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Flying Tigers (1942)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 8 October 1942 (USA)
Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.

Director:

David Miller

Writers:

Kenneth Gamet (screen play), Barry Trivers (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Capt. Jim Gordon
John Carroll ... Woody Jason
Anna Lee ... Brooke Elliott
Paul Kelly ... Hap Davis
Gordon Jones ... Alabama Smith
Mae Clarke ... Verna Bales
Addison Richards ... Col. Lindsay
Edmund MacDonald ... Blackie Bales
Bill Shirley ... Dale
Tom Neal ... Reardon
Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart ... McCurdy (as Malcolm 'Bud'McTaggart)
David Bruce ... Lt. Barton
Chester Gan ... Mike
Jimmie Dodd ... McIntosh (as James Dodd)
Gregg Barton ... Tex Norton
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Storyline

Jim Gordon commands a unit of the famed Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group which fought the Japanese in China before America's entry into World War II. Gordon must send his outnumbered band of fighter pilots out against overwhelming odds while juggling the disparate personalities and problems of his fellow flyers. In particular, he must handle the difficulties created by a reckless hot-shot pilot named Woody Jason, who not only wants to fight a one-man war but to waltz off with Gordon's girlfriend. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NUNCA COMO HASTA AHORA SE FILMO LA GUERRA EL EL AIRE TAN CRUENTA, TAN REAL, TAN VIOLENTA! (original Argentine poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yanks Over the Burma Road See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,270,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Tiger Shark" teeth and eyes painted on the noses of the planes were there for psychological reasons. It was believed that the Japanese, coming from a seafaring nation, would be frightened of being attacked by sharks. There is no word on whether it had any effect. See more »

Goofs

The Japanese fighters that the Flying Tigers meet in combat are Nakajima Ki.27 'Nates', which were the most common Japanese Army fighters over China in the early part of the war. Whilst some aspects of the Ki.27 are correctly replicated, its wing is not the right shape and, most of all, it fires four wing guns. The Ki.27, like all early Japanese Army fighters, carried only a nose mounted armament of two 7.7mm machine guns. This lightweight armament, plus the type's non-armoured construction and low-powered engine, was typical of Japanese Army fighters until quite late in WW2. The P-40 was superior in almost every department, apart from manoeuvrability, which the Flying Tigers compensated for by developing tactics such as diving down from a high altitude, shooting and then continuing the dive to avoid dogfighting. See more »

Quotes

Jim Gordon: [following Hap's medical examination] Come on in, Hap... I gotta hand you one on the chin, but I'd rather it came from me than from anybody else: You're through flying.
Hap Smith: The doctor said I'd out-live Confucius.
Jim Gordon: Sure, if you stay on the ground... I can't send a man out there who doesn't know whether he's flying upside down or not! Take a look at that eye chart; your depth perception's a mile off! I know you've been gunning 'em since they were box-kites with broomsticks for rudders. But you gotta ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: The characters and events depicted in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tokyo Joe (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Feeling
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Played on a record in the Chinese restaurant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
campy and over-the-top fun
26 January 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I am a real sucker for some of the old Republic films--particularly the wartime films. Yes, I know they are NOT artistic masterpieces and the movies of course take advantage of many cinema clichés BUT they also deliver wonderful, if somewhat low-brow, entertainment.

Despite John Wayne being billed as the lead, he is in fact somewhat of a background figure during much of the movie. Instead, the main focus seems to be on the incredibly glib and cocky John Carrol. He's a jerk and he's terribly selfish but boy can he fly. And, Wayne, being an old pal of Carrol's knows that down deep Carrol will prove himself in the end.

Along the way, we are treated to a liberal dose of the nobility of our Chinese comrades in arms as well as the inherent decency of our volunteer pilots. While all basically true, it has all the expected touches of a WWII American propaganda film. For me, that's not really a bad thing, as this film and others like it succeed in being great entertainment. In fact, because of this, I have seen this film several times. It's not exactly deep or sophisticated, but sometimes we NEED a film we can just enjoy and not think too deeply about.


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