Aviation Film Almanac - Current Films to Classicsby statman1 | created - 17 May 2011 | updated - 7 months ago | Public
Complete List of Aviation Films - old, new; domestic & foreign. Films with significant aviation themes, not merely a scene or two aboard a plane.
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1. Flightplan (2005)
PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet, the child vanishes, and nobody will admit she was ever on the plane.
Votes: 136,729 | Gross: $89.71M
2. Flyboys (2006)
PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter pilots.
Votes: 37,935 | Gross: $13.08M
3. Flight (I) (2012)
R | 138 min | Drama, Thriller
An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.
Votes: 286,823 | Gross: $93.77M
4. Battle of Britain (1969)
G | 132 min | Action, Drama, History
In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the UK.
5. The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Approved | 135 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.
6. Hell's Angels (1930)
Passed | 127 min | Drama, War
Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.
7. Zero Hour! (1957)
Approved | 81 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
In 1950s Canada, during a commercial flight, the pilots and some passengers suffer food poisoning, thus forcing an ex-WW2 fighter pilot to try to land the airliner in heavy fog.
8. Airplane! (1980)
PG | 88 min | Comedy
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.
Votes: 178,893 | Gross: $83.40M
Airplane is based on the movie Zero Hour ('57). Not only same basic plot, but script as well in many places. Amazing as this is considered one of the best comedies of all time.
9. Red Tails (2012)
PG-13 | 125 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
Votes: 30,621 | Gross: $49.88M
11. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Not Rated | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.
12. Krylya (1966)
85 min | Drama
A fascinating and human portrayal of a once-famous fighter pilot and loyal Stalinist named Nadezhda Petrovna. Now a 41-year-old provincial schoolmistress, she has so internalized the ... See full summary »
13. The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)
PG | 107 min | Adventure, Drama
A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,638 | Gross: $20.64M
14. Amelia (2009)
PG | 111 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
A look at the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 in an attempt to make a flight around the world.
Votes: 10,828 | Gross: $14.24M
15. Red Eye (2005)
PG-13 | 85 min | Mystery, Thriller
A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician.
Votes: 100,882 | Gross: $57.89M
16. One Six Right (2005)
G | 73 min | Documentary
A documentary film that celebrates the unsung hero of aviation - the local airport - by tracing the life, history, and struggles of an airport icon: Southern California's Van Nuys Airport. ... See full summary »
17. Into the White (I) (2012)
R | 104 min | Action, Biography, Drama
Norway, WWII: A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in the wilderness after an aircraft battle. Finding shelter in the same cabin, they realize the only way to survive the winter is to place the rules of war aside.
Votes: 17,077 | Gross: $0.00M
PG | 95 min | Comedy, War
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
Votes: 386,692 | Gross: $0.28M
19. Top Gun (1986)
PG | 110 min | Action, Drama, Romance
As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
Votes: 243,296 | Gross: $179.80M
20. The Aviator (2004)
PG-13 | 170 min | Biography, Drama, History
A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.
Votes: 291,068 | Gross: $102.61M
22. United 93 (2006)
R | 111 min | Drama, History, Thriller
A real-time account of the events on United Flight 93, one of the planes hijacked on September 11th, 2001 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the terrorist plot.
Votes: 89,106 | Gross: $31.57M
25. Independence Day (1996)
PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.
Votes: 470,751 | Gross: $306.17M
29. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.
Votes: 47,576 | Gross: $23.65M
30. The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club (2009 Video)
Not Rated | 65 min | Documentary
A documentary profile of Pasadena society girl turned adventurer and aviator, Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes. In the 1920's and 30's, Barnes was Hollywood's top woman stunt pilot. In the ... See full summary »
32. I'm So Excited! (2013)
R | 90 min | Comedy
When it appears as though the end is in sight, the pilots, flight crew, and passengers of a plane heading to Mexico City look to forget the anguish of the moment and face the greatest danger, which we carry within ourselves.
Votes: 19,133 | Gross: $1.37M
34. Pearl Harbor (2001)
PG-13 | 183 min | Action, Drama, History
A tale of war and romance mixed in with history. The story follows two lifelong friends and a beautiful nurse who are caught up in the horror of an infamous Sunday morning in 1941.
Votes: 279,006 | Gross: $198.54M
35. Collision Course (2012)
90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Kate Parks has spent the past year on tour promoting her book, an in-depth look at the attempted cover up of her husband's death in a plane crash. Now all she wants is to return home to her... See full summary »
39. Flying Tigers (1942)
Approved | 102 min | Action, Drama, Romance
Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.
40. Island in the Sky (1953)
Approved | 109 min | Adventure, Drama
A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.
41. Up in the Air (I) (2009)
R | 109 min | Drama, Romance
Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest, and a new hire.
Votes: 288,164 | Gross: $83.82M
43. The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Not Rated | 142 min | Adventure, Drama
After a plane crash in the Sahara, one of the survivors says he's an airplane designer and they can make a flyable plane from the wreckage.
44. Fail-Safe (1964)
Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller
American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?
45. Pioneers in Aviation (2001 Video)
85 min | Documentary
Profiles two of America's legendary aerospace pioneers: William Boeing and Donald Douglas. Interweaving the stories of the two men and the companies they founded, "PIONEERS" features rare ... See full summary »
46. The Hunters (1958)
Approved | 108 min | Action, Drama, Romance
In 1952, during the Korean War, two American pilots become bitter enemies over the same woman but must shelf their personal feud when confronted by deadly Chinese MIG fighter jets in battle.
47. Die Hard 2 (1990)
R | 124 min | Action, Thriller
John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
Votes: 295,629 | Gross: $117.54M
48. The Blue Max (1966)
Approved | 156 min | Action, Drama, Romance
A young pilot in the German air force of 1918, disliked as lower-class and unchivalrous, tries ambitiously to earn the medal offered for 20 kills.
50. The High and the Mighty (1954)
Not Rated | 147 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.
51. Airport (1970)
G | 137 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.
Votes: 14,695 | Gross: $100.49M
54. The Final Countdown (1980)
PG | 103 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Votes: 17,851 | Gross: $16.65M
55. 633 Squadron (1964)
Approved | 102 min | War, Drama
An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway. The factory supplies fuel for the Nazi effort to launch rockets on England during D-Day.
56. Con Air (1997)
R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.
Votes: 244,212 | Gross: $101.12M
57. Adventures of the Flying Cadets (1943)
Approved | 242 min | Adventure
A group of flying cadets have to clear themselves of a murder charge, while trying to stop a traitorous scientist from selling secrets to the Nazis.
58. Air Force One (1997)
R | 124 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he - an ex-soldier - works from hiding to defeat them.
Votes: 159,206 | Gross: $172.96M
60. Black Hawk Down (2001)
R | 144 min | Drama, History, War
160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.
Votes: 321,395 | Gross: $108.64M
61. Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
PG | 85 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi
A faulty computer causes a passenger space shuttle to head straight for the Sun. Can Ted Striker save the day and get the shuttle back on track - again?
Votes: 41,979 | Gross: $27.15M
62. Hot Shots! (1991)
PG-13 | 84 min | Action, Comedy
A parody of Top Gun (1986) in which a talented but unstable fighter pilot must overcome the ghosts of his father and save a mission sabotaged by greedy weapons manufacturers.
Votes: 87,058 | Gross: $69.47M
63. Memphis Belle (1990)
PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Drama, War
In 1943, the crew of a B-17 based in UK prepares for its 25th and last bombing mission over Germany before returning home to the USA.
Votes: 24,295 | Gross: $27.44M
64. Lost Horizon (1937)
Approved | 97 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
A plane crash delivers a group of people to the secluded land of Shangri-La - but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be?
65. Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes (1965)
G | 138 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
Sabotage efforts damage an international air race.
Votes: 6,328 | Gross: $31.11M
66. Flight of the Intruder (1991)
PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
During the air war over Vietnam, a U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder bomber pilot schemes with a hardened veteran to make an unauthorized air strike on Hanoi.
Votes: 5,312 | Gross: $14.59M
67. The Magic of Flight (1996)
Not Rated | 40 min | Short, Documentary
The Magic of Flight places viewers in the cockpit of a Blue Angels jet aircraft so they can experience the thrill of high performance flight. Narrated by Tom Selleck, The Magic of Flight ... See full summary »
68. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
Passed | 138 min | Drama, History, War
In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.
69. Always (1989)
PG | 122 min | Fantasy, Romance
The spirit of a recently deceased expert pilot mentors a newer pilot while watching him fall in love with the girlfriend that he left behind.
Votes: 24,469 | Gross: $43.86M
70. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
G | 144 min | Action, Drama, History
In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.
Votes: 27,482 | Gross: $29.55M
71. Command Decision (1948)
Passed | 112 min | Action, Drama, War
Army generals struggle with the decision to prioritize bombing the German factories producing new jet fighters over the extremely high casualties the mission will cost.
73. The Dam Busters (1955)
Approved | 105 min | Drama, History, War
The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.
75. Torpedonostsy (1983)
96 min | Drama, War
In 1944,when British navy convoys try to supply the Soviets with war matériel under the lend-lease agreement,the Soviet naval aviation base in Murmansk is attacked by German bombers.
76. Low Heights (2002)
115 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A domestic Iranian flight is taken hostage by a man Ghasem who is a refugee of war and has financial problems. He will go any distance for his family and wants to find a better place for living.
77. 36 Hours (1964)
Approved | 115 min | Thriller, War
Germans kidnap an American major and try to convince him that World War II is over, so that they can get details about the Allied invasion of Europe out of him.
79. Air Force (1943)
Approved | 124 min | Action, Drama, History
The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.
80. A Bridge Too Far (1977)
PG | 175 min | Drama, History, War
Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
Votes: 44,349 | Gross: $50.80M
Dogfights (2005– )
TV-14 | 44 min | Documentary, History, War
The story and battles of a group of African American pilots who overcame racist opposition on their own side to become some of the finest fighter pilots of World War II.
82. The Tuskegee Airmen (1995 TV Movie)
PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, History, War
The true story of how a group of African American pilots overcame racist opposition to become one of the finest US fighter groups in World War II
83. By Dawn's Early Light (1990 TV Movie)
PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Thriller, Action
The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »
84. We Are Marshall (2006)
PG | 131 min | Drama, Sport
When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.
Votes: 51,141 | Gross: $43.55M
85. Wing and a Prayer (1944)
Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, War
In WW2, an American aircraft carrier sails around the Pacific on a decoy mission until it joins the battle of Midway against the Japanese forces.
86. In Harm's Way (1965)
Approved | 165 min | Drama, War
A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral, and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.
Votes: 6,868 | Gross: $4.20M
88. The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954)
Approved | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
Set during the Korean War, a Navy fighter pilot must come to terms with with his own ambivalence towards the war and the fear of having to bomb a set of highly defended bridges. The ending of this grim war drama is all tension.
91. Flat Top (1952)
Approved | 83 min | Drama, War
During the Korean War, aboard the U.S.S. Princeton, Navy Commander Dan Collier reminisces about his first assignment on the same aircraft carrier in the war against Japan.
93. Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
G | 175 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.
Votes: 20,455 | Gross: $42.00M
95. Final Destination (2000)
R | 98 min | Horror, Thriller
After a teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash, he prevents the accident only to have Death hunt them down, one by one.
Votes: 199,163 | Gross: $53.33M