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The Wings of Eagles (1957)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 22 February 1957 (USA)
A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Read.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Frank W. 'Spig' Wead
... 'Jughead' Carson
... Min Wead
... John Dodge
... John Dale Price
... Adm. Moffett
... Capt. Herbert Allen Hazard
James Todd ... Jack Travis
... Capt. Jock Clark
... Manager
... Capt. Spear
... Barton
... Rose Brentmann
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Director John Ford's newest triumph, the life-inspired story of reckless, fun-loving, romantic "Spig" Wead, Sqaudron Commander. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dem Adler gleich  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,644,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,300,000, 31 December 1957

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,650,000, 31 December 1957
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne was 25 years older than his character. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Frank W. 'Spig' Wead: [while trying to regain nerve control of his toes in the hospital] I'm gonna move that toe!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Wayne: On Board with the Duke (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of the Islands
(uncredited)
By Charles E. King
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User Reviews

 
Excellent
1 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

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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