Before the United States enters World War I, some American youths volunteer for the French military. Subsequently, they become the first U.S. fighter pilots and form a squadron known as the Lafayette Escadrille, whose exploits and heroism become the stuff of legend. This fictional version follows a laconic Texas rancher, an eager Nebraska kid, a Black boxer already in France, and a New York swell, as they arrive green for training, get their baptism by fire when German planes ambush them on their first mission, and graduate to heroics. Rawlings, the Texan, falls in love with a young woman he meets at a brothel. Written by
The character of Skinner is based on the Escadrille-pilot Eugene Bullard, an American who had gone to France and worked as a boxer there. He was also a son of a slave, just like Skinner. Bullard was rejected from the Lafayette Escadrille by a prejudiced white man. He served in another escadrille in the Lafayette Flying Corps. See more »
The gun turret atop the Zeppelin, as well as the gunner, are nowhere to be seen in the distance shots. They only appear in the close-ups. See more »
By the start of 1916, World War I had wreaked havoc across Europe. Over nine million people would eventually die.
Although the airplane had only recently been invented, it was quickly adapted into a war machine.
The young men who flew them became the first fighter pilots and a new kind of hero was born.
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A bunch of Ariel Tactics pushed by a romantic storyline.
I really enjoyed the movie. You didn't have to think much about it, it was what it was. Apparently there are some close ties to the true story but it never seemed an issue of trying to portray something too realistic. I am not a huge Franco fan, in fact his poutiness wears on you in most films but he seems to do a really good job of mixing it up, meaning he smiles in this one. I saw a pre-release screening and everyone that I spoke to agreed that it was a good movie. The special effects were really good, the airplanes seemed very realistic for the most part. The close ups seemed a little fake but the tactics seemed really good. I found a bit of cheesiness in the dialog at times but managed to not pay too much attention too it. It wasn't deep but kept you interested the whole time. Don't get me wrong, it was no Saving Private Ryan but it had enough action and drama to keep you interested. They even threw a bit of humor in to keep you loose in your seat. I would recommend it to anyone, just don't expect to walk away a changed person for having seen it. It was a fun movie with some good historical point.
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