Best Aviation movie

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Apr 18, 2007
Not sure if this belongs in this part of the forum but I will give it a shot.

What you you think is the best Aviation movie that has been released as a major motion picture. Any era in aviation is welcome from biplanes to jets.

I would like to say my top two are

Battle of Britain a classic that I'm sure everyone here has seen. And one that some may not of THE ARROW. Mainly because it was such a great plane that could have brought aviation to a whole new era way before it's time.

Like to know your thoughts.
I like Captains of the Clouds with Jimmy Cagney one of the first colour aviation movies lots of aircraft or Piece of Cake for the story and the flying is the best ....particularly the Spit under the bridge
I personally like The Bridges at Toko Ri, although I don't know how big it was when it came out in the theater. Another one that has a lot of good flying scenes is Fighter Squadron, despite the use of P-51s as Messerschmitts.
Beside the obvious and after a quick look at the list, here are a few that I enjoyed.

Air America: Don't know how accurate but the flying was top rate. The STOL aircraft scenes on the mountain are chair gripping (especially after I took a flight in one of those, a missionary plane out of South America. Fun little ride!).

The Blue Max: Credit for getting the planes to at least look like period aircraft, i.e. DVIIs, Albatrosses, SE 5s. Battle sequences were excellent. Love watching the DrIs flying.

The Dawn Patrol: With David Niven. Good movie. Typical 1930s WWI flying movie with good action scenes.

Fail Safe: The dark Dr. Strangelove. Same situation but handled with reality. Good tension movie with twist ending.

The Flight of the Phoenix: The original is the best. One of Stewart's best performances. Lots of B-movie actors in good roles. Dan Dureya from Sahara, Hardy Kruger from Bridge Too Far, Peter Finch, Richard Attenborough from The Great Escape and Sand Pebbles and most importantly Paul Manz's last film I believe, killed during flight of the contraption created at the end of movie.

Hell's Angels: Howard Hughes expensive (for that time) movie about WWI and it does well. Scene where the German Zeppelin goes down is tension filled.

Murphy's War: A gem if you can see it. Peter O'Toole's one man war against a German sub using a Grumman Duck. Really, really enjoyable movie. And I get goosebumps watching that Duck first take flight off the lake. Awesome!
I'm Glad to see that although there was some good flight seens in Pearl Harbour no one has mentioned it. Terrible plot, that could have had so much promise. For that Battle I like the movie Tora Tora Tora.
I also have to give mention to 12 O'Clock High Great bomber film.
Yeah The japenese didn't have to attack in Pearl Harbour. The actors and and Directors sunk that movie all on their own.

Can they be hung for treason by making that movie?
I just saw Flying Leathernecks.

Not bad. Some of the acting a bit stiff, but I have heard Howard Hughes wasn't the best director, and that they didn't like the acting in Hell's Angels either. I liked the Corsairs.
Yeah The japenese didn't have to attack in Pearl Harbour. The actors and and Directors sunk that movie all on their own.

Can they be hung for treason by making that movie?

They oughta be. A topic of great agreement on this board is how terrible "Pearl Harbor" was. Look at the thread for Worst Movie and you'll get a feel for it. Everybody HATES it.
Seen the thread for worst movie. As for your girlfriend comiso90 your of course she likes it because it was made for women by the studios to grab more money.
Glad you Mentioed "Murphy's War" It was very good and realistic also. "Battle of Britain" my favorite. Those Spitfires gave me goosebumps and the soundtrack is good also. "Task Force" is a good film with some good footage of carrier ops on the old Langley.
Aces High is my choice I could never look at Flyng leather necks without being reminded of the out take as the director shouts "Hey who's walk through my sky" as a shadow walks behind the back projection of a guys cockpit in mid action shot.
High Road to China has some great scenes. I also liked The Great Waldo Pepper which had a really good final scene.
"The War Lover" is a pretty decent movie with Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner. Really nice scenes of a B-17 buzzing the airfield.

"Wings" the original Academy award winner (I believe) is also a good movie for its time period. Its a silent movie, so turn the piano music down and put on Pink Floyd's double album, "The Wall" for background.
How are the combat scenes in the Tuskegee TV movie? Any FW 190's?

How do the flying scenes, say, compare to the 1990 Memphis Belle flying scenes? They are both more recent films about the American Bombing campaigns. Which of the two does the P-51D show off the best? :lol:

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