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Sands of Iwo Jima (Color Version) [VHS]

174 customer reviews

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Sands of Iwo Jima (Color Version) [VHS] + Fighting Seabees [VHS] + Flying Tigers (John Wayne Collection Edition) [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker, Wally Cassell
  • Directors: Allan Dwan
  • Writers: Harry Brown, James Edward Grant
  • Producers: Edmund Grainger
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • VHS Release Date: March 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300988473
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,617 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The legendary gung-ho WWII combat film, stars John Wayne as the battle-hardened Sgt. Stryker, a role that would, perhaps more than any other, come to define the actor's iconography. As he begins to hammer an ethnically diverse group of recruits into combat-ready shape, they learn of his notorious toughness, and of the mystery surrounding his demotion. Stryker finds that Pete Conway (John Agar) the son of his late commanding officer, hated his father and hates Stryker for his likeness to the man. After Stryker and his unit have been fighting on Tarawa Atoll, Cpl. Al Thomas (Forrest Tucker) neglects his post, resulting in the death of one man and the wounding of another. While the squad listens to the moans of Bass (James Brown) the wounded man, Stryker, following orders to entrench, refuses to let anyone help him. Bass is rescued, and when he sees Stryker in Hawaii, tells him about Thomas' screw-up. Stryker and Thomas get into a fight which is stopped by a major, but Thomas accepts the blame, knowing Stryker's career could be destroyed, and begs his forgiveness for his dereliction of duty. The unit is ready to move on to its toughest challenge: Iwo Jima. Like nearly all films made during the period, it's hardly a paradigm of realism, but within its limits it remains a very well-made film, certainly one of Dwan's best. Wayne is perfect in the role which earned him his first Academy Award nomination and took his career to a new level.

Amazon.com

John Wayne's old studio home, Republic, made this 1949 drama about the heroic capture of an important island in the Pacific by marines in World War II. Director Allan Dwan (Brewster's Millions), a pioneering filmmaker from the silent days of cinema who easily crossed over into sound, handles the action sequences like a consummate pro, while Wayne works hard as the tough sergeant molding new recruits into fighters. John Agar plays a contentious surrogate son to Wayne, though the relationship is hardly the stuff of Red River. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"The Sands of Iwo Jima" is arguably one of the greatest recruiting tools the US Marine Corps has ever had, and the image of John Wayne as tough as nails Sergeant John M. Stryker can still be seen throughout the fleet. Yet Sergeant Stryker is a flawed man: a lousy husband, a negligent father, and a near alcoholic who has already been busted in rank. His men hate him, and he doesn't care. His fate is nothing heroic. Sergeant Stryker is certainly a brave man, an able squad leader, and fine Marine, but he is not portrayed as John Rambo. John Wayne turns what could have been a cartoon character into something human and understandable.
The movie has its flaws: weak supporting characters and a pointless romance. Yet, in its day, its battle scenes were praised for their realism. Despite the bashing John Wayne received recently for his WWII films glorifying war, "The Sands of Iwo Jima is still one of the finest war movies ever made. Yes, there is blatant flag-waving, but how can you have a movie about Iwo Jima without the raising of the flag on Suribachi? Not only does this movie recreate that epic moment, but actually got the three surviving men, who did the real flag rising, to recreate it for the movie.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John A. Kuczma on January 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
It is difficult to decide if the Duke is at his best in westerns or war pictures, but the Sands of Iwo Jima is Wayne at his hard-hitting, flag waving best.
The story follows U.S. Marine Corps sergeant John Stryker from a stint as a boot-pusher through the brutal battle on the slopes of Mount Suribachi. The troops include everything you'd expect in a World War II movie; the smart-mouthed, know-it-all rich kid; a street-wise hispanic kid from a tough neighborhood; a pleasure-loving goof off and just about every other stereotype of the American fighting man you can dream up. Of course, the Duke is there to guide them with just the right combination of verbal wisdom and right-crosses. There's even a healthy serving of sentimentality to round out the tour of cliches.
Nonetheless, the Sands of Iwo Jima rises above its predictability to be a solidly entertaining action film and a rousing tribute to the tenacity, sense of self-sacrifice and fighting spirit of the Marine Corps. Despite its rampant and obvious emotionalism, you can't help but feel a lump in your throat as The Shores of Tripoli is played to segue from the final scenes into the closing credits.
Like most Wayne pictures, the emphasis here is on the action, and the movie provides plenty of it, mixing actual combat footage, stock film and original cinematography into a tightly knit, effective product.
This may not be the best picture John Wayne ever made, but it's way up the list. Highly recommended for anyone who loves action films, Mom, the Flag and Apple Pie, or the Duke himself.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 10, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
"Sands of Iwo Jima" was the first movie I ever saw in which John Wayne played a character who actually died, which was certainly one of the more shocking deaths I can remember ever seeing in a film. Wayne plays Sgt. John Marion Stryker and since Wayne's real name was Marion Michael Morrison there seems to be an additional level of identification between actor and character here, while the power of the name "Stryker" is obvious. Stryker seems a bully to the green recruits he is training to be U.S. Marines in 1943. When the men of the rifle squad learn that Stryker's wife had taken their son and left him they think they know the reason why the man who was once the epitome of the tough Marine has become such a martinet.

Of course when Stryker and his men hit the beach at Tarawa and are fighting for their lives against the Japanese troops defending the island, they understand that his hard lessons are the difference being life and death in combat. Then comes the last hard nut to crack of the islands occupied by the Japanese, the volcanic island of Iwo Jima. As the officer briefing the troops says, "nobody knows exactly what they've got on this island, but they've had forty years to put it there." Director Allan Dwan takes advantage of actual combat footage from the documentaries "With the Marines at Tarawa" and "To the Shores of Iwo Jima" to provide an added dimension of realism to the battle sequences. The reenactment of the flag raising on Iwo Jima involved Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and John Bradley, the only three Marines in the celebrated photograph who survived the battle.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Hoerth on June 18, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
No one ever gave a performance in the 1940's about men at war like John Wayne! Sands Of Iwo Jima was the first film to give full credit to the Marines. By the time 1949 had come around (when this film was released) every branch had several films made about there own. Only the Marines had a few before, and they were far and few between each other. The film starts out as Cpl.Dunne (Arthur Franz) who is our narrator, informs us about his rifle squad. His squad saw action on Guadalcanal and from there on were battle harden Marines. Only himself Pfc. Bass (James Brown) and tough as nails Sgt. Stryker (John Wayne) survived to fight another day. When the squad is sent to New Zealand to recieve even more training. The new replacements just from the states arrive. Cpl. Thomas (Forrest Tucker), who already knows Stryker and hates him. The Flynn brothers from the city of Brotherly Love, who fight all the time (Richard Jaeckel and William Murphy.) and Pfc. Conway (John Agar) who's father fought on the "Canal" with Sgt. Stryker, he is only there because of "tradition." But the person that helps shape the film as a supporting actor is Pfc. Benny Regazzi (Wally Cassell) who gives a better than note worthy performance. Regazzi always carries a flag tucked into his shirt to raise over the island once it has been secured, but is always too late. The new formed squad heads to Tarawa, this is where the new state side men get there taste of combat. They go up against Japanese Marines, thats the best they got. From the begining Stryker and Conway go at it all the time. Conway who hated his father for more than one reason, finds another reason to hate Stryker because of his admiration for Conways late father.Read more ›
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the sands of iwa jima in color
Do you have it in dvd color? Doesn't make sense some titles in VHS color, but not in DVD.
Apr 26, 2015 by Imre Demech |  See all 2 posts
Aldo Rey WWII movie -- please help!
Try IMDB.Com
Aldo Ray (not rey)
Dec 23, 2007 by J |  See all 4 posts
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