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The Wings of Eagles (1957)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  22 February 1957 (USA)
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A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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 ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Capt. Spear
Rose Brentmann


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


A NEW TRIUMPH FOR WHAT-A-GUY WAYNE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Biography | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dem Adler gleich  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Shortly after Spig rejoins the navy, he is shown reporting on the sinking of the USS Hornet. Later, just before Spig gives a brief overview of the "jeep carrier" idea, the admiral is briefed on the Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga and Soryu. Clearly he is being informed on the Battle of Midway, where those carriers were sunk. The Hornet had yet been sunk at that tine. It did in fact take part in the Battle of Midway and came through unscathed. See more »


Min Wead: I'm not going
Frank W. 'Spig' Wead: Stay broke and keep moving that the story of our lives.
Min Wead: Spig you got two daughters and they lived in seven different houses and seven seven states and seven different years back and forth across the country and out of it too. Well, I'm just not going to move them anymore.
Frank W. 'Spig' Wead: Well, Have a Drink
See more »


Edited into Midway (1976) See more »


Anchors Aweigh
Music by Charles A. Zimmerman, lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles and George D. Lottman
Used as a theme throughout the film
See more »

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User Reviews

A Fella Named Spig
25 April 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

John Ford's biopic about the life of aviator-turned-screenwriter Frank "Spig" Wead, played by John Wayne. It's an odd movie. The first half is light with slapstick comedy and one dark moment. The second half is a drama about overcoming adversity. The mix doesn't work that well. The comedy is mostly weak. The dramatic stuff is better, though a little depressing. More faithful, facts-wise, than your average biopic from back in the day. For whatever that's worth. Cast is full of Ford regulars. Maureen O'Hara is beautiful but it's not her best work. My favorite part is Ward Bond as John Dodge, an obvious parody of Ford himself.

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