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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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Three Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, restored to flying condition in World War II configurations, were used during filming. Clever camera work and multiple shots of the planes with different names painted on their noses were mixed with wartime footage to create the illusion of an entire Group of B-17 bombers. Noted aviation author and pilot Martin Caidin, who helped fly one of the B-17s from America to England, chronicled the restorations of the aircraft, their flight across the Atlantic, and their use in the film in his book "Everything But The Flak." See more »
The tenth mission they flew, an attack on Kiel (the first one seen in the film), was the crews' tenth. However, Rickson only has the names of nine targets written on his wall and Kiel appears as the eighth. See more »
"The War Lover" isn't the greatest movie ever made, but it has some very good elements. The scenes of airmen inside B-17 bombers are excellent, with very good views of flight uniforms, equipment, flying instruments and the cramped conditions. The fearful aspects of aerial combat are also shown quite effectively. Some of the sound effects are muffled, but the general experience of flying on bombing missions over enemy territory is well portrayed.
Steve McQueen gives an excellent performance. While his character "Buzz" Rickson is often arrogant and amoral, McQueen is mesmerizing. He also nicely shows how Rickson has moments of compassion towards others. Its good to see a character like Rickson depicted in a way that's not completely black-and-white. Robert Wagner does a very good job as McQueen's co-pilot, a man with more decency and quiet character than Rickson, but who is also flawed like all of us. Unfortunately, while Shirley Anne Field is beautiful and shows some charm, she does a poor job of acting.
"The War Lover" is especially good at showing the toll of war, and how men of various characters and backgrounds are thrown together in the military. And it is very frank about the sexual promiscuity that is often a part of war. While the movie effectively shows these things, it does so in ways that are not as explicit as many movies of today might do.
The editing of "The War Lover" is quite poor at times, with a choppy quality, and minor characters sometimes pop up here and there in a confusing way. Overall, though, the film is very worthwhile for viewers who are interested in character studies and war movies.
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