Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo’s Netflix queue has been running on a John Wayne theme this week, so if you’re a snowflake or soiboi triggered by toxic masculinity, I highly advise that you DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS POST.

The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) – The Duke as Marine Sergeant Stryker, hammering raw recruits into lean, mean, fighting machines.  Forty years later, his character would be written as a sadistic psychopath driving the innocent to insanity, but here his harsh methods pay off and help clear the Japs off Mt. Suribachi.  There’s really not much to the movie except that the actual WWII Pacific combat footage incorporated into it is pretty interesting.  Oh, and John Agar is one of the privates the Duke puts straight.  He married Shirley Temple.  All three of them are in Fort Apache, just about her last movie, and fortunately long past her tap-dancing cutesy-pie stage.  Which see:

The Fighting Seabees (1944) – The Duke as Wedge Donovan, construction company owner, who works with the Navy to forge his crew into a combat unit.  I will say honestly that I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with the Duke’s WWII movies, since he didn’t actually enlist in the service himself at the time because he didn’t want to disrupt his career.  (Compare this with Juh-Juh-Juh-Jimmy Stewart, who did put his career on hiatus and became a decorated combat bomber pilot.)  Again, there’s not that much to the film, although it does feature Susan Hayward, who looks rather like a grown up Shirley Temple.

The High and the Mighty (1954) – The grand-daddy of air disaster flicks. The Duke is an out-to-pasture co-pilot, who has to take command of a passenger flight from Hawaii to San Francisco after engine trouble develops and pilot Robert Stack flips out.  In the meanwhile, the various passengers’ stories are told.  It’s pure cheese, plus it’s so completely “50’s” in its sensibilities (everyone smokes, the stewardess bemoans her single life, comments which would constitute verbal sexual harassment these days are rampant), that the average SJW snowflake would run shrieking from the room after the first five minutes. I just smile.

I mention Robert Stack because he, of course, was also in Airplane! (1980), the movie that hy-lariously and effectively put the bullet in the back of the head of the air-disaster genre.  I got curious because several of the passengers in THATM looked somewhat familiar, but, alas, none of them (so far as I can tell) were also in Airplane!  I did discover that Carl Switzer, who played Alfalfa in the old “Our Gang” series, had a bit part.  And the third officer, William Campbell, was easily recognizable to fans of “Star Trek: TOS” as Trelane from “The Squire of Gothos”.

That’s Ol’ Robbo: Doing the nerd work so you don’t have to.  And don’t call me “Shirley”.