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The Wings of Eagles (1957)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  22 February 1957 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,392 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 11 critic

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

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(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
...
...
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:

Director John Ford's newest triumph, the life-inspired story of reckless, fun-loving, romantic "Spig" Wead, Sqaudron Commander. 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

Most of the extras in the Pensacola, Florida, scenes were actual Navy flight students and flight instructors. Although the Navy objected, director John Ford made certain that the military men were paid "extra" wages. See more »

Goofs

When on board the aircraft carrier, as "Spig" Wead 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

Min Wead: Why don't you!
Frank W. 'Spig' Wead: Alright, I been thinking what a heel I been about you and my own kids, I do something I go all the way, living, gambling, flying, tap myself out I guess that what I wanted to be. Maybe way I am.
Min Wead: Star spangled Spad damn the marguritte and full speed ahead and don't give up the ship.
Frank W. 'Spig' Wead: Have a drink, Listen Min I'm trying to say I been a fool, first grade gold brand
Min Wead: So Have I!
Frank W. 'Spig' Wead: [Grabs her] Okay, Let change it, lets grow up before our kids do
Min Wead: We better hurry up.
[They kiss passionate]
See more »

Connections

Features Hell Divers (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Toot Toot Tootsie (Goodbye)
(uncredited)
Written by Al Jolson
Heard at the Navy' victory party
See more »

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User Reviews

Touches Me
28 July 2002 | by (Memphis, TN, USA) – See all my reviews

I have two fav John Wayne movies and this is one of them. The other is "McLintock!"

Today is the first time I've seen "Wings of Eagles, The" for years and years. Probably because it's always been such an emotional movie for me. I always cry at the ending...most likely because the very thing Spig Wead wanted seemed to elude him. Perhaps because his desire was never really clearly defined, even to him.

As I sat watching it, I got the bright idea of looking it up in the "IMDB" movie database. I was curious about the writing that Wead did and also the timeline. I came across a couple of reviews and decided to add my two sense (sic) worth.

I realized today that the things I like about the movie were partially the things that one of the other reviewers didn't. I LIKE the way Wead's story is presented. It isn't neat and orderly. No cheating endings or story movement. It seems like he was very self-involved and dealt better with other men than with his wife. I suspect that both Spig and Min were trapped by their societal roles in a way that many others were at that time. They did't have that same open way of spilling their guts that we've all embraced in today's world.

Men were men and women...weren't! LOL!

Anyway, I was always crazy about John Wayne and had such a crush on him whenever he'd appear in Navy whites. Something about that craggy face and those blue eyes grabbed me every time. Plus, I share his birthday so that made him extra kewl in my eyes.

Ford was wise NOT to turn this into a typical John "Hero" Wayne vehicle. That was probably why they worked so well together in all of those films. He was no more snowed by Wayne's larger than life personna than Wayne was of Ford's. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when those two were goin' at it.

Although Wayne was fiftyish when he did this film, I think he displayed a good youthful Wead as well as the somewhat more mature one. A better, more subtle acting job than the other reviewer gave him credit for doing.

Time for Spig to bite it so I'm off now...

dmombit


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