World War I: an allied squadron and a German squadron face off daily in the skies. Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Baron, leads one, and, although one of his decisions cost the life of his predecessor, he expects his men to honor codes of conduct. The allied squad has similar class divisions: its colonel, an aristocrat, laments that men he considers peasants are now fliers, including a cynical and ruthless Canadian, Roy Brown, the squad's ace. As the tactics of both sides break more rules and become more destructive, the Baron must decide if he is a soldier first or part of the ruling class. He and Brown have two aerial battles, trivial in the larger scheme yet tragic. Written by
Von Richthofen is flying a Fokker D.VII when introduced to the "new" Dr.I. In fact the Dr.I was being removed from service as obsolescent before the D.VII was introduced. See more »
Lieutenant Brown, the readers of the Toronto Star want to know about Canada's newest Ace.
What is there to know? I'm just a technician; I change things.
Put a plane in front of me, with a man in it, I change them into a wreck and a corpse.
Well... well how do you like France?
It's a nice country, isn't it? Lots of my friends will be staying after the war.
Ah... how do you like the French girls, Lieutenant?
With both their arms and legs, I think.
... the German planes, are...
[...] See more »
Given the very negative comments by others on IMDB about this film, I wasn't really expecting much, especially given that it was directed by Roger Corman, who, whilst he certainly has his talents, would not really be expected to helm a period piece with high production values. Actually I found this film not at all bad. Certainly its narrative plays fast and loose with historical details. But it is quite authentic in many respects - the planes themselves, and the nature of air combat depicted, are reasonably accurate (better, for example, than the planes in The Blue Max, which often look like very thinly disguised Tiger Moths). And fair chunks of the dialogue seem to be taken almost directly from the writings of actual WW1 flyers. Even the rather melodramatic plot does have roots in historical truths, and functions well enough to engage the viewer's attention throughout. I'd say it's definitely worth a look, and compares surprisingly well with the generally much better regarded The Blue Max.
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