"The Battle in the Clouds" (a.k.a. "Airship Destroyer") is a really amazing film to watch. After all, even though its special effects are incredibly crude by today's standards, it was exciting stuff back in 1909 and must have really wowed audiences. In addition, much of what you see was sci-fi for the time but would be used just a few years later in WWI! Historically speaking, this is an incredible film.
During the course of the film you have no idea what the nationalities are of either side and I assume this is to increase the distribution of the film. No use offending anyone. Ironically, the version of this French film I saw bore a German title! It begins with some folks launching a blimp. It's not a Zeppelin sort of thing but looks more like a pointed sausage suspending a platform. There is no way this small balloon would provide enough lift for the guys but that's part of the charm. In fact, you see lots of blimps bouncing about--all little sausage-like things. But the main one is bad, as the crew start raining down bombs on the poor people below. Here is where it gets really creepy. Some inventors down below bring out their hardware to try to knock down the blimp--including a crude tank-like armored car, an airplane and a propeller-driven guided missile!! It's really amazing stuff and rather exciting for the day.
If you see this film and don't know that this sort of stuff predates the use of such equipment in war and you don't know how crude special effects were back in the day, then you probably won't be that impressed. However, as a retired history teacher and film nut, I was simply blown away by this movie.
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