Flyboys - The Movie

Good movie on a couple of levels.
Excellent explanation of who & what ‘The Lafayette Escadrille’ were during the early days of WWI. Some good characters developed.
Based on a true story.
Great biplane & triplane WWI aerial dogfight scenes. Good action flick.
A family picture that is not “cutesy” or animated.

Good film. I recommend it.

Flyboys reviews and trailer.

In what way is it accurate?

From what I’ve seen, they’ve taken a true story and twisted it beyond recognition.

Great aerial combat scenes, but what an absolute stinker of a plot. Do yourself a favour, walk out when the flying stops.


Is it a dirty and brutal film with very very very little in the way of “honour” or “gentlemanly conduct” among the pilots? Because that’s the way that part of the war was fought. With very few exceptions – there really were only a tiny handful of pilots skilled enough to be described as aces – the average life expectancy for those early combat pilots was something like three weeks, about the same as a subaltern in the front trenches. Not pretty or glamourous at all.

There’s a pretty cool free game demo available for the Flyboys game, by the way. I could hardly manage it at all, but TC’s got a kid who’ll be able to give him lessons, I bet.

[quote=“Elegua”]In what way is it accurate?
From what I’ve seen, they’ve taken a true story and twisted it beyond recognition.[/quote]Ele-
I don’t think you will find the word ‘accurate’ in my post. It is noted that the movie is based on a true story - beyond that I can not, and did not, comment. Sorry if you did not like the movie.

Sandman -
The 3 weeks life expectancy was mentioned to the new arrivals very clearly. It looks to be an honest portrayal of what they faced.

"Where’s the story? Weak cast in toy planes. The dogfights are the stars.

"Snoopy’s battles with the Red Baron felt more authentic than this.

"Unbearably tedious and mildly insulting.

"Flyboys’ spectacular predictability confirms its shallowness.

"The film spends most of its time on the ground, where a historically accurate but not terribly dramatic screenplay wanders through the same military clichés we’ve been seeing since movies were invented.

Yes, that sums it up rather nicely.

For what it’s worth, my grandfather was a pilot in WW!, so I did have a vested interest of sorts in wanting this to be a good movie. It really is such a shame they squandered the fine aerial combat scenes with such a stinking and cliched plot. Perhaps Hollyweird just can’t help itself?


Hey, TC, don’t take it personally - it’s just a movie. :wink:

HGC That is really interesting. I remember as a very young kid my grandmother giving letters written to my Great Grandfather by his classmates who were serving with the British Army in WWI. I also read a letter from my Great Grandfather himself describing an instance where his liner hit a U-boat which then surfaced and sank wth all hands. Made a very strong impression on me.

Yeah I got to read a bunch of letters an uncle received in WWII. He lost his arm in a hunting accident when his unit were in Darwin on the eve of shipping over to New Guinea. The letters were from the guys that went on over. Horrid tales.

Likewise my father passed on the lurid tales he managed to catch when my grandfather was drinking with his war buddies. He was a sniper in Gallipoli with the Australian light horse before joining the RFC. The logic was that a cavalry soldier should have the right sort of balance for flying, apparently. I suspect he heard of the shit in the trenches and opted to fly instead. He claimed it was the uniform, as the air force was new and exciting and an air force officer was a guaranteed chick puller.

He claimed that as the RFC was a new beast the English wanted their pilots in the newspapers as aces and so as an Australian he was mostly given non-combat ops like flying the fucked up planes back to the UK for a refit and shipping the new ones over to France. This changed when the Australians were given some limited independence over their Air Corp.

His tales of Gallipoli are the most harrowing. The one that sticks in my mind, aside from the day his cousin had his head blown off, was his treatment of the breakfast runners. Hidden away watching the enemy lines, it was some poor bastard’s job to run his brekkie and ammo up each day. Now as a sniper he had the choice to expose his position by aiding the runner with some covering fire. And obviously there was greater imperative on seeing his food and ammo arrive safely. When they arrived he would flip the lid on his pannikin and if there was no bacon say “no bacon, that means no covering fire on the way back. You won’t forget that tomorrow now will you?” Apparently he lost a few chaps to Turkish snipers this way. He was one very hard bastard. Mind you he always said the WWI years were the best of his life, aside from Gallipoli, so that uniform must have saw him many a good time in between ferrying planes from London to Paris.


Please remind me never to forget the ‘bacon’ the next time we go out.

I had grandparents on both sides of WWII. None of my grandparents ever spoke voluntarily. One grandparent was a Norwegian who was living in Germany before the war and got drafted. He was in artillerly and served on the Eastern front, missing Stalingrad by a frostbit toe. None of his unit came back. He served from the beginning to the very end of the war and his stories about the end of the war are enough to give you nightmares.

The other was an artilleryman in the US army and went in on D-Day+2. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge and never said a single word about what happened.

There but for the grace of dog . . .

With that artillerly background, extended family dinners must have been noisy affairs. “Pass the ham.” “WHAT WAS THAT?” :laughing:


I met Elliot White Springs when I was a kid. He was a WWI ace and wrote [i]Warbirds: The Diary of an Unknown Aviator[/i]…I have an autographed copy. My mother was one of his secretaries.

Kurt Vonnegut’s [i]God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater[/i] is based loosely on Springs.

An impressive record of accomplishments, and he lived.

Fort Mill Museum

I saw the film last night and liked it apart form the love story crap. It reminded me in a way of Goshawk Squadron, which I devoured when I was a kid. Wish I still had a copy.