Realistic aviation movies?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by CJones, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Got back to the hotel the other night and flipped on the TV just in time to catch the last few minutes of the movie "Memphis Belle" - they were in the dive to put out the engine fire when I started watching.

    At the end, I paid attention to the credits and they were listing all of the B-17's (reg numbers and the owners that allowed it to be used in the movie) that were used, along with the B-25 that was used as the 'photo ship'.

    Will/can there ever be another movie made that will use so many REAL airplanes? It's sad to see the sun setting on the 'golden era' of aviation.
     
  2. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Pre-takeoff checklist

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  3. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    When you're talking historical movies, the problem is we're running out of planes to use. For contemporary films, it's cheaper and less dangerous to use computer graphics, and you can have the "planes" do things which are more spectacular than the real thing -- and "spectacular" rather than "realistic" is the order of the cinematographical world today.

    But for greataviation films with realistic flying scenes, go find:
    • Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels
    • Aces High
    • The Great Waldo Pepper
    • The Spirit of Saint Louis
    • The Battle of Britain
    • Twelve O'Clock High
    • Command Decision
    • Strategic Air Command
    ...just for starters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
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  4. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Ever talked to the flight attendant on a nasty CRJ? The sun has set...
     
  5. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Probably not. Movies are already full of CGI animated aircraft that look pretty good, but aren't subject to the laws of physics (or economics) and therefore don't move anything like real airplanes do.

    :(
     
  6. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    And they don't break, and they are not subject to periods of bad weather, and there are no logistics issues, and...

    I hate CGI airplanes, but I'm afraid we're stuck with 'em.
     
  7. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    That's kind of my point - I don't think it would even be possible to put together a movie that uses real airplanes from that era anymore, which is sad.

    I was lucky to be at Oshkosh a few years ago when they had 21 P-51's line up on the flight line to do their run-up before the airshow. I may never have another opportunity to see that many flying examples of such a fine flying machine in one place. And it's even less likely that my son will ever see it when he is old enough to remember it.

    Gee... I must be getting old.. ;)
     
  8. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Despite the cheesy storyline and the fact that the bad guys were flying F5's I suppose "Top Gun" could be considered historic since the Tomcat has been decommissioned.

    But that was a film that relied on the military which has consequences. If the screenplay for the movie "Blackhawk Down" hadn't been significantly altered from the novel they would have been flying Hollywood Hueys rather than UH-60's because the gummint didn't like the story as it was originally written.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  9. darrell

    darrell Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm wondering if you would expand on this. The book is labeled "Historical Non-fiction" rather than a novel, as you suggest. I'm also curious what was significantly changed from the book to the screenplay. If you'd rather not discuss it in the forum, a PM would be appreciated.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The thing is we still have enough real aircraft around to make realistic scenes. In Redtails very little real Mustangs or B-17s were used. All they needed was a couple B-17s and 4-5 P-51s and you would have had some awesome footage. All aircraft in the background and all explosions could have been CGI. Of course that movie suffered from mediocre writing and acting but that's another story.

    Simple answer is that most people these days don't care about watching the real thing. Some, like my parents :) don't even realize that they are watching CGI. Me, well I'm a stickler for wanting to see genuine, real flying. Has anyone seen the IMAX movie Legends of Flight? It was like playing flight simulator.

    Speaking of Top Gun. If you get a chance read Top Gun Days. Great insight on the difficulties in filming that footage. Also the behind the scenes of The Final Countdown gives great insight on the challenges they faced. Lots of coordination to pull off real footage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  11. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    You're right, the book was not a novel (my error) The main difference between the book and the movie is that the book contained a balance from both sides including interviews from militia members and warlords who were basically just a faceless mob in the film. Not that I'm taking their side. I just noticed, having read the book that the film was a lot different and I'm pretty sure that if the film had followed the book completely the Army wouldn't have gotten on board and there wouldn't have been any Blackhawks.
     
  12. Rex Kramer

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  13. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    That was a great movie, love the music too!
     
  14. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    Documentary films, in addition to those listed above.
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Gotta have squeaky clean war.
     
  16. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    I read the book The Pilot by Bob Howard a couple of years ago and thought it was well done. I was not aware they had made a movie of it. I thought the move Flight with Denzel Washington might be based on the book, but that proved not to be the case. In fact, I think if they'd based Flight on the earlier book, it would have made a better movie.

    Anyway, now I've got to see if I can find the movie with Cliff Robertson.

    A flying movie using real planes would have to have a story line in which the destruction of the planes is not the central idea of the story. Can't think of anyway to do that. Maybe a labor of love move made for direct to digital release about a mystery/detective story set at a vintage aircraft fly-in. Something that we'd find interesting but the general public would ignore.
     
  17. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Looks like a "must see" but it might be impossible, all I can find is a beaten up VHS tape on eBay for $190! I know there's got to be an old VHS player up in the attic somewhere :dunno:
     
  18. Tony_Fletcher

    Tony_Fletcher Pre-Flight

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    Another great aviation movie (good book too) is "The Bridges of Toko-Ri." Great flying scenes.
     
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  19. X3 Skier

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    For the Memphis Belle, they actually painted the port and starboard sides differently so they had twice as many "airplanes" as they had B17's. Really liked that movie.

    Cheers
     
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  20. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    I worked the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends at Rickenbacher a few years ago. Over 70 Mustangs were there. I wore out my camera driving the flight line in a Gator delivering oil and collecting trash. :yes:

    Cheers
     
  21. Dave Krall CFII

    Dave Krall CFII Final Approach

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    What they should do is use real airplanes in movies with some God damn real pilots that can fly them, then right before the crashes, switch to that CGI crap.... The detail of CGI is not sufficient for a real quality flying film.
     
  22. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew in for that. Once in a lifetime event. I was also at Nellis in '97 for another once in a lifetime event. That's we're the Heritage Flights got their start.
     
  24. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  25. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hey! I know that website! :lol:

    In addition to the 500+ clips on our website, we have over 200 feature-length aviation movies in our DVD collection, all available for guests to check out for free, just like a library.

    I'm partial to older aviation flicks like "633 Squadron" and "Bombers B-52", not for their stellar performances or their storylines, but for the fact that the aircraft are real.

    There are some truly terrible aviation flicks, too. Films made in the '60s and '70s are almost uniformly awful, thanks to directorial and acting styles that clash with today's standards. "Capricorn One" is probably the "best" example of one of the worst aviation movies ever made.

    Some of the foreign films are marvelous. For example, "Deep Blue World" is a Czech movie made with lots of real Spitfires flying.

    Strangely, some excellent movies have laughably bad airplaines. "Flying Tigers", for example, switches back and forth between different models of the P-40 and some truly awful models and cockpit sets. They are laugh-out-loud bad, yet The Duke makes it all work, somehow.

    All in all, there have been far too many horrible aviation movies made. Watch "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", "Stealth", or "Pearl Harbor" for movies that SHOULD have been great, and weren't.
     
  26. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I never would have become a pilot if it weren't for that movie.:wink2:
     
  27. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Well except for that one scene when the Stearman dives over the ledge into the canyon, that was pretty darn good stuff.

    Being pilots puts us in a persnickety category, we might scoff at something like Pearl Harbor" with it's trans-sonic Japanese Zekes but could be happy as clams watching that "Rockford Files" episode where the bad guys in a Cessna 210 shoot up Jim's Bronco - because the flying stuff was real and we know the difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
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  28. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Nice wingovers, but he probably would have gone a little faster if he had remembered to raise the flaps. But then, James May seems to make the same mistake:
     
  29. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Intentional necro post:

    I just watched the 2005 movie "Stealth". What a steaming pile of ****.

    If only I had searched for and found this thread first I could have saved 1hr43min of my life.

    Please do not make the same mistake!
     
  30. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Dawn Patrol...David Niven, Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone...
     
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  31. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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  32. flyingron

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    If you want to have one that's pretty darn good (though the book, as usual, is even better), is the original Airport movie. They even have a pretty good GCA approach (which interestingly enough is NOT in the book).
     
  33. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    Love how Doug forgets how to fly as soon as the ribbon is cut :D
     
  34. Kent Wien

    Kent Wien Pre-takeoff checklist

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    “7500” on Amazon Prime blew me away. It’s really a tough subject matter and downright nauseating but they absolutely nailed the cockpit communication, mannerisms and call outs. That said, you really might not want to watch it.
     
  35. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    When it comes to Hollywood and aviation you can't beat the story of Paul Mantz and Frank Tallman who together created Tallmantz Aviation. Pretty much most of what you've seen on the big screen involving airplanes they had something to do with. I don't know if it's true but it has been said that when Mantz bought 475 surplus military fighters and bombers after the war he actually made a profit by selling the avgas that was in the tanks.
     
  36. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Yup. He learned that the planes being auctioned had all been stored with full tanks so his (winning) bid was the wholesale value of the fuel.
     
  37. MtPJimB

    MtPJimB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I really enjoyed the movie "Sully". While I know they took some liberties with the NTSB handling and timelines, I did enjoy the cockpit sequences. One awful one I just watched - Ground Control. Just plain bad.
     
  38. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    I have flown in the Movie Memphis Belle a few times. Fun ship. Problem is guys like Dave Tallichet don't exist anymore and spending your money on a bunch of old airplanes seems like folly to most people. That and the surplus aircraft just aren't available anymore.

    So unfortunately we are stuck watching cartoons. :frown2:

    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Has anyone seen Horizon Line yet? It's a new movie available for rent or purchase from a variety of sources, but the ratings are unimpressive (4.7 out of 10 on IMDB, and 29% on Rotten Tomatoes).
     
  40. RyanShort1

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    Mid America Flight Museum and Lewis Air Legends might be the Tallichets of our time - and surely there may be others in the future.