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The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)

A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Axel Olsson
...
...
...
Newt
...
Philip Bruns ...
Dillhoefer
Roderick Cook ...
Werfel
...
Patsy
...
Maude
Scott Newman ...
Duke
James S. Appleby ...
Ace
Patrick W. Henderson Jr. ...
Scooter
James N. Harrell ...
Farmer (as James Harrell)
Elma Aicklen ...
Farmer's Wife
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Storyline

A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film depicting the dogfights in the Great War. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Robert Redford Takes to the Skies in This Rousing Adventure

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tollkühne Flieger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Waldo is recounting his fight with Kessler at the start of the movie, he mentions that his guns jammed and Kessler, seeing that he was helpless, saluted then flew away. This actually happened to Ernst Udet (on whom Kessler is based) when flying against the French ace Georges Guynemer in 1917, only it was Udet (at that time inexperienced) who had the jam and Guynemer (a high scoring ace) who let him go. See more »

Goofs

When Axel's biplane crashes into the pond, the stunt pilot's goggles are still correctly in place as the aircraft settles. In the closeup, Axel's goggles are suddenly askew on his face from the "impact". See more »

Quotes

Dillhoefer: Now, here's what we do. We put her up on the wing...
Duke: And she'll fake being afraid...
Dillhoefer: Right.
Duke: And the wind will blow her clothes off!
Dillhoefer: Yes! Yes!
Waldo Pepper: Wait! Why would the wind blow her clothes off? When I'm wing-walking, the wind doesn't blow MY clothes off.
Dillhoefer: Fool! Nobody wants to come and see YOU with YOUR clothes off!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.183 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the all-time greatest scenes in movies
23 November 2002 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

This is a great movie, from a very special era in movies, and contains an all-time great scene that speaks to the darker nature of humanity. SPOILER AHEAD!! I speak of the scene where Ezra Stiles, Waldo Pepper's best friend has crashed, and he is trapped in his plane, which has caught on fire. Waldo is trying to free him from the burning plane. A crowd of onlookers, who came to watch the aerial show, has gathered around the burning plane, staring while Waldo tries to free his best friend. THey do nothing but stare while Waldo screams at them, begging for their help.

The faces of the onlookers provides an insight into human nature: the blank, staring faces of the Midwestern peasantry, rapt at the sight of the trapped Stiles burning to death. Waldo frantically tries to enlist their help in dragging Stiles, to no avail.

Waldo finally has to brain his trapped friend so that he will not burn alive while still conscious.


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