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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
Stunt pilot Charles Boddington was killed during filming when the vintage biplane he was flying crashed at Weston aerodrome near Dublin. The following day, another aircraft crashed, injuring pilot Lynn Garrison and actor Don Stroud. See more »
When Von Richthofen's DR1 is landing the last time after he is shot by Brown, it is obvious the engine is a radial and the propeller is a Sensenich Metal prop. The DR1 used an Oberursel Ur.II rotary engine and a wooden propeller. 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 »
An entertaining movie about the World War I exploits of the ace German pilot Manfred Von Richthofen's (aka, the Red Baron) and his main opponent, Canada's Arthur Brown.
The aristocratic Von Richthofen is so honor bound that he refuses to use camouflage paint on his planes, because "a gentleman should never hide from his enemies" and instead paints them with the brightest colors. The pragmatic, no-nonsense Brown, instead, does not believe in honor or chivalry: he just wants to win.
I can't vouch for the complete historical authenticity of this movie to mention just one instance, the actor portraying Hermann Goering looks nothing at all like the future Reichsmarshall, and his role in the flying circus was not as prominent as the movie implies. But as an entertainment (by the well known horror low budget film director Roger Corman) this movie is certainly well done. Sure, there is some corny dialogue here and there, and having Von Richthofen speak English in the movie with a heavy German accent was probably not the best idea, but the magnificent shots of period planes fighting in the air over the patchwork fields below separated by hedgerows (shot in 1971 with fearless stunt men, well before digital imagery started appearing in films) more than makes up for this movie's shortcomings. The great color photography is another plus.
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