by Guest Writer “PanzerMeyer”
Who better to pick the best aviation movies but SimHQs very own King Crimson, “PanzerMeyer”. Being an ardent movie buff for many years, we put PM to the test to pick the best of the best of the best (Sir!) in Hollywood cinema. The criteria we gave him was… a) it must be a feature length, commercially released production, and b) aviation must be a core component in the movie.
And the winner is…
#1 – Battle of Britain
“This film more than any other almost always inspires me to fire up IL-2 1946 and fly it for a couple of hours. So the BF-109’s and HE-111’s are really Spanish Air Force but I dont think most people really notice that during the maginificently choreographed and photographed air combat scenes.”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Battle of Britain.
#2 – The Blue Max
“The Pfaltz, the S.E. 5, the DrI Triplane, the Albatross…. all of them immortal names etched in the history of military aviation and you get to see them all in action in this great film. I am not a rabid anti-CGI skeptic but there is just something inherently special about seeing real planes flying and dogfighting. For me this is the ultimate WWI aviation film.”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to The Blue Max.
#3 – Tora! Tora! Tora!
“‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.'” The very end of Tora! Tora! Tora! with a pensive Yamamoto is to me one of the most poignant endings in cinema. Oh, the naval and army aviation that we get to see though during the film is great too! How many films have shown us PBY Catalina’s, P40’s, A6M’s, B5N’s, D3A1’s, and more?”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Tora! Tora! Tora!.
#4 – Flight of the Intruder
“Can any PC flight simmer deny the magnificence of this set-piece ground pounding sequence? It’s always been my impression that this has been an underrated film. And besides, there’s just something so visceral and awe-inspiring about the A-6!”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Flight of the Intruder.
#5 – Twelve O’Clock High
“This film perhaps more than any other was responsible for me reinstalling B-17 by Microprose several times. I also find it fascinating and impressive for a movie that came out just 4 years after the end of the war to retain a high level of historical accuracy and objectivity. The basic premise of a leader doing everything in his power to instill a sense of cohesion and pride within a flight group has been emulated in many other films and tv shows but this one does it the best in my humble opinion.”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Twelve O’Clock High.
#6 – Aces High
“This is a very underrated film which seems to have been forgotten by most people, lost in-between “The Blue Max” and “Flyboys”. Besides, this film has Malcolm McDowell who added his unique and brilliant sense of intensity to the great dogfight sequences.”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Aces High.
#7 – The Bridges at Toko-Ri
“Movies about the Korean War are rare enough but a Korean War movie that features the air war to a signficant degree is even rarer and thus makes this film a rare gem. I wonder how many of us on SimHQ have been tempted to reinstall “MiG Alley” after watching this film?”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to The Bridges at Toko-Ri.
#8 – Apocalypse Now
“Who would have thought that Wagner and Vietnam would have gone so well together on film? This film arguably has the most famous helicopter attack scene in cinematic history and how many of us have probably been able to recreate something like this in a PC helicopter sim?”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Apocalypse Now.
Click here for the YouTube video of the helicopter attack from Apocalypse Now.
#9 – Dark Blue World
“A very sombre and sometimes depressing film but one that captures a realistic feel and portrayal of what air combat was like during WWII while being presented from a unique point of view which I think most movie audiences have not experienced very often.”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Dark Blue World.
#10 – Blackhawk Down
“This film more than any other in my recent memory really demonstrates what modern helicopters are capable of doing and also how vulnerable they can be. Little Birds and Blackhawks working a combined op should be something that would be immediately recognizable to any flight simmer. The visceral look and feel of the action sequences in the following YouTube link is one that I’m sure most flight simmers would appreciate!”
Click here for the Internet Movie Database reference to Blackhawk Down.
Click here to read the original Mark Bowden Philadelphia Enquirer story about the event.
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