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 »
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>
Mike Reilly drowned after parachuting from 2000 feet into the English Channel, near Newhaven, during the filming of a stunt for the film. He was 29 years old, had more than 300 jumps, was British parachute champion and the first Chairman of the newly formed British Parachute Association. See more »
The shot of the express train going under the bridge shows V2 class engine No. 60873 Coldstreamer (a reverse image as the smokebox door is shown hinged on the left), yet when the train pulls into the terminus, Steve McQueen is seen on the footplate of B1 class engine No. 61378. See more »
Aviation author Martin Caiden (his books were the basis for the film "Marooned" and the t.v show "The Six Million Dollar Man") published a book entitled "Everything But The Flak" that detailed the efforts to revive three Navy PB-1 Flying Forts and the ensuing flight adventure of moving them across the Atlantic to England for the making of "The War Lover" which is a "must read" for those interested in the making of this film. He accompanied the flight crews and although his larger-than-life account of their hijinks (rumbling with Soviets in the airport in Greenland, being locked up by Interpol in Portugal on suspicion of smuggling illicit warplanes - after all these three B-17s had active gun turrets) must be taken with a grain of salt, the guy sure could spin a great yarn! The book is probably WAY out of print but is well worth seeking out as it gives some idea of the difficulty of reactivating three WW II bombers years before the warbird revival got underway. Unfortunately, due to import/export duties in England in the early 1960s, Columbia Pictures scrapped two of the three Fortresses after filming was completed and only one has survived, used for promotion of the film before being passed onto other hands.
The movie itself has lots of B-17 action of the planes taxiing around the airfield prior to mission take-off that is frequently edited out for television broadcast to save time for commercials or to fit into a specific airtime envelope. If it airs uncut, notice the patchy paint on the Fortress noses as three airframes portray a much larger squadron, with nose art changed several times.
Mark Sublette, Falls Church, Virginia
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