God is My Co-Pilot (1945)
Director: Robert Florey
The film version of the Flying Tigers' flights over the "Hump" of the Himalayas to supply the Chinese fighting the Japanese during World War II.
Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
Director: Henry King
Real combat footage was used in this film about a bomber squadron flying over Germany in World War II.
Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
Director: Andrew Marton
A Korean War film featuring the true story of a U.S. Navy fighter pilot blinded by gunfire and then "talked in" for an incredible (and safe) carrier landing.
The Wings of Eagles (1957)
Director: John Ford
John Wayne stars in this biopic about Frank "Spig" Wead, a naval aviator who became a screenwriter after an accident ended his flying career.
The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Director: Billy Wilder
A biopic featuring Jimmy Stewart as a young Charles Lindbergh.
War Lover (1962)
Director: Philip Leacock
Steve McQueen plays Buzz Rickson, a B-17 bomber pilot who lives to fly in combat. Robert Wagner is his more subdued and level-headed copilot.
Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines (1965)
Director: Ken Annakin
Set in the early 1900s, the film depicts a group of air racers competing to win a competition to cross the English Channel to Paris. Two replicas built for the film still exist-a 1910 Bristol Boxkite and a 1911 Avro Triplane-and can be seen at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire, England.
Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Director: Robert Aldrich
A plane (piloted by Jimmy Stewart) crashes in the middle of the Saharan desert, stranding everyone on board. It takes a guy who builds model airplanes to piece the fuselage back together and fly to safety. Stunt pilot Paul Mantz was killed when he tried to land the C-82, the plane used as the Phoenix. A really good 2004 remake stars Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi.
The Blue Max (1966)
Director: John Guillermin
George Peppard plays a foot soldier in World War I, who becomes a fighter pilot and does his best to win the Blue Max, a medal bestowed on aces with 20 kills.
Battle of Britain (1969)
Director: Guy Hamilton
The dramatic account of World War II's Battle of Britain, in which the Royal Air Force kept the Germans from invading England.