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Thread: Best Aviation Films of All Time (?)

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    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Best Aviation Films of All Time (?)

    National Air & Space Museum curator Dom Pisano put together a list of his top ten American aviation films for NASM's "AirSpace" blog published today. Take a look at the list here: http://blog.nasm.si.edu/2012/03/28/t...yncratic-list/

    Notwithstanding his qualifications that the films be American, what are your "top ten" aviation/aerospace films?

    While it's very hard for me to nail down just ten, here are some of mine, in no particular order:

    - The Great Waldo Pepper
    - Porco Rosso (animated is allowed for this thread)
    - The Battle of Britain
    - Dark Blue World
    - Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines
    - Twelve O'Clock High
    - Fate is the Hunter
    - The Hunters
    - The Rocketeer
    - Catch 22
    - The Right Stuff
    - Apollo 13

    Okay, so a few more than ten...

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    Here's a few more, not necessarily my top choices but good movies:

    "The High and Mighty" Ernie Gann wrote the book and was the tech advisor for the film that starred "John Wayne"!
    "The Blue Max" Fun WWI era.
    "The Bridges at Toko Re" Korean War story.
    "Top Gun" Tom Cruise Jet Jock
    My all time favorite "The Spirt of St. Louis" with Jimmy Stewart.
    The "Flight of the Phoenix" the one staring Jimmy Stewart once again.
    "Memphis Belle" the original was the best, the Hollywood re-make was pretty entertaining as well.

    In sure more will come to mind as others post.

    Joe

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    "Waldo Pepper" has gotta be on the top of many pilot's lists. "Wings" is another one of the greats (I saw that one in a semi private showing in the mid 1970s by a guy who claimed to have what was then the only existing copy). I saw "The Right Stuff" just recently for the first time and I was underwhelmed... the flying scenes were unrealistic and it dragged way too long. I had high hopes for "Flyboys" but the bad CGI animation was thoroughly disappointing. I'm still wanting to see "Hell's Angels" and "Dawn Patrol", two more of the classic 1930s epics, as well as the very rare film adaptation of Richard Bach's "Nothing by Chance".

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    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    There's just something about The Right Stuff that I like, although I agree it is a bit long in the tooth. I do think it captures that period of flight test pretty well, and I LOVE this scene:


    I know that the movie Memphis Belle gets panned by aviation buffs, but I still really enjoy it. I realize that all of that "stuff" didn't actually happen on the last mission of the Belle, but quite a bit of those types of events DID happen over the course of 25 missions. So what other aviation and/or space related films stand out for you folks?

    Zack

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    You've gotta include "Always".

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    Good list Zack. Here are two more;
    "633 Squadron" Cliff Robinson and Mosquitos.

    "Fighter Squadron" - 8th AF - filmed with Hiawian ANG P-47s - Featured Robert Stack, call sign
    "Haystack". I regret that I cannot find a vid anywhere.

    Bob

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    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    You've gotta include "Always".
    I can't believe I left it off my list! One of THE best! Although aviation only plays a relatively small part in it, another Spielberg favorite of mine is Empire of the Sun.

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    "The Aviator", "Midway", and "I Bombed Pearl Harbour", a very insightful,accurately told Japanese film told from the Japanese pov.

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    Here's a suggestion of a different sort. Not a movie, but a documentary television series called "Air Power," from the mid-fifties. It was narrated by Walter Cronkite and apparently was CBS's answer to NBC's excellent "Victory at Sea."

    There's a poor DVD version available that is so hacked up, so heavily edited, that it's not half as good as the original. Delightful scenes of early aviation are condensed into seconds, and even the dramatic music by Norman Dello Joio is hacked to pieces. If you can get hold of an original version, it's great to watch. Sure would be wonderful if the EAA store somehow could make a full original version available for sale.

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    "Waldo Pepper" has gotta be on the top of many pilot's lists.
    I had never even heard of it before this thread.

    "The Dambusters" has to be one of my favorites. I happen to really love the primary piece of music in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=871PPh5W6vI It's one of my favorite pieces to play on the violin.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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