At the Movies: Take Two

World War I airplanes star in a feature film about the Lafayette Escadrille.

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Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Director: Roy Fleischer
The United States and Japan get equal blame in this interesting account of the events leading up to Pearl Harbor.

The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)
Director: George Roy Hill
Robert Redford plays a barnstormer who missed out on being a World War I flying ace and can't quite get over it. There's no computer-generated imagery in this film—all of the flying and the airplanes are real.

Aces High (1976)
Director: Jack Gold
The air battle on World War I's Western Front was brutal. This story focuses on one British pilot fighting the Germans.

Firefox (1982)
Director: Clint Eastwood
He doesn't have to be on a horse to play a cowboy: Clint Eastwood is a burnt-out veteran sent to the Soviet Union to steal a "MiG 31"-a fictional fighter jet that flies at Mach 6.

The Right Stuff (1983)
Director: Philip Kaufman
Based on Tom Wolfe's book about the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Chuck Yeager, and all of their egos.

Top Gun (1986)
Director: Tony Scott
Tom Cruise portrays a hot-shot F-14 pilot in this story about a class of new recruits at Top Gun, the Navy's fighter pilot school for "the best of the best," then located in San Diego, California. Renowned aerobatic pilot Art Scholl was killed during the filming—the movie is dedicated to him.

Iron Eagle (1986)
Director: Sidney Furie
The completely believable story of a young man who steals a fighter jet to rescue his father, who has been shot down by an unnamed Middle Eastern rogue state that flies MiGs.

Memphis Belle (1990)
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
The story of the first bomber crew to complete (and survive) a full "tour"—25 missions—over Europe during World War II.

Flight of the Intruder (1991)
Director: John Milius
Based on a novel by author and real-life Grumman A-6 Intruder pilot Stephen Coonts, the film follows an A-6 crew as they fly an unauthorized mission over North Vietnam in 1972.

Pearl Harbor (2001)
Director: Michael Bay
If you want to watch a really good dramatic re-creation of what happened at Pearl Tora! Tora! Tora!

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