View Full Version : Which is the best avaition film?

17th Apr 2002, 16:35
I think "Those magnificant men in there flying machine"

You Rotter

17th Apr 2002, 16:38
I think this has been done very recently.


633 Squadron
Top Gun
"Private Plane" from Blackadder Goes Forth

17th Apr 2002, 16:39
Top Gun.

(Too many quotes to know where to start!)


17th Apr 2002, 16:40
Damn - SSS beat me to it!

17th Apr 2002, 16:43
Sorry FFF, I felt the need, the need for speed.


17th Apr 2002, 16:44

PBY's, A17's, John Goodman, Audrey Hepburn AND Holly Hunter.

What more could you ask for?

"Uhhh... I seem to overestimated my fuel just a tad"

17th Apr 2002, 17:56
Airplane without a doubt.

17th Apr 2002, 18:15
I love Always but it makes me cry.

Just to be different, I'll say 1941, if only for John Belushi and the P51D.

17th Apr 2002, 18:23
Got to be Top Gun

"Negative, Ghostrider......" :rolleyes:

17th Apr 2002, 18:38
Once saw the film 'Wings of the Apache'.

Top Gun with Helicopters. Crap storyline but amazing flying sequences. Anyone have any idea what the opposition helicopter was (a small thing, fully tooled up)?

17th Apr 2002, 18:38
Top Gun!!!!!

And (can't believe I'm the first to say this one) Waldo Pepper :)

17th Apr 2002, 18:39
DeepC - Long time since I saw it, but I seem to remember it was a Hughes 500

17th Apr 2002, 18:58
Has to be without doubt some of the below:

The Blue Max, starring the late George Peppard

Flight of the Intruder, Not as good as the book but Stephen Coonts is just excellent!

TOP GUN, purely for the aerial photography and sound track!

17th Apr 2002, 19:06
" The Dambusters"

Tin Kicker
17th Apr 2002, 19:30
Loki, you beat me to it.

"This is bladdy DANGEROUS!!" :D

If ever a film was crying out for a stylish modern remake, that's it.

17th Apr 2002, 19:45
NO FECKIN WAY!!!!!!!!!!

I shudder to think what Hollywood :eek: :mad: would do with that wonderful film......

...Those brave Yanks in thier B17s drop the Hughes Industries(tm) patent "boing-bomb"(tm) doing terrible damage to the Nazi war machine.....

"Eat sh*t and diee, duude" says Col Squarejaw(36) B17 suadron CO.

"Mien gott, look at der wasser. Sieg heil!!!!" says Dr Helmut Evil(54), Nazi scientist.


17th Apr 2002, 21:19

Turn that one around if you will. Imagine a British remake of "Pearl Harbour" or "The Sands of Iwo Jima". Hours of fun thinking up the cast list....Hugh Grant as menacing marine sergeant?

17th Apr 2002, 21:40
Oh God, TK, I hope they don't.

It'll star a bunch of septics, with two token cockney-speaking Brits, the raid will be with B19's, and there will be some yank bimbo sitting back home waiting for them to come home, Barnes Wallis will be played by Al Pacino, the bouncing bomb was invented in Arizona, and...

They'll change the name of Guy Gibson's dog. :eek:

17th Apr 2002, 21:57
Bridges at Toko Ri??

17th Apr 2002, 21:59
Reach for the sky?
Battle of britain?

17th Apr 2002, 22:21
Aviation film? Has to be Air America!

"I crash better than anyone I know"

Ok, the rock guitar music was a little corny at times, and you could see straight through the pylons where the jet engines were supposed to be on the C-123s, but that Pilatus landing on the uphill dirtstrip was no computer graphic!

17th Apr 2002, 22:43
Mmmm... Air America... Mel Gibson... *droooool* :p

17th Apr 2002, 22:56
A Babe,

You still hooked on that guy. DOH!!

Jet Dragon
17th Apr 2002, 23:33
In no particular order :

Battle of Britain

633 Squadron

Top Gun



18th Apr 2002, 00:16
Yeah, with you on those JD.

Also add


Battle of Britain

and another where there are a couple of good flying sequences (but no-where near enough) is the Final Countdown. ANyone else remember the part where the Tomcats are turning and burning with the Zero's, and one of the Tomcats departs? Apparently, that was quite accidental when it happened (they though he was going in!) but he got it back, and it looked so good they left it in the movie.

Re Flight of the Apache or whatever someone mentioned, was that the one with Nicolas Cage? I remember a movie that had him and Tommy Lee Jones in it, all about drug runners and the like, and Cage was a Black Hawk pilot who had a buddy blown away by either an armed Hughes 500 or that remarkable black Draken!!!

For a bonus point - name that movie!!!!:eek:

18th Apr 2002, 00:31
Surely the best aviation films are the Iron Eagle trilogy.


But they do provide a valuable service in making all the other flying films, even Wings of the Apache, look sooooo much better.
"Can you handle a loop?" "Yeah, can you handle the music"

Followed, if I remember, by the strange sound of blood filled vomit, but that may have been me. :rolleyes:

18th Apr 2002, 02:06
Surprised no one has mentioned "The High and the Mighty."

18th Apr 2002, 02:17
What was that film made during the war with Cagney in the RCAF?

18th Apr 2002, 02:53
Billy Bishop VC was in it?

18th Apr 2002, 03:08
Lots of yellow Harvards,
Modified to Zeros...in another film,

18th Apr 2002, 03:15
Nope, that was "Captains of the Clouds." Good movie though. It had 'AYO in it, the first Norseman ever built. Dunno about the other one with Bishop.
High and the Mighty was about a DC-4 that throws a prop between HNL and SFO. Starred John Wayne and was based on the book by Ernie Gann. Great movie.

18th Apr 2002, 03:25
That was the same film, pigboat.

18th Apr 2002, 03:28
Gulp!:o :D

18th Apr 2002, 03:36
You ever in YUL? YVR? YYZ? any other Y?

18th Apr 2002, 04:05
Yer on!. UL occasionally, but I'm planning YTR for the CAHS annual meeting. I want to see that Halifax restoration.

18th Apr 2002, 04:14
Some good ones already named and my memory is definitely letting me down on titles but young Cooda saw some excellent older movies on TV, long time back...in those days our telly was B&W so I dunno if they were in colour or not.
One about the Free French fighting with the Russians (was that the Normandie Squadron?)
Hells Angels (by Howard Hughes?)
Dawn Patrol

At the movies....Zeppelin had some good sequences, Stampes modified as SE5's?

Not necessarily great movies in the cinematic sense but the aircraft and the flying..............

18th Apr 2002, 08:39
My all time favourite aviation movie:

Cloud Dancer (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0080545)

Full of the famous names in US Competition Aerobatics, Davide Carradine (yes, the Kung Fu guy) sings his own composition, and tons of aerobatic flying.

18th Apr 2002, 08:45
Have a look at this list (http://www.airaffair.com/Library/films.html) of aviation movies, if you want to reminisce.

18th Apr 2002, 14:27
Any movie with plane in it, from Hollywood.


Oh, right, I thought you said the most innacurate POS that makes a joke of aviation ..

My bad. :)

Biggles Flies Undone
18th Apr 2002, 14:37
I'm amazed that nobody has mentioned 12 O'Clock High.

18th Apr 2002, 15:12
Pappy Boyington's VMF-214 Baa Baa Black Sheep

18th Apr 2002, 18:49
12 O'clock High, surely someone else remembers it.

18th Apr 2002, 19:49
I can't decide .... us women pilots need a poll :D

Its either Tom Cruise (very small but very cute) in Top Gun....

Or, Mel Gibson (very hunky & very funny) in Air America...

Oh all right ... I'll have both ;)

non sched
18th Apr 2002, 22:13
Best aviation movie:

War category. 12 O'clock High. Still used in the USAF Academy' I believe' to teach leadership, not to mention it's a hell of an entertaining movie.

Non War category. And still not mentioned here, Flight of the Pheonix. Jimmy Stewart at his finest.:cool:

18th Apr 2002, 23:35
DEADLY ENCOUNTER is an otherwise ordinary little TV movie starring Larry Hagman as an Arizona Hughes 500 pilot who's a little too fond of his tequila.

It's all just an excuse to string together about ninety minutes of serious stunt flying, e.g. an Alouette II flies at speed through (not over) the traffic on Main Street with the front of the skids scraping the ground, a JetRanger flies inches above an open storm drain and JUST under a road bridge and much more besides. The denouement takes place among the exhibits at the wonderful Pima Air & Space Museum just outside Tucson.

BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI is also an excellent contender but another favourite which I haven't seen mentioned is TOWARD THE UNKNOWN (a translation of "Ad Inexplorata", the motto of the Air Force Flight Test Centre at Edwards AFB). Again, it's a fairly standard plot but there is some excellent Technicolor air and ground footage at the Edwards of 1956, in particular featuring the now extinct Martin XB-51 which William Holden tests as the "Gilbert XF-120". Some stills can be seen here:


19th Apr 2002, 00:03
High and the Mighty wasn't bad. I think the aircraft was a DC 6 though. Interesting use of CRM. Always wondered why they didn't cross feed from the punctured tank.

19th Apr 2002, 02:00
Fandango. Had some great flying scenes with a C172:D

19th Apr 2002, 03:00
From Australia, I think it was called "Sky Pirates",
a C47 had one bloke straddling an engine at about 6000 ft with the engine still turning.

Another , a scene from mad mad world where the Beech 18 goes through the billboard.


19th Apr 2002, 03:02
If we are talking good flying sequences, how about the biplane trying to evade the two Hughes 500 helos in Capricorn One (the movie about the faked Mars landing)?


Boss Raptor
19th Apr 2002, 14:26
Always, TopGun, Mosquito Squadron (David McCullum...brilliant flying footage)...does original Star Wars attack on the death star sequence count?

But has to be '1941'...why that film flopped at the first release I'll never know...always has me in stitches, 'do not depress the foot lever, do not...','japs at a hidden airfield in the alfalfa fields near Pomona'...but most of all I have had 'at least' two ladyfriends just like General Stillwells' secretary...'oh but we must be airborne!'


19th Apr 2002, 14:28
Didn't see Memphis Bell yet, so i'll say it:


I love that movie.

Don D Cake
19th Apr 2002, 16:08
If they do a remake of the Dambusters, they've got to persuade Dick Van Dyke to come out of retirement and cast him in a lead role.

He's the only American actor the can do an English accent properly :D

19th Apr 2002, 16:21
Ain't that the truth, Don... :D

There won't, of course, be any English actors available as Hollywood will be requiring them all to play the baddies.

19th Apr 2002, 17:00
Got to say Air America.
Saw it again on BBC last week. Best bit has got to be Robert Downey Jnr groping through the clouds and trying to avoid hitting montains / budda's etc, while Gibson and the other bloke are playing with crayons! Fraid I still don't get that one. Also liked the crash sequence where I keep thinking 'OK, he'll stopping about now' and it just keeps going and going and going..'
Good fun film though, if you keep your brain away, (same with Top Gun)
Somewhat more serious at heart, Aces High. I used to love it as a kid as a kind of Biggles type film, but saw it again about a year ago and saw the underlying grimness and message there.

19th Apr 2002, 17:16
Can't believe nobody has posted "Budgie" yet, the finest
and most believable classic of all time.


OK OK, I have to go with 633 Sqn


19th Apr 2002, 17:34
"Hello, Septic - Tiger here..."

Ian Fleming
19th Apr 2002, 18:09
My vote is for 12 'o' Clock High.
For those 'Always' fans (also a wonderful movie) I saw the A26 star of that movie at Grey Bull, in Wyoming. Grey Bull is a water bomber base, and apparently it lives there. Took a photo of a very shapely female 757 Captain visiting from the U.K., who did a nice imitation of the nose art while standing beside it.

19th Apr 2002, 22:46
The all time best has to be Blue Thunder.

Man steals police helicopter that is basically half Apache, half terminator and tries to avenge his observer's death and save his own ass. What a hero! Except for the fact that, trying to avoid missiles fired from two F-16s, he purposefully fools them into a skyscraper and a Chinese take-away.

Wow! Probably about 200 people dead just to save his own butt. What a true hero. I've got your number Schneider, you should have kept to killing sharks.

19th Apr 2002, 22:54
There are some other wonderful British aviation films which need to be mentioned. Somehow they contain great atmosphere.

E.g No Highway in the Sky....film version of Nevil Shutes No Highway. Cast incudes James Stewart,Marlene Dietrich, Jack Hawkins, Kenneth More et al.

The Sound Barrier

Landfall (another Nevil Shute offering)

20th Apr 2002, 00:56
No Highway . ( didnt notice last post) A film as I recall where the techies were the heros.

20th Apr 2002, 07:41
Hands down, the original Battle of Britain with Olivier as Dowding. Great flick. Keep waiting for it on DVD

Metro man
20th Apr 2002, 07:59
The Pilot , staring Cliff Robertson , about an alcoholic DC8 pilot .Is there a sober one ?

20th Apr 2002, 15:38
Aces High.

Because - aside from having some real flying footage (aeros in Moths! Rather you than me.) - it's complete opposite of the usual glory stuff. The miserable short life expectancy of British WWI pilots, who averaged 14 hours flying before going to the front. Some of the acting is cheesy and rubbish, but the story is very resonant.

20th Apr 2002, 21:16
Memphis Belle

Apart from the predictable storyline, prety good flying sequences

Also, some of the flying bits in "Empire of the Sun" were pretty good, not sure if they were computer generated or not, but they looked pretty [email protected] real.

not a great fan of Top Gun, the action sequences are good, but the storyline stinks to high heaven and apparantly cruise is too small to be a pilot anyway so yaa boo sucks

20th Apr 2002, 21:21
In no particular order.

The Tuskagee Airmen
Flying High 1 and 2. (aka Airplane)
Hot Shots

20th Apr 2002, 23:44
Pipeline. No, they weren't CG images. Steven Spielberg used the OFMC, pilots of the P51's involved were Ray and Mark Hanna (RIP). He used them again for "Saving Private Ryan" because Mark Hanna in particular, he said, had an instinctive idea of what a director wanted for a shot, and could without fail deliver it.

21st Apr 2002, 01:56
Can anyone tell me what the name of the film about the Sioux City accident.It was the one about the DC10 with damage from rooted centre engine.Think it starred Charlton Heston????:D

21st Apr 2002, 06:15
Airgrunt - it was "A Thousand Heroes" with Charlton Heston as the DC10 Capt and Richard Thomas (a.k.a. John Boy Walton) as the chief of the emergency services.


22nd Apr 2002, 14:00
For me the best would have to "Air America"

The BD5-J scene from the James Bond flick "Octapusy" also deserves a mention.

22nd Apr 2002, 15:05
:) Phew! Got all the way through these posts and no-one mentione Airport '75 and '77. OK! crappy story lines but beatiful to see those 747's on the big screen! and!......wait for it!!...."The Right Stuff! C'mon! How'dja miss that??:p

Chimbu chuckles
22nd Apr 2002, 15:10
I can't remember the name of the telemovie about the 'convertable' 737 in Hawii but it was REALLY well done from a technical standpoint.......the actual crew were the technical advisers.

I used to really like Air America until I researched the real Air America.

To say that Mel Gibson ruined a great true story with BS is an understatement.........which is why the 617 Sqd vets have fought tooth and nail(perhaps even a court order) to stop him doing a Dam Busters remake(he has bought the rights to it)

The real person that Gibson's character is MOSTLY based on is 'Weird' Neil Hansen.......yes the colouring in story is true......yes he did crash 5 times in one day..........last heard of doing time for smuggling cocaine.........very far from an average Air America pilot.

The scene where the Porter lands on the steep strip while spectacular is only so (or more so) because the pilot concerned stuffed up his approach so comprehensively and almost wrecked the aircraft, in fact I seem to remember reading somewhere that he had in fact wrecked the aircraft. I know because I spent 7000 hrs doing precisely the same kind of flying in the same kind of terrain, in similar/same aircraft for a VERY similar comany. We weren't shot at quite as often but it did happen.

My favs?

Anything done by the English Studios

BoB/633 Sqd/Mosquito Sqd/Dam Busters etc etc.


Very few........the history rewrite of Memphis Belle? Nope!

Always is great entertainment but technically flawed (I have mates that do that for a living in Canada)

I think I'm getting too pedantic about flying movies......but when the facts are so compelling,(i.e. Air America) it just pi$$es me off that they then ruin it with Hollywood BS:(


Who has control?
22nd Apr 2002, 15:17
I'm not sure if I've got the title right, but what about 'The First of the Few'?

It was a b/w wartime film about R.J.Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire and there are sequences of Schneider Trophy seaplanes as well as loads of Spitfires. Leslie Howard played RJM and David Niven played a character based loosely on Jeffrey Quill.

22nd Apr 2002, 16:43
Hate to be too picky but 'The Right Stuff' was about the original Mercury Astronauts and not aviation but understandable why it's in here. Perhaps one of the most overlooked films in many years it shows the bottle those select few really had!

Finally can't believe no one has mentioned this one BAT*21!!!!!!!
Starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, tip top film with some quality Sandy and helo action!! Any comments on this one then?

Celtic Emerald
22nd Apr 2002, 18:44
Ah definitely Topgun with sexy Tom Cruise swaggering macholy around & those fancy aerial dogfights.

Funny cause I'd hate to be married to him, say he's very intense & he's into that weird Scientology stuff. From my limited experience of them they seemed like a crowd of nutters. Still the crush was nice while it lasted.

I went into the danger zone................


Le Pen
22nd Apr 2002, 19:01
Gotta Agree with LOKI...

The Sound Barrier. Brilliant film! Denholm Elliot is superb. You can almost smell the fear. Mrs LP always creis buckets!

Also another tear jerker is The First Of The Few about the Spitfire.

Brilliant film. Saddest at the end though. When He is sitting in the wheelchair with only days to live and the porototype flies over. I cry buckets with that one! :(



22nd Apr 2002, 19:41
I like this one:

"The Night my number came up" (http://www.britmovie.co.uk/studios/ealing/filmography/82.html)

Bit stiff 'Miles chomly-warnerish' acting, but good story about guy having premonition of crash. Esp like the obnoixious Buinessman type who keeps panicking!! :D

BTW, film about 737 cabriolet :eek: is called 'Miracle Landing'

23rd Apr 2002, 11:54
TopGun for the flying and endless list of repeatable quotes,
and Air America is top's - the hilltop landing is great and one of the best quotes in the film is where Billy (Downey Jr) tells Jack he's afraid of heights after they are hit by the "Golden BB".

Chimbu chuckles
23rd Apr 2002, 12:02
That would be the scene where 'Jack' sits in the Captains seat.......behaving like a new F/O while madly pumping the control lock off and on(I've looked in a C123 and that's what he was swinging off) and taking orders from the 'Newbie' Billy in the RHS:rolleyes:

Another movie which I liked from the US was 'Cloud Dancer'......good aeros and at least a plausible story line that wasn't hacked to death by technical errors.


23rd Apr 2002, 12:52
Definitely, the Battle of Britain..... Superb acting , superb aircraft, superb musical score "Battle in the Air" is one of my all time favourites, though my father does like to "Pom-titty-Pom-Pom" along to the Luftwaffe march. I can never understand him, he spent 3 years fighting them, but loves their music -lol

"Leave the Flaming Fighters, it's the Bloody bombers we want"

".and is never, I repeat never to be used , for private , Polish...... CHIT-CHAT"

What a film....

Dambusters -Honourable mention
Always - If there is to be a Dambusters remake, then Spielberg should do it.............Or maybe George Lucas, seeing as he lifted so many ideas/dialogue, for the attack on the Death Star sequence in Star Wars

Target for Tonight
Tora 3 (Dads Favourite of all time)

The World at War series, especially the Fighter-bomber gun camera films, and a scene where a Mustangs gun camera , shows the pilot engaging aircraft parked in a hangar (How low was that?)



24th Apr 2002, 03:52
Moan, whinge, gripe. Guy on page one was mooning about Belushi in his P-51d, I remember it as a P-41 (model unknown, but could have been a c). Still a good film but.

Aces High first made me doubt what I was reading in my Biggles books.

Hot Shots was a hoot.

Memphis Belle was a bit odd really. I understand they flew the real one back to the states, the film one looked ******ed. A little ambitious to re-enact WWII with two B-17, two P-51d (were they in service then?) an a Hispano.

My favourite was an old black&white film starring Errol Flynn & David Niven flying realistic looking Nieuports (naughty huns were flying all sorts of croppies) but I don't remember the NAME
! Anybody??

Chimbu chuckles
24th Apr 2002, 04:31
That's right Spodman.......in the wartime actual footage of Memphis Belle's last mission they beat up home field and landed.......they didn't come home all shot up!

The actual footage taken on board during the mission.....complete with audio and aircraft left and right being shot down and spinning with guys leaving via the bombay is infinitly more compelling than hollywood's version.


24th Apr 2002, 10:35
Spodman, that Flynn/Niven movie was "The Dawn Patrol".

I quote from Cinemania:-Remake of 1930 classic is fine actioner of WWI flyers in France; Rathbone as stern officer forced to send up green recruits, Flynn and Niven as pilot buddies, all excellent in this insightful study of wartime camaraderie and grueling pressures of battlefront command.

Boss Raptor
24th Apr 2002, 15:27
I recall a late 1940's film about an airline and a serious of crashes - 'the cone of silence' was constantly talked about whilst they were doing a letdown and the special effects were a model of the Avro Ashton (Tudor with jets)...anyone remember this ?

24th Apr 2002, 16:14
... is it the "Battle of Britain" where the messerschmidt's beating up the wheat fields had to pull up for the fences at the end....??? :eek: :eek: :eek:

GREAT scene that one.....:D :D


24th Apr 2002, 18:59
I just watched the Airplane/Flying High DVD I bought.
I found something new in it I hadn't noticed it before.


24th Apr 2002, 21:03
They used to show a film at the College of ATC called something like "Flying the Range" which was an ICAO training film about how to use this new fangled gadget called a VOR. ....Hysterical.

24th Apr 2002, 21:06
Go on then, reddo - what was it?

24th Apr 2002, 22:02
Got to be "Aeroplane"
Many jokes can only be seen if you are a fairly high time pilot.
I remember watching this film in a cinema in Reno when it first
came out (1978?), I was the only one laughing at some points.

24th Apr 2002, 22:04
Not as funny as the blind flying one they show at the college, or the the one about the blinking captain and his "great" 747 "dash" 400

29th Apr 2002, 13:59
Redsnail: What is it?

Boss Raptor: Fate is the Hunter. Strangely seemed to have nothing in common with the (excellent) book of the same name by Ernest K Gann, even though he got a credit!

"Dawn Patrol" gets my vote, a b/w version of Top Gun without the birds.

4th May 2002, 13:46
Nobody has said "Jimbo" - the cartoon from the 80s

Jimbo nah nah na nah na nah na nah Jimbo nah nah......... :D :D :D

6th May 2002, 03:44
Or Cannonball Run where Burt Reynolds and Dom Delouise land a single-engine aircraft on the main street so they can pick up more beer - classic one, that... :)

Boss Raptor
6th May 2002, 10:06
Yes agreed 'Jimbo and The Jetset' was most excellent viewing...