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      The Wings of Eagles

      Released Jan 31, 1957 1h 50m Biography List
      40% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 56% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings Frank "Spig" Wead (John Wayne) is a pilot trying to improve the Navy's aviation program. His military posts often require him to move his wife (Maureen O'Hara) and children. On the night he decides to spend more time with his family, Spig falls down the stairs and breaks his back. During his recovery, buddy "Jughead" Carson (Dan Dailey) convinces Spig to start writing pro-military films. Although he is successful, the Pearl Harbor bombing moves Spig to rejoin the Navy despite his paralysis. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Jun 04 Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (5) Critics Reviews
      Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine Coming from a director as esteemed as John Ford, this is a disappointing entry-a loud, long and shamelessly corny biography of a naval airman... Oct 11, 2019 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid A bizarre, but touching, comical biopic. Jan 16, 2015 Full Review Christopher Lloyd Sarasota Herald-Tribune Wants to be epic in scope but ends up feeling like ham-fisted CliffsNotes version of a man's life. The film loiters way, way too long on Frank Wead's early days as a hell-raising test pilot, then skips ahead through long sections of his life. Rated: 2.5/5 Apr 25, 2011 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Though sentimental as a biopic of Navy hero Frank (Sig) Wead, John Ford's film has old-fashioned charm, a result of John Wayne's lead performance and his chemistry with Maureen O'Hara. Rated: B Jul 15, 2008 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews This routine sentimental biopic is directed with much feeling by John Ford. Rated: C Feb 8, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (73) audience reviews
      Blu B There isn't really anything broken about this but there isn't much particulary good either as it's very mediocre all around. The first 45 minutes feel like they could have been cut down to 10-15 minutes as it feels very dragged out. Second, this has a tone problem where it is way too light hearted and almost a comedy feel throughout the entire runtime. The slapstick fights in the first half with the Army Navy guys is so out of place. So it makes it very hard to take anything serious whenever you break it up with a joke or smile it off like it was nothing. Also, it's just not that interesting visually to look at especially when he's paralyzed. We don't even see his face or really see much of a struggle. It also just doesn't do a good job tying the family drama with the war contributions he makes. This needed to take itself more seriously, have a better lead man who could evoke more emotion maybe like Brando, and do a better job weaving the family drama into this while also cutting afew scenes. There are some cool shots here and there, the stock WWII footage is cool, and it is interesting seeing Wayne recover in the few moments it takes itself serious. O'Hara is wasted in this also and really disappears in the second half. It's laughable how they gave her a sliver of silver hair to make her old. Besides that, unless your a big die hard John Wayne fan I can't recommend this to most people. He's just not the best in this role and has trouble conveying more emotional and dramatic moments. Now whether that's the problems with the script/tone not allowing it or him I can't tell. But regardless most should skip this. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 04/25/24 Full Review Liam D One of John Ford (Wagon Master, Mary of Scotland) and John Wayne (The Barbarian and the Geisha, Blood Alley) least know movies and it's probably a good thing because it's not very good Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member Fairly average approach to an unusual studio movie. This one is a biopic about a successful Hollywood screenwriter, known for his post WWII war films which often starred John Wayne. In this film the Duke portrays the man who helped him break out of the Western genre - this time as a hotshot pilot who finds new ways to remain useful even after being paralyzed/crippled. That's right... the Duke plays a man who's both physically & emotionally crippled! A great supporting cast as well, so watch for familiar faces. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member Wayne's over-the-top acting fits this film, about a true character Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member thought this a very well done movie, inspirational and moving! Love the actors as well!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Historically inaccurate, cliched, and quite silly at times. The movie starts in an almost farcical way, showing the hero as a loveable larrikin and defier of authority. It gets worse from there (and I didn't think that was possible at the time), as the next few scenes mainly involve silly punch-ups. At this point the movie looked like it was meant to be a slapstick comedy, and a very bad one at that. From a point, however, it loses the silliness and becomes a drama. Some scenes are quite emotional and engaging but many feel trite and cliched. The WW2 stuff contains a host of historical inaccuracies. Things occur in the wrong chronological order and this part just seems very sloppily done. This is all despite the producers having some great WW2 footage at their disposal, and the help of the US Navy. I mainly watched this because it starred John Wayne. He does fine in the lead role, but is miscast. He is far too old for the character he is playing. Considering this movie was made long after WW2 had ended, so isn't a propaganda movie, and considering how little known Commander Wead is in terms of military history, I'm not really sure why this movie was made. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Frank "Spig" Wead (John Wayne) is a pilot trying to improve the Navy's aviation program. His military posts often require him to move his wife (Maureen O'Hara) and children. On the night he decides to spend more time with his family, Spig falls down the stairs and breaks his back. During his recovery, buddy "Jughead" Carson (Dan Dailey) convinces Spig to start writing pro-military films. Although he is successful, the Pearl Harbor bombing moves Spig to rejoin the Navy despite his paralysis.
      Director
      John Ford
      Screenwriter
      Frank Fenton, William Wister Haines
      Production Co
      Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Genre
      Biography
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 31, 1957, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 1, 2012
      Runtime
      1h 50m
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