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The Fighting Lady


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DVD 1-Disc Version
$55.00 $14.50

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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 (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B1YF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,533 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Customer Reviews

He said this was very well done.
Lorraine S
These are some of the young men who fought for our right to live free.
Howard C. Batt
That started a life-long love of aircraft carriers.
William E. Wilson, Jr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

287 of 290 people found the following review helpful By Rob Morris on July 28, 2001
Format: DVD
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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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on April 20, 2006
Format: DVD
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 By Douglas M. Garrou on 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Darth Maciek TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 2, 2012
Format: DVD
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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