Six classic war films starring John Wayne. In 'Sands of Iwo Jima' (1949), set during World War Two, hard-bitten sergeant John M. Stryker (Wayne) earns the enmity of the recruits he trains for action in the Pacific. New recruit Peter Conway's (John Agar) dislike for his commander turns to respect, however, when the latter saves him from a grenade. The squad are forced to show their mettle when they are sent into Iwo Jima to take Mount Suribachi whilst under constant fire from the Japanese. In 'The Fighting Seabees' (1944), tough construction foreman Wedge Donovan (Wayne) is posted to the South Pacific in 1942 to repair installations close to the Japanese lines. The bullheaded Wedge helps set up a Construction Batallion (or 'Seabee'), but discovers the need for military instruction when his men come under fire. Meanwhile, he finds romance with his commander's daughter - reporter Constance Chesley (Susan Hayward). In the American propaganda movie 'Flying Tigers' (1942), made soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and featuring many Japanese warplanes being blown out of the sky, squadron Leader Gordon (Wayne) commands the US Flying Tigers squad against Japan's fleet of bombers. However, resentment grows amongst his team when one pilot's glory-seeking efforts place the mission at risk. In 'Back to Bataan' (1945), Wayne plays Colonel Joseph Madden, who helps liberate the Japanese prison camp Cabanatuan on the island of Bataan, only to remain there in order to organise a guerilla movement against the enemy. Freedom fighters led by Captain Anders (Anthony Quinn) help the Americans in their war against the Japanese. 'Jet Pilot' (1957) is set at the height of the Cold War, when relations between the United States of America and the Soviet Union are frosty to say the least. However, ace American pilot Colonel Shannon (Wayne) finds himself thawing a little when he meets Anna, a beautiful young woman from the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. Shannon attempts to curb his desires for the sake of national security, but a cross-cultural romance between the pair soon ensues. Finally, in 'The Flying Leathernecks' (1951), tough disciplinarian Major Dan Kirby (Wayne) is put in charge of a marine fighter squadron in the South Pacific - but he proves to be unpopular with the men, who were expecting the more popular Captain Carl Griffin (Robert Ryan) to be promoted. Discovering a shortage of planes and pilots, Kirby nonetheless manages to whip his reluctant men into fighting shape. Renowned auteur Nicholas Ray directs.
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