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The Wings of Eagles (1957)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,109 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 8 critic

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
'Jughead' Carson
...
Min Wead
...
...
John Dale Price
...
Adm. Moffett
...
Capt. Herbert Allen Hazard
James Todd ...
Jack Travis
Barry Kelley ...
Capt. Jock Clark
Sig Ruman ...
Manager
Henry O'Neill ...
Capt. Spear
...
Barton
...
Rose Brentmann
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Storyline

U.S. Navy pilot Frank 'Spig' Wead is a fun-loving and rowdy adventurer, but also a fierce proponent of Naval aviation. His dedication to the promotion of the Navy's flying program is so intense that his marriage and family life suffer. When an accident paralyzes him, Spig finds a new means of expressing his love of flying: screenwriting. Successful and acclaimed, he finds the U.S. entry into World War II to be an irresistible call. Pleading that he be reinstated in the Navy despite his paralysis, Spig finds he has an enormous contribution yet to make. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WAYNE -- in his biggest thriller! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'aigle vole au soleil  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene in the movie where we see the director, played by Ward Bond, looking at a clip of a film written by the main character. The clip is from the film Hell Divers (1931), which was actually written by Frank Wead. In the same scene, Bond asks one of the producers "How'd you like that kid with Beery" (Wallace Beery), the producer says "Great. Sign him up." The actor they are talking about is Clark Gable See more »

Goofs

When on board the aircraft carrier, as "Spig" Wead (John Wayne) is leaving the ship, a plane is being towed in the background. The national insignia on the side of the aircraft is incorrect. There was no red stripe in the white bars that bordered the star during WWII. This version did not come into being until after the war. See more »

Quotes

John Dodge: I don't want a story just about ships and planes. I want it about the men who run them - how they live and think and talk. I want it from a pen dipped in salt water, not dry martinis.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Hell Divers (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Oe
(uncredited)
Written by Queen Liliuokalani
Heard as Spig leaves his carrier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent
1 June 2002 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Not one of Ford's best works as a director, but it's an excellent film nonetheless. It's one of the best biopics I've ever seen. The subject is Frank "Spig" Wead, a Navy man through and through who, despite all his success in the service, was never able to make much of a connection with his wife and daughters. It was a very personal story for John Ford, who was a good friend of Wead's. Wead was the screenwriter on Ford's excellent They Were Expendable (and also Air Mail, which I haven't seen). The film concentrates on the man and his relationships. John Wayne gives a downright excellent performance as Wead. Maureen O'Hara is back as his love interest, and their interactions here are marvelous. Also giving excellent performances are Ken Curtis (maybe his best role in a Ford film), Dan Dailey, and Ward Bond as the first movie producer who hires Wead. Bond's performance is in loving imitation of John Ford. The Wings of Eagles is a very touching tribute to a friend. The only problem is that it is such a personal story to Ford that the most interesting part, the relationship with the wife and kids, is not treated fully in order to make Wead look better than he probably did in real life. 8/10.


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