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The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter pilots.

Director:

Tony Bill

Writers:

Phil Sears (screenplay), Blake T. Evans (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,967 ( 836)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franco ... Blaine Rawlings
Scott Hazell Scott Hazell ... Cinema Usher
Mac McDonald ... Sheriff Detweiller
Philip Winchester ... William Jensen
Todd Boyce ... Mr. Jensen
Karen Ford Karen Ford ... Mrs. Jensen
Ruth Bradley ... Laura
Abdul Salis Abdul Salis ... Eugene Skinner
Jean-Philippe Écoffey Jean-Philippe Écoffey ... Skinner's trainer
Tim Pigott-Smith ... Mr. Lowry
Tyler Labine ... Briggs Lowry
Gail Downey Gail Downey ... Mrs. Lowry
David Ellison ... Eddie Beagle
Jean Reno ... Capt. Thenault
Augustin Legrand Augustin Legrand ... L.T. Giroux
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by a true story


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war action violence and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

22 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flyboys: Héroes del aire See more »

Filming Locations:

Epping, Essex, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,004,219, 24 September 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,082,288, 17 December 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,834,865, 31 December 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The German airship has the tactical sign "L 32". L 32 had been produced by "Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH" with the internal number "LZ 74" (LZ for "Luftschiff Zeppelin" = Airship Zeppelin). The tactical sign beginning with "L" tells us, that it had been an airship from the German marine and not from the army. "L 32" was built on 4th of August 1916 and carried out one reconnaissance mission for a naval attack against Sunderland and three bombing missions against England. Only one and a half month later - on 24th of September, British fighters shot it down. So there was never a mission performed against Paris or even France! See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: By the start of 1916, World War I had wreaked havoc across Europe. Over nine million people would eventually die.
Title Card: Although the airplane had only recently been invented, it was quickly adapted into a war machine.
Title Card: The young men who flew them became the first fighter pilots and a new kind of hero was born.
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Connections

Spoofed in Diary of a Miniature Stunt Pilot (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Beat Us (If It Takes 10 Million More)
Written by Ernest Ball and J. Keirn Brennan (as J. Brennan)
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lafayette Escadrille
22 September 2006 | by SonOfMoogSee all my reviews

This is the story of American volunteers who fought for the French during World War I before America entered the war. It is based on a true story, and largely faithful to that story. The first world war was the first "ugly" war. It is the first war where, as one of the characters observes, "Neither side will win. It will just end." And, this movie does not shrink away from showing the horror, the ugliness, and the overwhelming grimness of war.

Because the special effects made it possible, more than any movie in recent memory, it graphically shows the excitement and the adrenaline rush of combat flying. The combat sequences are nothing short of dazzling; they were so good I could experience vicariously the rush of bullets tearing through cloth fuselages, the spins and turns, and dips and climbs, and barrel rolls, and dives, and with all that, I could look inside myself and know I did not have the courage to do what they did. In the end, that's what this story is about, and the love story, the individual pilot lives fade into the background.

Still, it's worth noting, one of the movie's best moments is the denouement where we learn what happened to the Americans of the Lafayette Escadrille, those who survived. I won't spoil it for you, just know that truth is stranger than fiction, and often a good deal sadder. I enjoyed Flyboys for what it was: the chance to vicariously experience the adrenaline rush of aerial combat. Performances were good, and Jean Reno was great as the captain of the Lafayette Escadrille. Nice popcorn flick.


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