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Lafayette Escadrille (1958)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  March 1958 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 424 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

American youth and flying ace flys for France in World War I; meets & loves a French girl & prostitute.

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Title: Lafayette Escadrille (1958)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Thad Walker
Etchika Choureau ...
Renée Beaulieu
...
Drill Sergeant
...
Duke Sinclair
...
U.S. General
Veola Vonn ...
The Madam
Will Hutchins ...
Dave Putnam
...
George Moseley
Robert Hover ...
Dave Judd (as Bob Hover)
...
Arthur Blumenthal
...
Frank Baylies
Henry Nakamura ...
Jimmy
Maurice Marsac ...
Sgt. Parris
...
Amos J. Walker
William Wellman Jr. ...
Bill Wellman Sr.
Edit

Storyline

American youth and flying ace flys for France in World War I; meets & loves a French girl & prostitute.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

March 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

C'est la guerre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was director William A. Wellman's last film. Wellman, who had previously directed numerous aviation dramas -- including Wings (1927), the 1927 winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture -- saw Lafayette Escadrille (1958) as a tribute to his fellow World War I combat pilots. But the studio, Warner Bros., gave Wellman a very low budget, and Wellman felt he could not make the film he wanted to make. Originally, the film had a tragic ending for Thad Walker and his Parisian bride, but studio head Jack Warner demanded a happy ending. When Wellman refused, the studio took the film away and shot a new ending with Tab Hunterand Etchika Choureau. Afterwards, Wellman decided to retire from directing. His son, William Wellman Jr. later said that his father "just got tired of fighting with the studios." See more »

Goofs

Aviators in World War I generally didn't wear the high-collar tunics like the one worn by Thad. This is because they needed to be able to turn their heads while flying. Rather, they wore a uniform coat that required a shirt and tie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: A half-forgotten corner of France in a wholly-forgotten war. In memory of the heroes of the Lafayette Escadrille, who died in defense of life and of liberty. This monument, this patch of foreign sky, belongs to a handful of Americans who flew for France and died for France in the First World War. They came with an air of adventure or a sense of impatience in the days before America entered the war. The wore French uniforms, they fought in French planes, and they fell in love with ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing Bill Wellman, Jr. Jody McCrae Dennis Devine See more »

Connections

Version of Flyboys (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Opportunity: BLOWN.
14 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every scene between Thad and what's-her-name dragged the movie down. Sorry, the movie is called "Lafayette Escadrille", not "Thad and, Whomever Get Hitched." Yaaaaaaaaaawwn. David Janssen was terrific. Always a solid performance from him and the rest of the cast was also splendid to watch. Why William Wellman, Jr. didn't get better parts is beyond me. A great actor, nah, but did a nice job. Sure, Tab Hunter was used by the studio as the draw and I enjoyed his performance, and I guess having a love interest isn't a crime, but it took up way too much of the film and frankly ruined the whole experience for me. I'm not against love stories, I've enjoyed my share, but when it becomes a focal point of a movie that's supposed to be about the Lafayette Escadrille, well, let's put it this way; I watched it after recording it and ended up using the fast forward button.

What I found truly sad was, this should have been a superior film about the directors personal experiences and featuring his own son playing him. How rare an opportunity is that? As I read in the 'trivia', I guess the studio is to blame. That sickens me. Movie executives can be block headed, simpleminded twerps just like TV executives. What should have been a brilliant and fascinating film, was a mediocre crapshoot. How very, very sad.


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