Before the United States enters World War I, some American youths volunteer for the French military. Subsequently, they become the first U.S. fighter pilots and form a squadron known as the Lafayette Escadrille, whose exploits and heroism become the stuff of legend. This fictional version follows a laconic Texas rancher, an eager Nebraska kid, a Black boxer already in France, and a New York swell, as they arrive green for training, get their baptism by fire when German planes ambush them on their first mission, and graduate to heroics. Rawlings, the Texan, falls in love with a young woman he meets at a brothel. Written by
The real Lafayette Escadrille actually had a pair of lion cubs as mascots. One was indeed named "Whiskey," as in the film. The other, appropriately enough, was named "Soda." See more »
When the German soldier is drinking outside Lucienne's farmhouse, his bottle in the long shots is a squat white one like those the soldiers find in the cupboard, while the bottle in close shots is a tapered cognac bottle. See more »
By the start of 1916, World War I had wreaked havoc across Europe. Over nine million people would eventually die.
Although the airplane had only recently been invented, it was quickly adapted into a war machine.
The young men who flew them became the first fighter pilots and a new kind of hero was born.
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I just attended the premier of Flyboys at the Oshkosh Airshow. Enjoyed it thoroughly. The flight scene special effects were difficult to impossible to distinguish from the actual flying. Director Tony Bill discussed the background and making of the film to an audience composed largely of aviators including some of the best such as Bob Hoover, Sean Tucker and others. A difficult audience to impress and impressed they were.
The film does not shy away from the ugly aspects of combat nor does it ignore the seamier aspects of the non-flying life although that is nowhere near becoming graphic. The history has been treated accurately
and yes there was really a black pilot as portrayed in the film. I
have read a number of histories and autobiographical accounts of the American volunteers - they were idealistic and naive. Thats just the age they lived in - don't judge the characterizations by todays standards.
Anyway, a wonderful film.
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