U.S. Navy pilot Frank 'Spig' Wead is a fun-loving and rowdy adventurer, but also a fierce proponent of Naval aviation. His dedication to the promotion of the Navy's flying program is so intense that his marriage and family life suffer. When an accident paralyzes him, Spig finds a new means of expressing his love of flying: screenwriting. Successful and acclaimed, he finds the U.S. entry into World War II to be an irresistible call. Pleading that he be reinstated in the Navy despite his paralysis, Spig finds he has an enormous contribution yet to make.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Wead meets Captain "Jocko" the aircraft carrier bears the side number 3, which was USS Saratoga. Jocko Clark's ship was Yorktown (CV-10), which Wead joined in January 1944. Furthermore, the plane being hoisted aboard is an F4U Corsair, which did not deploy on carriers until December 1944. See more »
Not one of Ford's best works as a director, but it's an excellent film nonetheless. It's one of the best biopics I've ever seen. The subject is Frank "Spig" Wead, a Navy man through and through who, despite all his success in the service, was never able to make much of a connection with his wife and daughters. It was a very personal story for John Ford, who was a good friend of Wead's. Wead was the screenwriter on Ford's excellent They Were Expendable (and also Air Mail, which I haven't seen). The film concentrates on the man and his relationships. John Wayne gives a downright excellent performance as Wead. Maureen O'Hara is back as his love interest, and their interactions here are marvelous. Also giving excellent performances are Ken Curtis (maybe his best role in a Ford film), Dan Dailey, and Ward Bond as the first movie producer who hires Wead. Bond's performance is in loving imitation of John Ford. The Wings of Eagles is a very touching tribute to a friend. The only problem is that it is such a personal story to Ford that the most interesting part, the relationship with the wife and kids, is not treated fully in order to make Wead look better than he probably did in real life. 8/10.
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