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Thread: FAVORITE aviation movie of all time?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    Sorry Zack, IMO, Always was a chick flick masquerading as an aviation movie.
    And you know what they say about opinions... Chick flick or no, it's a great movie with a lot of great aviation going on. One that I like that not very many people seem to have seen is "Dark Blue World." It tells the story of Czech pilots flying in the RAF during WWII. Although technically not a movie, I have high hopes for the new Spielberg and Hanks HBO series being produced that is based on author Donald Miller's Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought The Air War Against Nazi Germany.
    Last edited by Zack Baughman; 10-23-2013 at 07:29 AM.

  2. #12
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack Baughman View Post
    Chick flick or no, it's a great movie with a lot of great aviation going on.
    And the "chick" is Holly Hunter, which makes that movie almost perfect...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zack Baughman View Post
    One that I like that not very many people seem to have seen is "Dark Blue World." It tells the story of Czech pilots flying in the RAF during WWII.
    Amen to that!

    Consider this my "second" for "The Rocketeer" and "Strategic Air Command" as previously mentioned as well. "Battle of Britain" is one of my all-time favorites, and, of course, "The Great Waldo Pepper", "Wings", "The Dambusters", "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "Reach for the Sky" are all right up there.

    John Wayne as "Spig" Wead in "Wings of Eagles" is fantastic, and I'll always love the flying scenes in "Air America." For my north-of-the-border friend Floatsflyer, I have to mention "For the Moment" (1993), which is not only a "chick flick", it's thoroughly Canadian! Not an especially spectacular movie but a decent look at life in the BCATP during WWII. The same goes for "Captains of the Clouds" (1942), except the words "chick flick" and "Jimmy Cagney" don't really go together...

    1942's "Thunder Birds" is very good, and the B-17 scenes shot for "The War Lover" will absolutely blow your mind. The movie that's known as "the French Top Gun", "Le Chavaliers du Ciel", has some of the most amazing aerial cinematography I've ever seen - Mirage IVs and AlphaJets aren't normally what I'm looking for in an aviation film, but this footage is absolutely stunning. Odds are you've seen clips on YouTube without necessarily knowing where they came from.

    Others that come to mind are "The Blue Max", 1935's "Ladies Crave Excitement" (this one caused my wife to raise an eyebrow when it was added to the collection) which includes footage of Johnny Miller looping a Pitcairn autogiro, and "The McConnell Story", even though I (spoiler alert!) get sad at the end. "The Hunters" is a fun Korean War-era film with Robert Mitchum at his gruff best, and "Only Angels Have Wings" is also a longtime favorite.

    With respect to television, the newly remastered "Steve Canyon" TV-series is an absolute must for anyone with even a passing interest in the USAF during the cold war, and the BBC's miniseries adaptation of "Piece of Cake" gets my highest recommendation. If you've seen a clip on the web of a Spitfire flying under a bridge, that's from "Piece of Cake." I've also been having fun lately with episodes of "Whirly Birds" and "Ripcords." Finally, if, like me, you have a soft spot for bad 80's television, the short-lived "Blue Thunder" TV series is full of bad acting, terrible writing, and great flying.

    As far as documentaries go, Paul Glenshaw's "Barnstorming", starring our own Andrew King, is one of my absolute favorites, along with Russ Munson's "Flying Route 66." (Full disclosure: Paul, Andrew and Russ are friends of mine.)

    It's all-but-impossible to find (my copy was an Emmy screener I found on eBay), but if you get the chance to watch "Carnauba: a Son's Memoir", you'll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful flying scenes ever filmed. The same can be said for "Winged Migration", though the subjects there are birds, not airplanes, so it may not count. "The Great Circle Air Safari" deserves a mention - great footage of a trip around Australia in vintage biplanes.

    Sigh - I could go on and on. In fact, I just did...

    Hal Bryan
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zack Baughman View Post
    Chick flick or no, it's a great movie with a lot of great aviation going on. .
    "Always" was a remake of "A Guy Named Joe", with Spencer Tracey, a much, much better film.

  4. #14
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    "Always" was a remake of "A Guy Named Joe", with Spencer Tracey, a much, much better film.
    Fair point - the original is excellent.

    Hal Bryan
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  5. #15
    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    Really now. Among propellor heads, I think we'd watch *any* pic with planes in it!!

    Carl Orton
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  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bryan View Post
    "Battle of Britain" is one of my all-time favorites, and, of course, "The Great Waldo Pepper", "Wings", "The Dambusters", "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "Reach for the Sky" are all right up there. For my north-of-the-border friend Floatsflyer, I have to mention "For the Moment" (1993), which is not only a "chick flick", it's thoroughly Canadian! Not an especially spectacular movie but a decent look at life in the BCATP during WWII. The same goes for "Captains of the Clouds" (1942), except the words "chick flick" and "Jimmy Cagney" don't really go together...
    All excellent choices and don't forget "Hell's Angels", the best of the bunch. When I first heard about "Tora!Tora!Tora!" coming out back in the 70's, I thought it was about someone's Bar Mitzvah. I'm really impressed with yor knowledge of Cancon films. "For the Moment" shot and produced in Manitoba, was the first feature film about the BCATP program. It was real short on flying scenes because of it's low budget and it's only memorable because it starred the as yet unknown Russel Crowe in one of his first films as an Australian student pilot training in Canada.

    "Captains of the Clouds" is one of my all time favorites because of that great cast, the story of Canadian bush pilots, superb flying scenes and those fabulous floatplanes--Norseman, Bellanca, Fokker Universal, etc. And of course, the excitement of seeing the real Billy Bishop in the movie shot at Uplands AFB, now Ottawa International.

    Here's another Cancon title for you- The Arrow, a very good 1997 television miniseries(also shot in Manitoba) about the incredible true story(to a certain extent) of the 1950's development and demise of the world's most advanced(even by todays standards) fighter interceptor, the Avro Arrow. Starring my old friend Dan Ackroyd(thats another true story for another time) as the president of Avro Canada. I always loved the tagline on the one sheet- the poster("The right stuff...the wrong time") The greatest irony of the Arrow program was that upon cancellation in 1959, so many talented Canadian aeronautical engineers and others were scooped up by NASA where they would work on the Apollo program and the Shuttle.

    Full disclosure--I was involved in The Arrow, even have a credit in the end credits.
    Last edited by Hal Bryan; 10-23-2013 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Fixed broken quote.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bryan View Post
    1935's "Ladies Crave Excitement" (this one caused my wife to raise an eyebrow when it was added to the collection) which includes footage of Johnny Miller looping a Pitcairn autogiro
    Now how do I look this one up while at work without setting off the IT alarms? I'm afraid to even Google "Ladies Crave Excitement"!

  8. #18
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    Here's another Cancon title for you- The Arrow, a very good 1997 television miniseries(also shot in Manitoba) about the incredible true story(to a certain extent) of the 1950's development and demise of the world's most advanced(even by todays standards) fighter interceptor, the Avro Arrow. Starring my old friend Dan Ackroyd(thats another true story for another time) as the president of Avro Canada. I always loved the tagline on the one sheet- the poster("The right stuff...the wrong time") The greatest irony of the Arrow program was that upon cancellation in 1959, so many talented Canadian aeronautical engineers and others were scooped up by NASA where they would work on the Apollo program and the Shuttle.

    Full disclosure--I was involved in The Arrow, even have a credit in the end credits.
    I saw this on TV when I was in Canada on one of many visits - I really enjoyed it! You just reminded me that, somehow, I don't own it - off to Amazon! I was at the rollout of the full-scale Arrow mockup at Downsview as well - such a shame about the fate of that museum!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zack Baughman View Post
    Now how do I look this one up while at work without setting off the IT alarms? I'm afraid to even Google "Ladies Crave Excitement"!
    Fortune favors the bold, my friend...!

    Hal Bryan
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    Senior Editor
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  9. #19

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    I like: 633 Squadron, Battle of Brittain, Fighter Squadron, A piece of cake, The Blue Max, and one that I saw long ago: "Captains of the Clouds." My favorite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captains_of_the_Clouds

    Shot in Ontario in 1942 in Technicolor by Paul Mantz from a Ford Trimotor.

    Plot: James Cagney is a bush pilot (Norseman) turned flight instructor. Ferries a Hudson to the UK. Billy Bishop has a cameo. Highly recomended

  10. #20
    Ryan Dembroski's Avatar
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    It might be cliché, but I'm kind of amazed that we've gotten all the way to the second page of this thread without anyone saying "Top Gun".

    I mean.... TOP GUN. It's got something for everyone - Jets, Motorcycles, Explosions, Babes, Topless Male Pilot Volleyball Matches, Romance, Tragedy, Spilled Coffee, a Musical Number, and More Explosions!

    As a child of the 80s it had a HUGE impact on my interest in aviation AND it has all of the best one-liners....

    Other favorites: Memphis Belle and Flight of the Intruder

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