The Great Waldo Pepper
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Top Customer Reviews
I like Robert Redford in almost anything, and he's at his best here as a barnstorming pilot in the 1920s who pretends to have seen more action in World War One than he did. He made me feel for the character when he said, "It should have been me" after rival flyer Axel Olsen exposed him as a "four-flusher" for claiming he was a key figure in a famous battle.
Pepper finally gets his chance to go up against the German World War One ace Ernst Kessler (perhaps loosely based on the real German ace Ernst Udet) as a stunt pilot in a movie crew.
The dialogue scenes between Pepper and Kessler leading up to the climactic dogfight are the best part of the movie, even though Kessler's lines seemed to be written more in the interest of serving the plot than in serving the character.
The idea that Kessler was a man who only felt at home in the air, for whom nothing worked out well on the ground, resonated with me, as it did with Pepper, who felt the same way.
In closing, I'd like to mention the beginning of the movie when Waldo Pepper lands at a small town in Iowa to offer airplane rides. He promises a free ride at the end of the day to a boy named Scooter if he will tote a 5-gallon gas can back and forth from the filling station to keep Pepper's plane fueled.
The song that plays over the opening credits during this sequence has stuck with me for 28 years. I heard it again in 1992 while attending a boot camp graduation ceremony at the Great Lakes Naval Recruit Training Command and remembered it from the movie. I don't know the name of it, but I love that song.Read more ›
1. No special features. Even the lowly Good Times full-screen version at least gave you production notes to peruse, as well as scene selection and set-up options. I realize it may be way too late to do any "Making Of" videos, but something to give us insight into this miracle of filmmaking would be nice. As it is, this DVD goes straight into the opening titles.
2. They changed the intro and closing music. Gone is the melancholy piano waltz during the scrapbook viewing both at the beginning and at the end. I love that tune, and it's one of the things that set the tone for the movie. The music that replaced it is in keeping with the times -- and if I'd never seen the movie before, I probably would think it was a stroke of genius -- but I do so love the old tune.Read more ›
This happens to many of us as we grow older and the world around begins to change. Like Reford in The Great Waldo Pepper you try and grasp onto what your most familiar with. The world and it's changes leave you behind. What do you do? In this well made, well filmed and well acted movie you will find out about the life and dreams of one man placed where there is no return.
The Great Waldo Pepper Has some of the most beautiful flying scenes that you will see anywhere. It turns back the pages of time and gives you a little glimpse of what flying was all about in its infancy. My suggestion: Buy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story and flying film, about a flyer that never existed. Made by truly great and Famous pilots and builders from FLABOB riverside airport. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John L. Mehlmauer
One of the, if not THE, best videos sequences of the airship bi-plane era. So good, that when it came out, after seeing it in the theatre, I invited my neighbor at the time,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Zoruder22
Good movie if you love anything aviation. Pretty amazing flying scenes.Published 3 months ago by Bob O'Loughlin
One of George Roy Hill's best movies. The action scenes are gripping, and the story is true to the period.Published 5 months ago by TubaMan
Though old, this is a great movie. If you like aviation, and have any interest in early aviation including World War I aircraft and dogfighting, you will love this movie. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Countrygrrl