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Flying Tigers

4.4 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Wayne stars as squadron leader of the American Volunteer Group of Flying Tigers, who fought for China's freedom from the Japanese before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: NR
Release Date: 26-MAR-2002
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

John Wayne plays the tough commander of Flying Tigers, the famous fighter squadron that fought to save China from the Japanese. Wayne finds he is fighting a war on two fronts: he's taking on the enemy with only a handful of inexperienced men and patched-up planes while keeping a cocky new pilot from stealing his girl. The story has little in common with real history, and lots of classic post-Pearl Harbor propaganda fills the script. Regardless, the movie is all Wayne's, and Wayne fans will enjoy seeing the prototype for what would become the Duke's trademark portrayal of the military fighting man.

Although the pressure of making life-and-death decisions in wartime may be more maturely explored in Twelve O'Clock High, Flying Tigers still has enough characterization and action to keep the viewer's attention (not to mention special effects by the pioneering Howard Lydecker). --Mark Savary


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee, Paul Kelly, Gordon Jones
  • Directors: David Miller
  • Writers: Barry Trivers, Kenneth Gamet
  • Producers: Edmund Grainger
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0782011276
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,600 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flying Tigers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carolyn Falconer on January 2, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think the aspect that I enjoyed most about this movie is that even though it is a John Wayne movie, we see a lot of character development from the other actors as well. In 1942, John Wayne was not yet a top 10 movie actor, so the director did not have to have the whole movie spin around him (not that there's anything wrong with that!). But this movie gives us insight into a number of men the Duke have under his command, and the movie is a much richer experience for it. As for the transfer to DVD, it varies from good to excellent. Certainly not as good as Republic's 50th anniversary version, released on Laserdisc. But the DVD has behind the scenes information on the cast members, after the movie finishes. All in all, a great John Wayne movie that no fan should be without!
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By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Of the John Wayne movies made, this would have to be among his very best. No one could make a movie like the Duke. The dogfight scenes truly capture the essence of the film and the life and times of WWII. I found that the Hollywood genere of this film was great for its display of the US and Japanese aircraft. Whenever I watch this movie, I wonder were and when Hollywood lost its "magic" to make a film that can capture the feeling that David Miller did. Get this one - it is a winner!!
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Format: DVD
Early World War Two film that celebrates, sort of, Claire Chennault's volunteer air group in China prior to the United States' entry into the war, FLYING TIGERS opens with a testimonial dedication by Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and spends its remaining 100 minutes test flying a P-40's worth of war-flick clichés.

John Wayne plays squadron commander Jim Gordon, a man who doesn't let the burden of command interfere too much with his romance of pretty Red Cross nurse Brooke Elliott (Anna Lee.) Capt. Gordon recruits Clark Gable-lookalike Woody Jason (John Carroll,) who proves his stuff to the audience - Gordon probably already knew he was a good pilot - by landing a commercial plane in a raging storm on, as the air controller breathlessly tells us above the roar of the tropical storm, a wing and a prayer. The other wing is on fire. Convincingly, too. The special effects in FLYING TIGERS are impressive. Howard Lydecker was nominated for an Academy Award in 1943 for his work here, losing out to the team responsible for the effects in Cecil B. DeMille's `Reap the Wild Wind.' Lydecker's work is almost seamlessly integrated into shots of actual dogfights to very good effect.

What doesn't fit so smoothly is the hackneyed love story. Women were squeezed away from the front line as the war progressed, but in 1942 there were an awful lot of Pacific based military stories that had an awful lot of corny love sub-plots. FLYING TIGERS is bloated with some naïve patriotism, too. There weren't a whole lot of `based-on-fact' stories to tell in 1942, fewer yet that didn't feature doomed military outposts. Chennault was flying missions in China prior to U.S.
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Format: VHS Tape
That film, along with Wake Island, gave the American people a sense of pride, determination and the strong feeling of winning in the face of our defeats during those early war years........The film was great!
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Format: DVD
Made in 1942, this movie provides a fictional depiction of the American Volunteer Group who are better known as the Flying Tigers. While the quality of the movie is not all that great, the story inspired a nation during WWII. It also launched John Wayne into a new genre of films.

Most will enjoy the film since it moves along at a pretty good pace considering it was made in the 1940s. The aerial action sequences are actually pretty decent, although it seems like every pilot who dies is shot in the face. The film is obviously aimed at a mostly male audience since the story focuses so much on the relationships of the men as they face enormous challenges and odds.

I did not care much for the love sub-plot, but it seems like a necessary component for most films of this genre. It distracts from the overall story of bravery, courage, honor, and respect. Of course, I did not care much for this part of Pearl Harbor either, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

If you enjoy WWII aerial combat films, you will most likely enjoy this one as well. If you are a fan of the Duke, it is a must see. If you are looking for a historically accurate film about the Flying Tigers this is probably not a great choice, but it is good entertainment.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE FLYING TIGERS (1942) starring Anna Lee, John Carroll, Paul Kelly, Tom Neal, the Great Richard Loo and some guy named John Wayne.

The film tells the story of a squadron of American volunteer pilots fighting for Chaing Chai Chek's nationalist army against the forces of the Imperial Japanese Empire in early 1941. Wayne plays the squadron commander who not only has to fight the Japanese but deal with a brilliant but wildly irresponsible hot shot pilot Carroll(doing an amazing Clark Gable impersonation), his pal Kelly's failing depth perception necessitating his being grounded and his relationship with winsome english nurse Lee. Loo plays the squadron's doctor. And then it is Dec 7, 1941 and the squadron must take on a desperate mission on the eve of the great battle of Changsha.

I had not seen this one in about twenty years and, though I remembered huge chunks of it, I had forgotten just how good it was. I know there was extensive model work but there were several scenes in the jawdropping air battles that I still wonder how they did it!! I have not seen a film with the Duke is a long time too and it was a great pleasure to see him here....very early in his career where he gets to play the stodgy but responsible part who keeps to the steady path while the bombs are dropping and soap suds are bubbling all around him. Everyone smokes and drinks like there is no tomorrow! FREEEEDOM!!!

By the way not to harp on it but according to liberals 40s Hollywood was a seething cauldron of racism. Check out this film(and CHINA's) handling of the Chinese! It was not a dislike of Orientals--just the opposite actually--but a loathing of the Imperial Japanese--and not because of their race but because of their idealogy and behavior.
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