Von Richthofen and Brown (1971) Poster

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Better than expected
xorys15 July 2003
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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6/10
Still One Of My Favorites
Etherdave15 August 2007
John Philipp Law and Don Stroud respectively play the two men named in this film's original title, Von Richtofen And Brown, and presents a fairly balanced and interesting set of parallels and divergences between the two men. As World War One rages to its conclusion, Von Richtofen and Brown head on a collision course towards their fateful encounter in the air.

Corman's production is a bit dated, and purists will point out many technical and historical errors in the film. Flight and combat sequences, however, are exciting, extremely well-conceived and filmed, and surpass most efforts before or since to show film-goers aerial combat of the First World War.

I saw this film at a drive-in when it was first released, and it still fascinates me to this day. While other more-expensive productions, with their sumptuous sets and A-list actors, continue to command the attention of film viewers and film collectors alike, I find the simple, sparing lines of this production far more effective as the vehicle for one of history's most famous duels. True, by now most historians have abandoned the notion that the fatal bullets came from Brown; however, this is the tale of popular culture as it was told for generations, not as nuclear scientists have most lately emended it.
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7/10
Bless you Red Baron...
rps-23 May 2004
The flying sequences alone make this a film well worth seeing. They are much like those in The Battle Of Britain except, of course, the aircraft are of World War I vintage. It's also encouraging that Roy Brown was portrayed as a Canadian (which he was) rather than an American. The man had some very rough edges and these are portrayed in the film. (In one unrelated incident, he almost got court martialed for buzzing Picadilly Circus.) In other words Brown was not shown as some sort of handsome Hollywood knight of the sky but a very rough, arrogant, unsophisticated and even unpleasant individual. Good! Thats how it was. Better by half than most war films of its era.
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7/10
Great flying sequences
rps-222 June 2000
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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9/10
A forgotten but outstanding film
mlevans13 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Talk about your films you wish you had seen on the big screen! I honestly thought Nikolai Mullerschon's upcoming 'Der Rote Baron' was the first movie about Manfred von Richtofen. Then I happened upon 'Von Richtofen and Brown,' thinking it was a documentary when I ordered it.

To my surprise, it was a full-fledged movie and quite a good one. I just wish I had seen it on the big screen instead of a small box on my 17-inch computer screen (because this DVD wouldn't play on my TV/DVD player)! Filmed in 1971, 'Von Richtofen and Brown' has some of the best World War I combat sequences I've seen. (OK, MAYBE Howard Hughes' scenes from 'Hell's Angels' would have been more breathtaking, had they been in color!) To see the fabled Flying Circus taking off in living color is worth the price of the DVD itself. This film is exquisitely done! The bulk of the flying sequences were done with vintage WWI planes and the crashes convincingly done with models.

Overall, it seems historically accurate, too. Only the ending is a bit disappointing (though not surprising) in this regard. It came out in 1971, two years after P.J. Carisella and James W. Ryan's book, 'Who Killed the Red Baron?' had blown the lid off the myth of Capt. Arthur 'Roy' Brown shooting down the baron. As Carisell and Ryan surmised, and as Dale Titler confirmed in his 'The Day the Red Baron Died' in 1971, Australian anti-aircraft gunners almost without question fired the fatal slug that killed von Richtofen as he chased Lt. Wilfred May and was chased by Brown.

Other than this and Herman Goering's erroneous presence during the bulk of the film, I found it accurate and quite entertaining – even on a 14 x 7 inch screen! B-horror/gangster director Roger Corman turned in nice work. My only complaint is that, since they were letting myth ease into the picture, why didn't they go ahead and include the baron's 'wife of six weeks?' This myth of him secretly marrying the nurse that nursed him back to health after the first of his two crashes could have made an interesting subplot. Maybe Mullerschon will tackle this myth – or maybe he'll stick 100 percent to the facts! In either case, the baron makes for a fascinating film subject. This one is definitely worth watching.
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9/10
Mistakes were made, but...
kayma212 February 2007
It is pointed out that "goofs" were made in the making of this film. (A) Von Richofen is depicted flying a Fokker D-VII over a year before the plane was actually introduced (and prior to flying the Triplane) (B) Brown's squadron is shown flying SE 5s when in actuality, they were equipped with Sopwith Camels.

I suspect these were intentional choices on the part of the director. Von Richtofen's plane in early 1917 was actually an Albatros D5 - an improvement over the earlier D3, but having an unfortunate tendency to shed its wings in a dive. Even if this were corrected in a modern reproduction, the Albatros design is nose-heavy and difficult to control.

The Sopwith Camel, while an effective fighting machine, was called th "Widow-maker" for good reason. It's extremely high-torque rotary engine made it very difficult to fly and very unforgiving of mistakes. The SE 5 and 5a, on the other hand were fairly stable craft and easier for novice pilots (they've been used exclusively in other WW I films).

Only hard-core WWI historians would have noticed these inconsistencies, and I suspect the choices were made for the safety of the stunt pilots. Don't let them stop you from enjoying some great aerial combat scenes.

Incidentally, the events that were reversed were the circumstances of von Richtofen's crashes. In the first one, he is depicted as crash landing, while in the second (fatal) one, the plane actually lands quite well by itself (this would NEVER have happened in a Fokker triplane!)

It was actually the other way around. The first time, the wounded von Richtofen managed to bring his Albatros to a landing. The second time -already dead before he hit the ground - the plane crashed in no-man's land near an Australian unit who may indeed have hit him from the ground.
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5/10
Ambitious by Roger Corman standards with mixed results.......
merklekranz24 December 2008
Roger Corman leaps beyond crab monsters and biker chicks to the skies over World War1 France. The film takes right off with flying sequences, which are surprisingly good. Characters are introduced at an overwhelming rate with little or no development. Both John Philip Law and Don Stroud appear uncomfortable in their flying ace roles. In their "spaghetti westerns" they look and act like they belong, but here they seem lost and out of their element. Romantic female characters are introduced, only to never be seen again. The air battles are definitely the strong point of "Von Richthofen and Brown", but even they become redundant. - MERK
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8/10
One of Roger Corman's best films
funkyfry17 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I rented this film in furtherance of my duty as something of a Roger Corman completist, and was very pleasantly surprised to find what I consider one of his very best films. Perhaps due to its lack of rubber monsters and scream queens (not to mention acid trips and biker chicks), this one has kind of slipped through the cracks of the director's massive output. It deserves rediscovery, as it is an excellent film featuring quality performances that I think rivals "The Intruder", his other attempt at serious film-making.

Some will complain I'm sure about this film's lack of historical accuracy. Hermann Goering (Barry Primus), for example, is shown fighting in the same air squadron as Baron Von Richthofen (John Phillip Law). I'm not very concerned with history myself because I think that history is better conveyed through books than film, and I would prefer for a film to have more focus and intent than a strictly accurate representation would allow. This film follows in the same line as great films like "Lawrence of Arabia" in choosing to throw aside historical accuracy in favor of what its writers considered historical resonance and perspective. It is not concerned with where Goering and Von Richthofen fought their battles, or even with who exactly shot Von Richthofen down in the end, but rather with the essential transformation that was taking place in the nature of combat in the early 20th Century. Goering and Von Richthofen were transposed because it provides a fascinating context as far as the kind of schism that was developing among warriors between the old and new ways. Von Richthofen is a man who prides himself deeply upon his aristocratic heritage and who insists at all points on fighting an honorable war -- for example when ordered to paint his airplanes in order to camouflage them from the enemy, he instead paints them all in bright colors and gives birth to the legendary "Flying Circus." He says to his superiors, "You can order us to die, but you cannot order us to hide from our enemy." He says that he is a knight who has traded in his horse for an airplane.

The contrast between Goering and Von Richthofen is interesting, and serves largely to make Von Richthofen more sympathetic than some of the other Germans, but it's the juxtaposition of Von Richthofen and the Canadian Roy Brown (Don Stroud) that is really at the heart of this film. Brown has a cynical view towards warfare, seemingly resigned towards the most brutal and callous aspects of war and deliberately eschewing all talk of "glory" and even "victory." "How can it be over? There's still some of us alive," he tells a reporter from Toronto in one of the film's most striking scenes. Von Richthofen and Brown each have an interview, which we hear on the soundtrack as we see them fly their planes in the sky. I was really struck by the writing in these scenes and the way that the contrast between their attitudes towards war was brought out by them.

I shouldn't end this comment without making mention of the excellent aerial photography that was used in this film. Today's audiences would demand some kind of over-the-top display of showmanship aided by CGI. Although I'm not completely against the use of CGI, in the case of a film like this I greatly prefer the way it was done back at the time this film was made, with what seem to be authentic airplanes of the period and some really exciting stunt flying. Von Richthofen's flying circus is truly a sight to see piercing its way through clear blue skies, and we don't need any digital manipulation to enhance the majesty of that vision.

I loved John Phillip Law in this performance. I've always enjoyed him in all the sci-fi films I've seen him in, as well as his sincere performance in "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians are Coming!". I think he showed his real leading man strength in this role, and his style was not patronizing towards the Germans in any way (in fact Law often worked as an actor in Germany in the 1980s and 90s). Don Stroud really amazed me because I've never particularly cared for him in all the biker movies I've seen him in, but he had the perfect amount of gravity for this role.

Kudos to Roger Corman -- other than a one-off return to directing in the early 90s, this was his swan song. He decided that if he couldn't make it as a top notch director that he would rather produce other director's films rather than go back to making schlock. And even though he was one of the greatest schlock-meisters, you have to respect that decision. And you have to wonder how different things might have been if this film had received the kind of attention that I think it deserved at the time it was made. Probably he did not make enough concessions to what he surely knew to be the popular taste -- there is only the smallest romantic element in this film, and it is a film more of ideas than of emotions.
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Good adventure film based on the famous WW1 aces
Andres Salama23 August 2011
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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Excellent Action in the Air
Michael_Elliott28 December 2009
Von Richthofen and Brown (1971)

** (out of 4)

John Phillip Law plays Baron Manfred von Richthofen and Don Stroud plays Roy Brown, the famous dog fighters of WW1 who would eventually meet in the air. This Corman production takes a look at the two men's lives leading up to that day in the air. This is a rather strange film because on one hand it's easy to recommend to people because the stuff in the air is downright brilliant yet on the other hand, everything on the ground is a complete bore. This would turn out to be Corman's final film as director for nearly two decades so it's an interesting film to go out on. For the most part he handles the material quite well but I can't help but wish he had spent a few more dollars on the screenplay and delivered a more interesting story. I must admit that my mind kept wondering around and losing focus because everything that happens on the group is just downright boring and at times it's hard to figure out what's going on. History buffs say the film isn't that true to reality but I can live with that. I do wish that Corman had done something more because what we get just isn't enough to work as a bio flick or as any type of human drama. What does work are the amazing aerial shots that are quite thrilling. Apparently all of the aerial things were filmed over a two week period and they are so well made that they certainly make you feel as if you're up there in the air fighting yourself. The cinematography that captures all of this is exceptional as well. The violence is quite bloody throughout but it's realistic. Both actors turn in decent performances but they can only work with what they got. In the end, action fans might want to check this one out for the amazing battle scenes but history buffs will probably be upset with the film.
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8/10
Flawed, but worth seeing.
zeugitai6 July 2014
There are quite a few very expert and quite excellent reviews of this film. I am only writing to add that this film is worth seeing in spite of its flaws. Any film that shows these beautiful vintage biplanes in flight as well as this one does deserves to be seen. The aerial footage alone outweighs any other consideration. The dogfights are well-filmed and exciting. My weakness is in my great admiration of the design and technology of the period biplanes and triplanes. If your heart doesn't respond to the magnificent old planes, then you might just want to skip this film. Another reviewer mentioned thrilling to the sight of the flying circus. Yes, to that. And the rest of the film gets better as it goes along.
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4/10
Worth seeing but shallow and filled with inaccuracies.
MartinHafer23 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
John Phillip Law is cast in the role of Baron Von Richthofen and Don Stroud as Roy Brown--the man who is PARTIALLY credited with killing the Red Baron. The real stars of the show, however, are the airplanes. Now I am not saying the aerial scenes were well done--they were at best fair because you rarely knew who was shooting at who, and so it often just seemed very random. As for the acting, it was pretty one-dimensional (especially Stroud) and this was mostly due to the writing. In addition, while SOME of the details are correct, others are not--so you can't exactly see this as a bio-pic--more like a fictionalized look at BRIEF periods of the lives of both men. One serious problem with the film is the final scene where Brown shoots down Von Richtofen--as there was SIGNIFICANT ground-fire and most experts believe this actually caused the Red Baron's plane to crash, not Brown! Yet, inexplicably, there are no soldiers on the ground--none--and the credit goes entirely to Brown--who was, for the most part, a rather unremarkable pilot otherwise.

"Von Richthofen and Brown" is a competent enough movie to merit your watching it. However, it is far from a great aviation film--mostly because the characters are so one-dimensional and because the film seems more fiction than biography. Instead, you may consider better WWI aviation films like "The Dawn Patrol" (either version), "Wings" or "The Blue Max".
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6/10
Warfare film about the famous hero and his contender with drama , thrills and overwhelming aerial scenes
ma-cortes16 February 2012
Baron Manfred Von Richthofen (John Phillip Law) was the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I . Manfred Von Richthofen arrives from the Cavalry, at a squadron in the German Airforce under the command of honorable Oswald Boelcke (Peter Masterson). He quickly becomes an aerial ace with several victories . To him and his companions , air combats are events of sporty nature , technical challenge and upright acting, ignoring the terrible extent of war . Manfred must decide if he is a soldier first or part of the ruling class whose father is a notorious Baron (Ferdy Mayne) . But after Manfred realizes he is only used for propaganda means , as the tactics of both sides break more rules and become more destructive . This is an exciting story based on facts about Manfred Von Richthofen, the German air ace during the World War I and his struggle with the enemy aces and some jealous German officers as the ruthless Herrmann Goering (Barry Primus) who subsequently will have a long career as Nazi leader during WWI . The allied squad has similar class divisions : its Major , an aristocrat , laments that men he considers peasants are now fliers , including a tough and Canadian named Roy Brown (Don Stroud) , the squad's main ace . Von Richthofen is wounded during an aerial battle and Brown and his squadron decide to attack Allied airfield , destroying their planes on the ground and killing his brother Lothar (Brian Foley). Then the baron seeks vengeance and attacks on the opposite British airfield . Red Baron and Brown have some strong aerial battles , trivial in the larger scheme yet fateful . Caught between his disgust for the war , and the responsibility for his fighter wing , Von Richthofen sets out to fly again . With the help of a batch of new fighters from Anthony Fokker (Hurd Hatfield), the 'Richthofen Flying Circus' launches a counter attack against English aircrafts . On April 21, 1918, the Red Baron of Germany and the Black Sheep of the R.A.F. met in the skies of France for the last time.

Spectacular dogfighting , impressive scenario , fine star cast and memorable acting . Acceptable budget extended adventures produced by Jimmi T Murakami and Gene Corman about a maverick pilot and his partners undergoing risked feats on air and bombing on earth . Very good aerial actioner plenty action , tragic drama , fantastic cloudy scenes and breathtaking dogfighting . John Philip Law and Don Stroud show professionalism as crack fighter pilots , two ambitious young men assigned to dangerous missions . Top-notch support cast gives excellent performance as Stephen McHattie , Barry Primus , Ferdy Mayne and Hurd Hartfield as Fokker . Colorful cinematography by Michael Reed and rousing musical score by Hugo Friedhofer .

The motion picture is professionally directed by Roger Corman . After his period realizing poverty-budget horror movies as ¨Swamp woman¨, ¨The beast with a million of eyes¨, ¨Attack of the crab monsters¨, ¨Undead¨, then came the cycle of tales of terror based on Poe as ¨ House of Usher¨, ¨Pit and pendulum¨, ¨The raven¨ , ¨Tales of terror¨, ¨The masque of the red death ¨ , and Corman made his undisputed masterpiece , ¨X¨ , that won the Golden Asteroid in the Trieste Festival of Science Fiction Films in 1963 . Later on , he directed films as ¨Angels of hell¨, ¨The St. Valentine's day massacre¨, ¨The trip¨, ¨Bloody mummy¨, ¨Gas or It became necessary to destroy the world in order to save it¨ and of course ¨Von Richthofen and Brown¨, and finally (1990) ¨Frankestein unbounded¨ . ¨Red Baron¨ rating : 6 , acceptable and passable , definitively wholesome watching , Corman's achievement to have bent the wartime genre with nice results. Good and entertaining fare , it's a fairly watchable and spectacular film and results to be a good treatment of WWI flying aces .
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World War 1 Aviation Films in Comparison
reisen5511 October 2011
The flying sequences in this film are authentic, which is the best thing going here, we see real men in the aircraft in the AIR and not on a blue screen set, as in THE BLUE MAX from which this film has it's roots and where most of the aircraft came from. Since the aircraft were available from the latter, the complaints about vintage aircraft being out of time-sync are valid, but given the budget ... you make do with what you have. Case closed here.

THE BLUE MAX had decent dogfights, but blue screen as above so here the combat sequences are better. THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER also had real IN THE AIR footage of both pilots and aircraft, certain a fine pseudo-dogfight at the end of it.

DARLING LILI I have never seen much of so I will refrain, though more BLUE MAX aircraft once again.

Now we have the CGI films such as THE RED BARON and FLYBOYS, both of which show great action, totally faked and also totally way too fast. Watch the speed and action of these earlier films and you sense that these old planes did not move THAT FAST as these two films show them. Great stuff, but totally fake.

Give me real any day of the week. For this film and THE BLUE MAX, Enjoy the dogfights, tolerate the acting and have good time.
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3/10
The only accurate thing in the movie was Richtofen's name
bassetbudz23 April 2007
I don't see the sense in going through so much trouble to make a movie like this, and then throw the history book out the window. There wasn't a single accurate detail in that movie other than the fact than Richtofen died, which I was grateful for at the end so I didn't have to watch any more. Movies like this are an insult to anyone who knows anything about WWI aerial history.

I'll skip the obvious, that they were flying Fokker DVII's in 1916, because the Blue Max did that too, or that 209 squadron was flying SE-5's, and will attack other parts. For one thing, they call the Pfalz D-III an 'old Albatross' at the beginning. For another, they have Voss, Goring, and Wolff all in Jasta Boelcke. The only one who was in that Jasta was Voss, and he joined after Boelcke died. Richtofen wasn't held to blame for Boelcke's death...Erwin Boehme, who collided with Boelcke, had swerved to avoid a British plane that Richtofen was chasing. When Richtofen received his head wound, it was while attacking a FE-2d two-seater, and he did not crash into the trenches and have soldiers fight over him, and NO..Werner Voss did not die that day. He died September 28th in one of the most epic battles in WWI.

Manfred was short, not like the actor who towered over everyone else. His brother Lothar was never in Jasta Boelcke either, he joined the squadron when Manfred was in charge of Jasta 11.

There's so many other glaring errors in historical fact that I'll let them go except perhaps the worst one, the death scene. In the movie Manfred is out-maneuvered by Brown and then shot down, making a perfect landing. Brown got off one burst at Richtofen while Richtofen was chasing May, and the facts amassed over the years overwhelmingly show that Richtofen was killed by ground fire, not by Brown.

The only value in this movie was the chance to see the flying scenes themselves, which were as good as 'The Blue Max', other than that I won't watch it again and I paid $30 for the tape!
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3/10
A let down.
blambert-312 June 2007
Took a chance to see if perhaps a really good WWI film had slipped my notice--this isn't it. John Phillip Law and Don Stroud are both stiff in their acting and miscast for their roles. The dialogue is dumb or non-existent; the flying sequences are okay but pretty repetitive. Compared to the terrific "Blue Max" this movie should never have been made. Watch George Peppard,James Mason, and Usula Andress in the BM and you get why that movie is one of the best war films ever made and this isn't. Recently released on DVD Richtofen and Brown is presented as some great 'lost classic' from the 70's, I resold mine the day after I bought it. Don't waste your time or $.
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6/10
the highest ace
jamescallumburton25 March 2012
The ( fictional ) life of WW1's greatest flying ace. This film receives a lot of negative attention due to the fact that it differs from historical truth quite a lot. However that aside the film is quite decent since the acting is quite good and it features great flying sequences and really nice planes that are all accurate for the time . It's not going to be fun to watch for anyone who knows about Von Richtofen , but it is just a film after all and does provide excitement and enjoyable drama so it definitely is worth giving a watch. It is quite similar to the battle of the bulge film in the sense it tramples all over historical events in order to create a better and more exciting story. Unorthodox but still a good film.
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Worst movie about WWI aviation ever made
toby-g16 March 1999
Anyone and everyone who was responsible for making and releasing Von Richthofen/Brown should be dragged out in the street and shot. It is absolutely one of the worst movies ever to be made. Even as a work of fiction it absolutely sucks. The characters are one dimensional and underdeveloped. Their lines are delivered as if reading from a cue card. The action sequences are utter garbage and completely unrealistic. The only thing I remember from the movie is when Brown dumps the one legged French girl. Yeah, that made me feel totally sympathetic to the main character. In short the movie is an abomination. I'd rather have my gall bladder removed with a shrimp fork than have to ever see this movie again.
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1/10
Embarrassing rubbish
paulwatkins-114 June 2008
As a flying and war movie buff, this ranks at he bottom of my list. It is historically completely inaccurate and the cast sounds and acts like they just stepped out of a high-school play. The acting, script, direction, production standards and casting are all garbage. The only saving grace is some of the flying sequences. If the people they portray were fictitious, I might rate it a 2, but if there is one thing that annoys me more than anything else in movies, it is pretending that this is history and that the great people they are trying to be, actually did this! Its almost as if they tried to write in as many notable WW1 personalities as possible.There are many good WW1 flying films and this is NOT one of them.
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6/10
Wasted Opportunity
Kevin-1427 January 2001
What a wasted opportunity this film is. The flying sequences are pretty good and the aeroplanes look authentic but everything else is dreadful. Lousy acting by all concerned coupled with a script that should make the writer embarrassed. These are real people that the film is about but the story is virtually complete fiction. And what was with all those awful cod-German accents (Zis time ve vill show ze Britisch, etc.). Accents like that belong in a comedy rather than a drama. Had Corman learned nothing from The Blue Max? Finally the soulless music score tries its best to kill off any sense of excitement whatsoever. That final piece sounded like the backing to a vampire being staked rather than an airman's death. I'll give it 6 out of 10 purely because of the flying sequences, otherwise it would have scored a 4.
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1/10
"Colorful trash..."
tiomingo3 August 2001
I have just written a comment to "ACES HIGH" (1976) and that remind me of this film which I watched as kid when it was released; since then I have watched it only once and that was more than enough. As Kevin well says "it is a complete waste of time". Apart from the dog-fights which are nicely done the rest is a sequence of badly patched scenes with actors struggling with a lousy script and equally lousy direction. I do not remember the silly German accents mentioned by Kevin in his comment, but that is another pathetic mistake; if Corman tried to make more convincing the characterization of the German pilots why didn't he use German actors or have those parts dubbed? On the other hand is good example of the appalling Hollywood-style of film-making with their "villains" so clearly identifiable, not only by their cruel actions but also by their grotesque accents.

Talking about "cruel actions" the ridiculous scene were Lieutenant Hermann Goering murders English nurses during an attack on an airbase is an absolutely disgusting piece of propaganda done with "historical hindsight". If you want to a see a factual, moving, very well acted and directed film about the air war during WWI watch "ACES HIGH" (1976) or that wonderful classic "THE DAWN PATROL" (1938) you shall not be disappointed.
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6/10
Missing History
lewosteen20 March 2017
This film was surprisingly well done with very believable flying sequences. My only criticism is that the history was not quite what I wanted as there is a lot of dispute as to whether Arthur Ray Brown shot down the Red baron or it was ground fire. Might of made for some good drama with a post shoot down take on that.
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8/10
Corman flying high...
poe42623 May 2015
VON RICHTHOFEN AND BROWN was one of those movies I'd been dying to see for years and I must admit that I wasn't as disappointed as I was afraid I was going to be: it's a thoroughly enjoyable (if often historically wonky) action movie, and boasts perhaps the finest dogfights ever committed to film (certainly far superior to the aerial combat sequences in movies like THE BLUE MAX and THE RED BARON). The greatest fault with VON RICHTHOFEN AND BROWN is, of course, the script: it comes to us from the same husband and wife team who botched both Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND (retitled THE OMEGA MAN, though Neville in the movie was clearly NOT the last man on Earth) and the dreadful BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES; that VON RICHTHOFEN AND BROWN turned out as well as it did is something of a miracle and no doubt attributable to Roger Corman's direction. Though (justifiably) famous for his low budget forays into Fantasy and Exploitation films, Corman pulls off quite a coup here. Kudos.
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Occasionally gets off the ground, but not often enough
Wizard-821 July 2014
Roger Corman is usually immediately associated with exploitive movies made for B studios, but there were a few times when he worked for major Hollywood studios, "Von Richthofen and Brown" being one example. Additional interest is that this movie is one of the few times Corman made a serious movie - there's no exploitive tone to be found here. So how are the end results? Well, with a major studio bankrolling the production, the look of the movie is pretty well done. There's no signs of cost-cutting or missing details. Also, the aerial sequences are excellent, exciting and breath-taking. However, Corman was working with an inadequate script. Though the various actors in the cast do a professional job, the screenplay simply doesn't get into the heads of Von Richthofen or Brown (or anyone else for that matter.) We don't really learn what's driving them or what they are really thinking. While I wouldn't say that this is a terrible movie despite that fatal flaw, I would only recommend the movie to Roger Corman fans who are intrigued about the idea of him making a serious movie on an A-level budget.
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9/10
One of the best movies I've seen in regards to occult numerology.
trevor_k15 April 2005
Hidden numerology shows up to a heavy degree in shows like the M*A*S*H TV series, 12 O'Clock High, and various movies, but this one is my favorite.

What you have to figure out is what the Baron is referring to when he exclaims "I have 30 men fighting for their lives".

Cross reference that to the recent picture "Aviator" where the Howard Hughes character has 24 cameras for his "Hells Angels" WWI combat picture, but needs 2 more for a total of 26.

It all makes sense if you are good at counting cycles...but sounds like gibberish otherwise.

Anyway, this picture may seem inaccurate historically, or even boring, but it's the "numbers" game that's the most appealing.

I attended a lecture by 'Doors' drummer John Densmore a few years ago where he couldn't figure out why the "Doors" movie was so historically inaccurate. Again, look for the numbers.

Rather than complaining about details and the production values, the real fun in Richthofen and Brown is the 'hidden' wisdom...and you'll find it if you look carefully.
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