6.5/10
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255 user 124 critic

Flyboys (2006)

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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 »
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 real Lafayette Escadrille actually had a pair of lion cubs as mascots. One was indeed named "Whiskey," as in the film. The other, appropriately enough, was named "Soda." See more »

Goofs

The Black Falcon and the Gotha bomber bear the straight-edged Balkan Cross of 1918 instead of the Iron Cross of 1914-17. 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Aerial Movie Dogfights (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Madamoiselle from Armentieres
Written by Harry Carlton and Joseph Tunbridge (as Joe Tunbridge)
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The aerial combat was exciting, tense, and realistic
19 September 2006 | by the-movie-guySee all my reviews

(Synopsis) World War I began in Europe in 1914, but by 1917, the United States had still not entered the war. However, many brave young American men went to France to fly and fight for the Allied powers. They joined the Lafayette Escadrille fighter squadron. The Germans had better planes, weapons, and pilots. The average life expectancy for a fighter-pilot was three to six weeks. Why did these Americans volunteer to fight in France with certain death when their own country was not at war? This was a time when men were idealistic, but naive to embark on a great adventure. Blaine Rawlings (James Franco) was forced to leave his home in Arizona after the family ranch was foreclosed by the bank. Blaine sees a newsreel of fighter-pilots in France and decides that he has nothing to lose. Briggs Lowry (Tyler Labine) can't do anything right and is shamed into joining by his rich father. African-American boxer Eugene Skinner (Abdul Salis) had been living in France, a racially tolerant country, for many years, wanted to give something back to his new country. These Americans were under the command of French Captain Georges Thenault (Jean Reno) and American Squadron Leader Reed Cassidy (Martin Henderson). They were the world's first combat pilots.

(My Comment) The film was inspired by a true story. What that means is that the writers could write anything they wanted to about the pilots' personal lives. There were actually 38 American volunteers with an average age of 26 that joined the Lafayette Escadrille. Thirty were college educated and eleven were sons of millionaires. These men had a sense of adventure and romance of war, and they believed in "dying with honor." The movie uses a composite of these qualities of the actual pilots, and yes, there really was a black pilot in the squadron. The movie does not shy away from the real aspects of war or the sordid aspects of life on the ground. After every mission there are some pilots who do not return, and we get to see their replacements, and how the pilots deal with the loss of their friends. The aerial combat was exciting, tense, and realistic with the attack on the zeppelin being the best scene of the movie. There is a love story that slows the pace of the movie, and it was a little too long. You will love the scenes with Whiskey, their mascot lion. I think the writers could have used the real pilots' stories and names, and it would have been a better movie by giving credit to those young men. If you like war pictures this is a movie to see. (MGM Pictures, Run time 2:19, Rated PG-13)(8/10)


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