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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
Both the German and British troops fighting to recover the Baron are armed with British SMLE's. The Germans should have been using Gewehr 98's. The notable difference being the SMLE has a protruding box magazine. See more »
[Walking away from another pilot after an argument on the firing range, when the other officer turns his machine gun to Brown but does not use it]
What's the matter? You can't shoot a man in the back if he's not in a plane?
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This is not the greatest WWI movie ever made. But it's still pretty good. The special effects and the flying sequences are superb. And Roy Brown not only is identified as a Canadian --- rare for Hollywood --- but he also is presented as the prickly and difficult character he was. That's also rare for Hollywood which tends to ignore the warts on its heroes. The movie is also reasonably historically accurate.
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