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The Fighting Lady (1944)

Robert Taylor , William Wyler  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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DVD 1-Disc Version $19.98  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Taylor
  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: Gaiam - Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2001
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B1YF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,738 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
286 of 289 people found the following review helpful
This 62-minute color DVD is taken from a war documentary done in 1944 and meant for Home Front theater audiences. It is absolutely superb. First of all, it is directed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler, who also did the 'Memphis Belle' news documentary. Second, it is carefully put together to give viewers a feeling for what life was like on a great American aircraft carrier in the Pacific in World War II. Third, the whole thing is in exceptionally good color. The film follows the 'Fighting Lady' (not her real name, because of the war and because it represented all the carriers) from the time the first planes arrive and land on her decks through a series of hard-fought campaigns, including Kwajalein, Truk and the 'Marianas Turkey Shoot'. The footage is excellent, whether showing the daily lives of men on the ship, from the captain to the pilots to the cooks and dishwashers, or showing actual combat footage taken from the gun cameras of American fighters and fighter-bombers. The action footage is amazingly good. Narration is provided by Robert Taylor, an actor who was a Naval Reservist during the war. It is first-class in every way. I recommend it for anyone interested in life on aircraft carriers in World War II, in good color combat footage, in watching planes take off and land on a narrow, pitching deck, or WWII naval history in general. This is a bargain at twice the price.
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fighting Lady April 20, 2006
Released in late 1944, winner of an Academy Award as Best Documentary in 1945, William Wyler's THE FIGHTING LADY portrays life aboard a newly commissioned aircraft carrier as it wends its way southward from its eastern seaboard home port, crosses the Panama Canal, and streams westward to join the naval war in the Pacific theater of operations. Finally, we are on board planes and boat during a number of enemy engagements.

The War Office commissioned a number of these documentaries during the war. They were made by top-notch Hollywood directors, including John Huston, John Ford, and Wyler. Probably the best known of these is Frank Capra's early, five-part `Why We Fight' series, the first of which was released in 1942. I've read that audiences grew increasingly tired of them. War-weariness had set in, newsreels delivered much more current information, and the typical 60-minute run time was hard to fit onto a playbill. A Saint or a Boston Blackie or even a Blondie episode would have been a lot easier to sell than a war documentary depicting events that occurred over a year and a half ago.

That said, THE FIGHTING LADY is pretty good. The ship's real name is never revealed. I guess (wasn't told this, either) that it's a Yorktown-class carrier. The camera gets around fairly comfortably, imparting an idea of how enclosed and self contained life on an aircraft carrier was. Crewmen bake bread, shave steaks off whole quarters of beeves. The deck hangar is as huge as a cathedral. Early on the ship's captain exhorts the crew to greater efficiency, pilots are granted the luxury of pre-battle breakfasts of steak and eggs, and the mutt mascot wags around in a miniature life vest when the ship enters more dangerous waters.
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80 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous April 19, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An outstanding example of the wartime documentary, in color no less. Not exactly politically correct, but what do you expect? We didn't start the damn war.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fighting Lady September 25, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As others have written, this is a great color movie from WWII of CV-10 U.S.S. Yorktown. However, the DVD is disappointing because it is generally off-color, mostly with a distinct yellow tint. Compared to the VHS tape of this same movie that I bought at the Yorktown's museum at Patriot Point, the color is significantly worse and the detail is no better. Further, the VHS tape has a nice addendum that tells more of the story. The DVD has the Good Times disclaimer that it's from an old movie, but I'm not sure why it should be of lesser quality than a VHS tape purchased in the last few years.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This excellent documentary was produced for war time PROPAGANDA purposes in 1943 and 1944 by the services of communication of US Navy and therefore it has all the limitations of this kind of films. It is however a precious document capturing well a great deal of the atmosphere of life on board of an American aircaft-carrier during WWII in Pacific and also showing lots of most interesting REAL fight footage - and all of this in color! It is also very skillfully done. The narration is of course quite jingoistic, but I believe it reflects quite well the general mood prevailing amongst American fighting men (and women) and the general public during the war.

In this film the real name of the aircraft-carrier is never revealed, in order to not give this kind of information to the enemy - the ship is always just called "The Fighting Lady". But in fact, the carrier on which we travel, was the USS "Yorktown" (CV-10), the second ship in the famous "Essex" class (which counted no less than 26 units!). "Essex" class carriers were the ones which between 1943 and 1945 allowed the US Navy to comprehensively defeat Imperial Japanese Navy and bring US forces from Southern and Eastern Pacific to the immediate proximity of Japanese home islands. The "Fighting Lady" was the second carrier to bear this name - the first "Yorktown" was sunk at Midway.

The second USS "Yorktown" had a very busy war and it is well shown in this documentary, which covers the period from August 1943 to June 1944.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Typical World War II term, but worth spending the time to see it.
Published 1 month ago by Joseph C Rhea
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
Published 3 months ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie to own
Actual war footage in the Pacific about an aircraft carrier involved in battle....I highly recommend this DVD for those whose interest in the great war........
Published 6 months ago by Rosemary
5.0 out of 5 stars WWII documentary
About an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Theater. This is a daughter of a WWII writing this review. My Father spent time in Kwajalein and the Marianas area. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lorraine S
2.0 out of 5 stars The Fighting Lady
It's just a documentary and not really a movie. One plus because it was narrated by Robert Taylor and he did a very good job.
Published 6 months ago by James Lipa
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it.
My father served on the "The Fighting Lady" in 1950 and he loved her. This DVD gave me some insight into what he went through while he was on-board.
Published 7 months ago by wt mcdonald
1.0 out of 5 stars First negative review I have written:
This is the first negative review I have written. But I have to be honest with you guys. Very disappointing documentary by Robert Taylor
Published 7 months ago by submariner
5.0 out of 5 stars Life aboard a warship
One can see why many loved military service and found readjusting
to civilian life difficult. Teamwork kept this great warship
running, its planes flying. Read more
Published 7 months ago by hawkeye
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
This film is great, we like the older classic films, and this has another story of WWII that shows what our country and others went thru during that time.
Published 8 months ago by cecelia Prince
4.0 out of 5 stars WWII story
This was a story put out in WWII when America needed heros. Robert Taylor narriated the srory of an American carrier that went through battles in the Pacific, some winners and some... Read more
Published 10 months ago by John H. Danner
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