Favorite airplane movie?

Roamy here. Tonight, I’m watching No Highway in the Sky with Jimmy Stewart (an absent-minded materials engineer, hmmm) and Marlene Dietrich.  I thought a post on polling our readers on their favorite serious (or at least semi-serious) airplane movie might be interesting.  XBradTC wrote a previous post on his Top Ten war movies, but here I’m focused more on the planes and less on war.  Some you might consider:

The First of the Few

Twelve O’Clock High

XBradTC would be hurt if I left out Strategic Air Command.

Flying Tigers

Another John Wayne movie, Flying Leathernecks

The Aviator?  IMHO, too much emphasis on Hughes’ madness and not enough on his achievements.  I’d rather watch Hughes’ movie,  Hell’s Angels for the aerial combat scenes.

Dawn Patrol

The original 1944 documentary on The Memphis Belle

Command Decision, which I have to admit I have not seen, but it was mentioned on the Top Ten war movie thread.  Another one I haven’t seen yet – Wings

I’m absolutely certain I’ve left out some good movies out.  I’ll close with a quote about one of my favorite airplanes from http://www.skygod.com/quotes/ 

I came to admire this machine which could lift virtually any load strapped to its back and carry it anywhere in any weather, safely and dependably. The C-47 groaned, it protested, it rattled, it leaked oil, it ran hot, it ran cold, it ran rough, it staggered along on hot days and scared you half to death, its wings flexed and twisted in a horrifying manner, it sank back to earth with a great sigh of relief – but it flew and it flew and it flew— Len Morgan. The C-47 was the U.S. military designation for the DC-3.

Oh, and maybe some old school Load HEAT for you.

8 thoughts on “Favorite airplane movie?”

  1. I’ll go with 12 o’clock High: that searing couple of minutes where General Savage (Gregory Peck) reads the Riot Act to Gary Merrill’s derelict 2nd-I-C (I forget the actor) is the best “acting” I’ve ever seen, esp. by the guy who’s name I can’t remember. Amazing, like being there. Bridges at Toko-Ri (Bill Holden as Korean War carrier-based fighter-bomber pilot) also has some vital moments…and Grace Kelly doesn’t hurt. Command Decision is a decent HQ drama, nothing aloft though.

  2. Have to second the Bridges at To Ko Ri, as well as the others mentioned, but have to throw in Battle of Britain and The Dam Busters.

  3. My personal choice would be “12 O’Clock High”. There is one strange thing about that whole movie, the whole movie is based on the memories of one man, the character played by Dean Jagger. But, whatever your choice, I hope you enjoy the movie.

  4. Twelve O’Clock High
    Battle of Britan
    The Hunters: A movie starring Robert Mitchum and Robert Wagner the plot is pretty awful, but there are some gloriouots of F-86s that make up for it.
    High Road to China: with Tom Seleck revolves around flying some WWI biplaces around Asia…alas not on DVD in these parts which is a real crime.
    The Great Waldo Pepper: barnsorming pic with Robet Redford.
    Gathering of Eagles: Rock Hudson is the commander of a B-52 bomb wing during the cold war…great B-52 scenes.
    Toward the Unknown: William Holden as a test pilot at Edwards in the 50’s. Cool shots of 50’s test projects at Edwards AFB. Written by one of the writers who did Twelve O’Clock High.

  5. I like “Dr Strangelove.” While not an airplane movie, per se, it is hard to top shots of B52s that throw B17-like shadows on the ground. And, once seen, who can forget watching Slim Pickens ride a nuclear bomb all the way in, while waging “nuclear combat, toe to toe with the Rooskies”?

  6. RE; Firebirds, if you said the name of that movie out loud in every AH-64 unit I’ve been assigned to since that movie came out, you owed everyone drinks.

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