John Wayne and Robert Montgomery star in and John Ford directs a resolute tale of World War II courage: They Were Expendable. The two stars portray PT-boat skippers who defend the Philippines and give the U.S. war effort time to regroup after the crippling losses at Pearl Harbor. Wayne takes to the skies with the Flying Leathernecks, leading embattled Marine fighter squadron VMF 247 at Guadalcanal and also campaigning to coordinate ground combat with low-flying aerial sorties. Nicholas Ray directs, mixing in actual battlefield and dogfight footage. Robert Ryan co-stars.