Friday, February 28, 2014

Aces High (1976)

Director: Jack Gold

Writers: Howard Barker, R.C. Sherriff, Cecil Lewis

Composer: Richard Hartley

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Plummer, Simon Ward, Peter Firth, David Wood, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, Richard Johnson, Ray Milland, Christopher Blake, Gilles Behat, Elliott Cooper, David Daker, Barry Jackson, Jacques Maury, Ron Pember, Tim Pigott-Smith

More info: IMDb

Tagline: High above the trenches 14 days is a long life...This is the 15th day!

Plot: A naive young officer straight from school arrives on the Western front to fight the air war against the Germans. However, the life expectancy of green pilots is not very good.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Sadly, there are too few movies about the first World War.  I Guess it's because WWII was a lot sexier and fun (not really but it's perceived that way) and it overshadows the previous one.  Regardless, I'll watch anything related to it.  The cast is quite good but the mood of the film is largely dreary, just like the scenery and the look of the film.  I don't know why that soft film look was popular during the 1970s and 80s.  I'm not a fan.  It's rarely worked for me.  Regardless, I think it hurts this picture, especially when you add it to the pacing that moseys along but picks up from time to time.  There is a bit of aerial dogfights which is welcome but there's nothing terribly exciting about them.  I'll say this, the ending caught my by complete surprise.  Didn't see that coming.  ACES feels like it's trying to remake THE DAWN PATROL (1938), starring Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone and David Niven), a MUCH better picture in every way.  I couldn't keep myself from thinking about it at just about every turn...not a good sign.  Still, it's worth checking out but do yourself a favor and get your hands on THE DAWN PATROL.  You'll be glad you did.

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