Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (1973)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  1 April 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 148 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 5 critic

Story of a 1920s stunt flyer and the son he takes on the road with him.


(as Bill Sampson)


(screenplay) (as Chips Rosen) , (story)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rodger Walford
Sister Lite
Mr. Parsons
Patricia Smith ...
Mrs. Wilma Walford
Robert Hamm ...
Dumb Dickie
Herb Gatlin ...
Frank Savage
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Ariana Chase ...
Betty Jo (as Ariane Munker)


Story of a 1920s stunt flyer and the son he takes on the road with him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of Ace Eli... when planes were young and the world was innocent... except for Ace's son Rodger... Rodger of the Skies.








Release Date:

1 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los ases del cielo  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was filmed in Mt. Hope, KS. See more »


Shelby: When I pay, I don't lay.
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Who's For Complainin
Written and Performed by Jim Grady
Produced by John Madara
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User Reviews

21 January 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Generally, I like the kind of movie about which I could say, "This movie could never be made today." That is a statement true of Ace Eli, but unfortunately, this movie should never have been made in its time either.

It is thoroughly unpleasant, aimless and populated with hateful characters. The odd thing is that it seems designed as some sort of nostalgic family entertainment.

Begin with Cliff Robertson and the kid who Bobby Brady paid a half dollar to go out with Cindy. They are dad and son. The mom is killed in a plane crash with Cliff as pilot (this happens right away, so I'm not spoiling anything), and Cliff decides he's going to go fly away in his biplane and barnstorm the country. The kid is a jerk to a little girl who likes him, Cliff is a jerk to the kid and the girl's mom who he is immediately sleeping with (fun for the whole family). They burn down their house and take off. The kid smokes, Cliff sleeps with some more gals, lots of nice footage of the plane flying around, no real narrative.

The positives: Pamela Franklin is unspeakably hot as a uppity woman who is attracted to good ol' Cliff. Bernadette Peters fans can see her. Nice shots of an old biplane flying around for those who are interested in barnstorming and such.

The odd thing is that Spielberg wrote this, and it is about a time in American history about which one could write a sentimental father-son barnstorming team movie. This movie has very little sentiment (Spielberg maybe tried to make up for this with "Always"?) and NO charm despite it's unique setting.

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