6.6/10
5,028
27 user 22 critic

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 »

Director:

George Roy Hill

Writers:

George Roy Hill (story), William Goldman (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Hot Rock (1972)
Certificate: GP Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dortmunder and his pals plan to steal a huge diamond from a museum. But this turns out to be only the first time they have to steal it...

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Robert Redford, George Segal, Ron Leibman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A rodeo star past his prime steals his company's horse and rides into the desert, with a feisty reporter accompanying him.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine
The Candidate (1972)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Bill McKay is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. He has no hope of winning, so he is willing to tweak the establishment.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Melvyn Douglas
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A story of two motorcycle racers, the inept, unsuspecting Little Fauss (Michael J. Pollard) and the opportunistic, womanizing Halsey Knox (Redford).

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Robert Redford, Michael J. Pollard, Lauren Hutton
Certificate: M Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1909, when young Paiute Indian Willie Boy returns to his California reservation to be with Lola, whose father disapproves of him, a killing in self defense takes place, triggering a massive man hunt for Willie.

Director: Abraham Polonsky
Stars: Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Robert Blake
Brubaker (1980)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, Morgan Freeman
Certificate: M/PG Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Quietly cocky Robert Redford joins U.S. ski team as downhill racer and clashes with the team's coach, played by Gene Hackman. Lots of good skiing action leading to an exciting climax.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv
Legal Eagles (1986)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A New York district attorney works and flirts with his adversary and her kooky artist client, who is on trial for a murder she didn't commit.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Robert Redford, Debra Winger, Daryl Hannah
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man named Billy Pilgrim tells the story of how he became unstuck in time and was abducted by aliens.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman, Eugene Roche
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A French boy (Daniel) and an American girl (Lauren), who go to school in Paris, meet and begin a little romance. They befriend Julius, who enchants them with his storytelling. In an attempt... See full summary »

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Diane Lane, Thelonious Bernard
Havana I (1990)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1950s Cuba, a professional gambler falls for a woman heavily involved in the revolution movement.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Lena Olin, Alan Arkin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Midwesterner becomes fascinated with his nouveau riche neighbor, who obsesses over his lost love.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Waldo Pepper
Bo Svenson ... Axel Olsson
Bo Brundin ... Ernst Kessler
Susan Sarandon ... Mary Beth
Geoffrey Lewis ... Newt
Edward Herrmann ... Ezra Stiles
Philip Bruns ... Dillhoefer
Roderick Cook Roderick Cook ... Werfel
Kelly Jean Peters ... Patsy
Margot Kidder ... Maude
Scott Newman Scott Newman ... Duke
James S. Appleby James S. Appleby ... Ace
Patrick W. Henderson Jr. Patrick W. Henderson Jr. ... Scooter
James N. Harrell James N. Harrell ... Farmer (as James Harrell)
Elma Aicklen Elma Aicklen ... Farmer's Wife
Edit

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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Robert Redford in a George Roy Hill film See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tollkühne Flieger See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$20,642,922
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There are no studio takes in airplanes. All close-ups of actors being airborne were done for real, sometimes with George Roy Hill, a former Marine pilot himself, flying the airplane while directing. Scenes with Robert Redford and Bo Svenson climbing out on the wing were done without any security harness or parachutes. See more »

Goofs

Ernst Kessler's plane in the airshow scenes is a Pitts Special, a design that was first built in 1944. See more »

Quotes

Ezra Stiles: It's gonna be a monoplane.
Waldo Pepper: A monoplane. Are you telling me you're building me an airplane with only one wing?
Ezra Stiles: Just thought you'd like to know: the biplane's gone the way of the Dodo.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Beata Virgo Viscera (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
When the airplane was a big toy
22 February 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Robert Redford got one of his best roles in The Great Waldo Pepper which was directed by George Roy Hill who did right by him with Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and The Sting. It does a wonderful job of capturing a bygone era of the Twenties when after World War I, the airplane was a big toy played with by some big kids.

The airplane got invented just in time for use in the war to end all wars. But no one figured out quite what to do with it. In point of fact it didn't have the capacity to drop bombs on the enemy to do that much damage. In the trench warfare days the real function was scouting those enemy lines to see and report on troop dispositions. But the other side did the same thing. So when they met dogfights happened. They were colorful and exciting, but didn't really do much militarily.

Aces got their reputations like the real life Baron Von Richtofen and Hermann Goering and the fictional Ernest Kessler as played by Bo Brundin here. Waldo Pepper in the Great War came up too late to show his stuff even though his former squadron leader Geoffrey Lewis says he was the most natural flier he ever saw. He had a brief encounter with Brundin days before the Armistice where Brundin let him off. He never got a chance to prove himself.

Now he proves himself every day in the various flying circuses doing daredevil stunts. People who fly do it for the love it and won't be happy going 9 to 5 on the ground. Redford is at the height of his abilities and this is his frustration that he never got to show his stuff in the arena where it really counted. Redford did a wonderful job in fleshing this aspect of his character.

But his world is changing, if the military has put aviation on hold there are lots of commercial uses. And a guy named Herbert Hoover who Secretary of Commerce at that time spearheaded the creation of the Civil Aeronautics Agency to regulate air traffic. Airplanes would be hauling mail and people and would soon be large enough to haul freight. Not a world that calls for daredevil daring.

The Great Waldo Pepper is one of Robert Redford's best films and roles. The Great Robert Redford has this part really nailed down. Some other folks in the cast are a tragic Edward Herrmann who hasn't got the skill as a pilot that Redford has and shows it. Susan Sarandon plays a budding wing walker who also perishes tragically in one of her early roles. George Roy Hill assembled a great supporting cast to back up Redford.

In the end it's Redford who makes The Great Waldo Pepper great.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed