The War Lover (1962)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  25 October 1962 (USA)
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Buzz Rickson is a dare-devil World War II bomber pilot with a death wish. Failing at everything not involving flying, Rickson lives for the most dangerous missions. His crew lives with this... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
'Buzz' / Buzz Rickson
'Bo' / Ed Bolland
Shirley Anne Field ...
Gary Cockrell ...
Lynch: Crew of 'The Body'
Junior' / Junior Sailen: Crew of 'The Body
Bill Edwards ...
Brindt: Crew of 'The Body'
Chuck Julian ...
Lamb: Crew of 'The Body'
Handown: Crew of 'The Body'
Al Waxman ...
Prien: Crew of 'The Body'
Tom Busby ...
Farr: Crew of 'The Body'
George Sperdakos ...
Bragliani: Crew of 'The Body'
Bob Kanter ...
Haverstraw: Crew of 'The Body'
Jerry Stovin ...
Vogt (as Edward Bishop)
Richard Leech ...


Buzz Rickson is a dare-devil World War II bomber pilot with a death wish. Failing at everything not involving flying, Rickson lives for the most dangerous missions. His crew lives with this aspect of his personality only because they know he always brings them back alive. Written by KC Hunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The men of the flying forts whose bravery became a legend See more »


Adventure | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

25 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El amante de la muerte  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene where Captain Rickson "buzzes" the tower is a recreation of a similar event that actually occurred at Bassingbourn, an actual U.S.A.A.F. base near London where the movie was filmed. The 323rd Squad commander Major John Bishop's crew completed their 25th combat mission on January 21, 1944. Returning to base, Major Bishop decided to tip his cap and buzz the tower. The group commander met him on the field as he disembarked his plane where the two drove away in his vehicle. They car stopped at the maintenance hangar, where in keeping with tradition, the ground crew "dunked" the pilot in a tub of water to celebrate his accomplishment. See more »


During the final mission, right have Emmett is hit and Bo tells Buzz he's group commander, there is an outside shot of "The Body" which shows the bomb bay doors open and severely damaged. A few seconds later, the plane is shot up by a German fighter and it clearly shows the bomb bay doors closed - they then get shot up (and a fire starts in the bomb bay).. See more »


Captain Buzz Rickson: What's the matter Bolland, afraid to die?
1st Lt Ed Bolland: Damn right I am. But you're scared to live.
See more »


Referenced in Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (2005) See more »


Roll Me Over
Written by Robert Musel and Desmond O'Connor
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Living on the edge
23 September 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In the great Oscar winning best picture Patton, Karl Malden as Omar Bradley explains the difference between himself and George C. Scott. Malden is a professional soldier trained to do a job, whereas Scott just lives for the action because he loves it. That's what Steve McQueen is as a hotshot bomber pilot who has a crew of Karl Maldens who just want to do a job and get home alive.

Oddly enough a year after The War Lover came out Steve McQueen would play another hotshot pilot in The Great Escape. A pilot who's been grounded and temporarily enjoying enemy hospitality. I wonder how the two McQueens from The War Lover and The Great Escape might have viewed each other.

McQueen's co-pilot Robert Wagner dislikes McQueen's living on the edge style though he knows this guy has the skill to back up his brag and has done so. But things could be going further south in their relationship as McQueen makes a play for proper British woman Shirley Anne Field whom Wagner likes as well.

It's an interesting role that McQueen has and he pulls it off. He's not a nice person, but you can't help rooting for him. Especially in that last close run thing he attempts at the close of the film.

The War Lover is a good war picture and will satisfy the fans of Steve McQueen who are still legion in this world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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