View Full Version : Flying Leathernecks on TV in Aussie

25th Jan 2010, 02:11
there's a John Wayne series here in Saturday nights and they had FL on last Sat night.

I'd always heard that it was a cheesy movie, but I have to say i was really quite surprised by the footage and the script.

Whilst the F6Fs were obviously old and weary, they were authentic and so was the ground attack footage.

The old T6s masquerading as Zeros are something one is used to in early aviation films, and the repainted F6F cockpit used for the Japanese close ups was more amusing than frustrating!

Some of the F6Fs had only one gun in each wing, some had hastily painted out side numbers half visible through a rough smear of black paint. I felt this added to the aura of the film. The effort to get these old hacks in shape for a movie role. Some had rocket racks under the wings, some didn't, but who cares.

The air to air photography was great and the opening sequence was spectacular, F6Fs silhouetted against the tropical sunset.

The F4U4s late in the film were impressive too.

For a 1950's WWII drama, FL was a lot better than some aviation movies from the time.

Waynes Hard @ss commander was in keeping with Gregory Peck in 12 O'Clock high.

The only major fault I could see (that bugged me) was when the pilots were transmitting on their radios. Holding a handpiece in flight with one's right hand was probably more to do with where the camera was positioned in the cockpit close ups than historical accuracy would require.

Overall, and impressive and compelling film, much different than I had been led to believe and worth a watch.

ok, thats up to 10 cents now, I'll just get me coat...

25th Jan 2010, 06:12
G'day mate! Big plans tomorrow for Australia Day? :)

there's a John Wayne series here in Saturday nightsIs that commercial or pay TV? Do you have times and channel if commercial? (I don't have pay).

Speaking of John Wayne and aviation movies, here's another good flick to keep an eye out for...

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/816/38958234.jpg (http://img29.imageshack.us/i/38958234.jpg/)

I'm no aeronautical engineer but there's a scene where chunks of ice break off the the DC-3's props and smash into the fuselage cockpit area. Fact or Hollywood fiction? I thought something rotating as fast as a prop wouldn't allow water to collect and ice to form?

25th Jan 2010, 08:46
"I thought something rotating as fast as a prop wouldn't allow water to collect and ice to form?"

Ice will form and will break off and hit the fusalage just behind the cockpit with a most frightening din!:ooh:

Good movie that - the book is even better - covered in "Fate is the Hunter" as well.

Actually a number of years ago - late 80's I believe Air Classics mag. did a story about this event.

I believe it was called "Rescue at Lake O'Connor" - never did find a copy of it.

Anybody have one?

25th Jan 2010, 08:58
Noyade, see


25th Jan 2010, 09:16
Well there you go! Fact. Thanks for the info and thread. Cheers.

25th Jan 2010, 15:52
The other fault was when a Hellcat pilot made a mess of his landing, and collapsed a main undercarriage leg. [Genuine film, I suspect.] On rescuing the hero from the cockpit, the non-authentic film showed the opposite leg undercarriage leg as having gone. I pointed it out to my wife, who returned my remark with a singularly blank stare............:)

25th Jan 2010, 22:37
i watched it too. there was a scene where (fake) zeros attacked the airbase and destroyed several hellcats on the ground. when they were putting out the fires it looked to me like they'd used real hellcats for the scene and had deliberately wrecked them. also there was a PBY catalina wrecked in a similar fashion. i'm guessing at the time this thing was made there were probably heaps of the things in storage or rotting in the desert, but i still couldn't help thinking it was a terrible waste.

and lord oh lord, you forget what a terrible actor marion was.

26th Jan 2010, 06:04
yes, he was somewhat wooden!

but what a fascinating time capsule of a film!

noyade, SBS after Iron Chef, as I recall.

26th Jan 2010, 06:50
We did not get TV until I was about 16 (1960-ish), and already committed to an RAF career. First Sunday afternoon movie after we got the TV was Flying Leathernecks. I was always convinced it was in black and white until it turned up on one of the Movies for Men channels on the Sky box. I
Now it is on there about once a fortnight (Chan 325/326/etc).

26th Jan 2010, 06:50
Definitely not one of his finer movies. It looks like the salvagers ran out of Wildcats, which is what he should have been flying at that point of the war.

Very few Hellcats made it into Marine hands and the majority of them were night fighter mods.

Still, well worth a watch I think.

PS - Wander, I think it was 'colourized'