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Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Release Date: 26-MAR-2002
Media Type: DVD
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Remembering as a boy watching FIVE Stars. As an adult re-mastering this movie would make it a FIVE star. In the re-mastering; deleting one images that are repeated three times. Read morePublished 1 day ago by D. Hill
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