Sands of Iwo Jima: Recommended.
I sat down to watch this classic war movie during Memorial Day weekend in 2021 and it’s kind of odd that I hadn’t seen this movie yet.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie and it was well worth the time.
I recommend that you check out this World War II war movie, both as a story driven movie and as a well done war movie.
This movie was released in 1950 and ergo was shot shortly after World War II concluded. And while I tend to avoid most movies shot in Black and White I’ll forgive the producers of “Sands of Iwo Jima” because in addition to the film footage of the actors being their characters, this movie also injects a lot of found footage shot during World War II that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
For technical reasons, most movie archivist film was shot in Black and White film. It’s more tolerant to mistakes made by the cameraman and a lot less expensive to produce (both before exposure and during development). Ergo most World War II footage you’ll find is in Black and White.
So to blend the found footage with the produced sections of the film, this whole movie is in Black and White. The way they blend the story with the war footage makes this visual sacrifice well worth it in telling this story.
There is no basic training montage! Most war movies have to add a stupid basic training montage because the battles that the screenplay writers are dealing with don’t fill enough time to make an interesting full feature movie.
Not so with “Sands of Iwo Jima!”. As an aside we quickly learn that the Marine unit that we are following just came out of the Guadalcanal Campaign and the story tellers just dropped that battle altogether.
But don’t let me fool you. The movie does have training montages. They’re short and concise and help develop the characters. They work for this story.
As for verisimilitude there are two things that work well in this film.
They do a good job of conveying that the most difficult task of a soldier (and Marines too) is the fight against boredom. But they don’t make that portrayal tedious nor boring. (Kudos)!
The military equipment is real! No CGI garbage here! That Sheridan tank is a REAL Sheridan tank! That Crocodile Flame throwing tank is a REAL Crocodile tank shooting REAL flames!
If you’re looking for a real depiction of what World War II equipment looked and acted like, this is a movie that you must see!
“Sands of Iwo Jima!”. is also a cool glimpse at the culture of the USA back in the 1940’s – 1950’s. SPOILER WARNINGS!: Grandma and Grandpa were both Bad-asses and Messed up! They didn’t live in a “kind and gentle” world but they (mostly) stepped up to the plate and pulled off and overcame some tough challenges. Kids, I can’t recommend the obvious animosity that most of these characters lived with, but there is a toughness and courage that you should give serious consideration to.
There is a love story shoehorned into this movie too. If you take a glance at the love stories that were borne out of World War II, this story isn’t atypical of the experiences of the couples that formed during World War II. The love story in “Sands of Iwo Jima!” compliments the character development of one of the key characters and acts as a bonding agent for the unit. It also springboards the story so that we can also delve into the relationships with loved ones that the other soldiers have. Most war movies touch on this topic and “Sands of Iwo Jima!” handles this topic well.
In conclusion, I recommend you check out this movie. As a movie that was made in the late 1940’s this movie stands up very well and passes the test of time.
You should be able to enjoy Sands of Iwo Jima on Amazon Prime!