Aviation Movies

The arrival of Red Tails in theaters (and to the disappointment of most reviewers, pilots and non-aviators alike) suggests that it might be time to revive a discussion of favorite aviation movies.

This list, at Air & Space Smithsonian, is an excellent place to start, but it was published in 2006 and is therefore missing the latest flicks and some (corny) classics (e.g., Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines) and many serials that included aerial adventures. On the other hand, I can’t think of many recent films that deserve honorable mention, especially given the trend toward CGI, which although capable of stunning visuals, has yet to reproduce realistic flying scenes.

(You can see a list of movies [some 600] with an “aviation” theme at IMdb.)

Two Battle of Britain films and mini-series deserve mention:

Of course, there’s a host of campy aviation-themed movies that support a variety of drinking games, including:

And classic dramas in which airplanes and aviation are important supporting characters, for example:

Other movies that feature aircraft in supporting roles:

In addition, some TV series focused on aviation or included episodes in which aircraft had prominent roles:

I’m sure the collective wisdom of the web can name scores of other examples. Feel free to contribute via comments.

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