley
Adele Mara
Private Benny Ragazzi
Wally Cassell
Private Charlie Bass
James Brown (1)
Private Shipley
Richard Webb
Private Frank Flynn
Richard Jaeckel


Allan Dwan

Other Information

Black and White
Available on video and DVD
Certificate PG