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Red Tails (2012)

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A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.

Director:

Anthony Hemingway

Writers:

John Ridley (story), John Ridley (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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4,141 ( 3,883)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Terrence Howard ... Colonel A.J. Bullard
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Major Emanuelle Stance
Nate Parker ... Marty 'Easy' Julian
David Oyelowo ... Joe 'Lightning' Little
Tristan Mack Wilds ... Ray 'Junior' Gannon (as Tristan Wilds)
Ne-Yo ... Andrew 'Smokey' Salem
Elijah Kelley ... Samuel 'Joker' George
Marcus T. Paulk ... David 'Deke' Watkins
Leslie Odom Jr. ... Declan 'Winky' Hall
Michael B. Jordan ... Maurice Wilson
Kevin Phillips ... Leon 'Neon' Edwards
Andre Royo ... Antwan 'Coffee' Coleman
Method Man ... Sticks (as Cliff Smith)
Bryan Cranston ... Colonel William Mortamus
Lee Tergesen ... Colonel Jack Tomlinson
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Storyline

Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky - even as they battle discrimination on the ground. It's a tribute to the unsung heroes who rose above extraordinary challenges and ultimately soared into history. Written by 20th Century Fox

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

High-Octane Action and Daring Dogfights! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sequences of war violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

20 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Tails See more »

Filming Locations:

Croatia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$58,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,782,154, 22 January 2012

Gross USA:

$49,876,377

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,365,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with The New York Times, George Lucas stated that the personalities of Easy and Lightning are based on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, respectively. See more »

Goofs

The searchlight in the POW camp appears to have come from the studio's lighting department as the ears for the barn doors are visible. See more »

Quotes

Andrew 'Smokey' Salem: When you get upset, when you get mad, you turn red, right? When you get envoius, or sick, you turn green. When you become cowardly, you turn yellow; and ya'll got the nerve to call us colored?
See more »

Connections

References Stalag 17 (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Been a Long, Long Time
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne
Performed by Harry James and His Orchestra (as Harry James & His Orchestra)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
sadly, such a lot of wasted potential
14 January 2013 | by HelenMarySee all my reviews

I had high hopes for this; Cuba Gooding Jnr, Terence Howard, David Oyelowo and Bryan Cranston in the same film? Surely this would be a master work of cultural importance highlighting egregious racial slights in WWII which were - clearly - absurd? The topic laid open the opportunity for aerial combat scenes that would make Top Gun look like walk in the park given that it's nearly 30 years on and surely SFX would have improved exponentially - it's LucasFilm for crying out loud - George Lucas knows a bit about SFX, right? Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. WRONG. This was Red Tails, light. The Disney version of the story, if you will.

The acting, with the notable exceptions of Oyelowo, who tried SO hard to carry the film, Gooding Jnr & Howard who given their heavy-weight were woefully under-utilised but still shone in every scene (especially Howard) but who has Terence Howard in a film and only give him about four scenes? Who!? David Oyelowo's maverick-type character "Lightening" was the only character with depth, but even he struggled with the ridiculously poor script and naive plot formation as the film was a staccato of - largely predictable - events. Of course the dogfights and flying scenes were key but there was so much potential that was glossed over. insubordination, alcoholism, unlikely romance, fear and righteous rage at a government scorning them because of the colour of their skin! It could have been mindblowing... it should have been edge of the seat tense but nothing about this hit the nail on the head. It missed on every point. Direction, score, script, acting etc and even the aerial combat scenes were poor. It had no passion, or realism. There were a few good aerial moves but it was without emotional response, consequence or discipline!

For telling a true story, or at least based on true events and the Tuskegee Training program, these airmen were fighting to prove wrong (!) a Government edict that stated that Black people weren't smart, coordinated, skilled, brave or loyal enough to fly a plane in battle and would chicken out, as they were gutless. What a story to take part in!! Woefully disappointing. The moments of bravery, sentient, beauty, faith and camaraderie were glossed over, not enough made of them, and it felt like it dragged; I was convinced it was a three hour film as whilst things happened, they didn't *HAPPEN.* Overall it was too ... vanilla. This film shouldn't have been a 12A. It should have been real and raw and visceral. Oh what a waste.


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