The Wings Of Eagles (1957)

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    There are 133 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • The Wings Of Eagles (1957)



      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

      Full Cast
      John Wayne .... Frank W. 'Spig' Wead
      Dan Dailey .... 'Jughead' Carson
      Maureen O'Hara .... Min Wead
      Ward Bond .... John Dodge
      Ken Curtis .... John Dale Price
      Edmund Lowe .... Adm. Moffett
      Kenneth Tobey .... Capt. Herbert Allen Hazard
      James Todd .... Jack Travis
      Barry Kelley .... Capt. Jock Clark
      Sig Ruman .... Manager
      Henry O'Neill .... Capt. Spear
      Willis Bouchey .... Barton
      Dorothy Jordan .... Rose Brentmann
      Tige Andrews .... Arizona Pincus (uncredited)
      Veda Ann Borg .... (uncredited)
      Danny Borzage .... Pete (uncredited)
      Olive Carey .... Bridy O'Faolain (uncredited)
      Franklyn Farnum .... Man on sidewalk outside movie theater (uncredited)
      James Flavin .... MP at garden party (uncredited)
      Mimi Gibson .... Lila Wead (uncredited)
      Fred Graham .... Officer in brawl (uncredited)
      Sam Harris .... Patient (uncredited)
      William Henry .... Naval aide (uncredited)
      Louis Jean Heydt .... Dr. John Keye (uncredited)
      Stuart Holmes .... Producer (uncredited)
      Christopher James .... (uncredited)
      Janet Lake .... Nurse (uncredited)
      William Paul Lowery .... Wead's baby, 'Commodore' (uncredited)
      Cliff Lyons .... (uncredited)
      Mae Marsh .... Nurse Crumley (uncredited)
      May McAvoy .... Nurse (uncredited)
      Alberto Morin .... Second manager (uncredited)
      Forbes Murray .... Congressman (uncredited)
      Peter Ortiz .... Lt. Charles Dexter (uncredited)
      Jack Pennick .... Joe McGuffey (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson .... Officer (uncredited)
      Evelyn Rudie .... Doris Wead (uncredited)
      Arthur Salzfass .... Navy pilot (uncredited)
      Harry Strang .... Bartender (uncredited)
      William Tracy .... Air officer (uncredited)
      Les Tremayne .... Off-screen narrator of trailer (uncredited)
      Charles Trowbridge .... Adm. Crown (uncredited)
      Dale Van Sickel .... Naval officer (uncredited)
      Harlan Warde .... Executive Officer (uncredited)
      Blue Washington .... Bartender at Officer's Club (uncredited)
      Terry Wilson .... Naval officer (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Frank Fenton screenplay
      William Wister Haines screenplay
      Frank Wead book (as Commander Frank W. 'Spig' Wead)

      Original Music
      Jeff Alexander

      Paul Vogel (director of photography) (as Paul C. Vogel)

      Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
      Wingate Smith .... assistant director

      Paul Mantz .... aerial stunts
      Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
      John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
      Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
      Frank McGrath .... stunts (uncredited)
      Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)stunts (uncredited).
      Ronnie Rondell Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
      Paul Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
      Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
      Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
      Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)

      * Most of the extras in the Pensacola Florida scenes were actual Navy flight students and flight instructors. Although the Navy objected, director John Ford made certain that the military men were paid "extra" wages.

      * There is a scene in the movie where we see the director, played by Ward Bond, looking at a clip of a film written by the main character. The clip is from the film Hell Divers (1931), which was actually written by Frank Wead.

      * According to director John Ford, "Everything in the picture was true. The fight in the club - throwing the cake - actually happened. I can verify that as an eyewitness. I ducked it. And the plane landing in the swimming pool right in the middle of the Admiral's tea - that really happened."

      * The character of John Dodge was a fictional version of John Ford. Many of the props in Dodge's office - the Oscars, the pipe, the hollow cane - were borrowed from Ford.

      * The older (WWII era) Spig Wead has a noticeably bald head. This is the only film in which John Wayne appears without his toupee.

      After John Dodge (the fictional version of John Ford) gives Spig a job writing for his studio, he is lead out to his new office to begin work and passes in front of numerous actor's head shots. Wayne pauses for a beat in front of one of his earliest head shots before continuing.

      This is the third time John Wayne worked with Maureen O'Hara

      * Revealing mistakes: When Spig and Dodge are screening the dailies of "Hell Divers", the smoke they exhale goes behind the movie screen on the wall. During the take they were sitting in front of a blank wall and the dailies they were "watching" were added later causing them to obliterate the exhaled cigarette smoke.

      * Anachronisms: When on board the aircraft carrier, as "Spig" Wead is leaving the ship, a plane is being towed in the background. The national insignia on the side of the aircraft is incorrect. There was no red stripe in the white bars that bordered the star during WWII. This version did not come into being until after the war.

      * Continuity: In the first scene where Lieutenant Junior Grade Wead is flying with Captain Hazzard, on the ground Captain Hazzard is in the front seat, but in the air Wead is in the front seat.

      * Anachronisms: When Frank "Spig" Wead is taking command of the aircraft carrier during WWII the car that drives up to the docked carrier is a 1950 or '51 Chevrolet or Pontiac yet the scene is supposed to be during the war, which ended in 1945.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios - 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA

      Watch this Clip

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 16 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • The Wings of Eagles is a 1957 Metrocolor film about Frank "Spig" Wead
      and US Naval aviation from its inception through World War II.
      The film is a tribute to Wead from his friend, director John Ford.

      John Wayne plays naval aviator-turned-screenwriter Wead, who wrote the story or screenplay for such films as
      Hell Divers, Ceiling Zero, and They Were Expendable.

      The supporting cast features Dan Dailey, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond, and Ken Curtis.


      This is one quote, everyone will remember,
      I enjoyed the film, but at times I thought, Fords
      comedy touch, was sometimes,a bit silly!
      I thought Duke handled the part well, and
      he really looked credible, in his treatment of someone
      trying to walking again.
      Maureen was her usual self, and Ward
      did a great parody, on John Ford.
      Paul Mantz, the stuntman pilot who died, in the filming
      of Flight of the Phoenix
      was used in this film, in a similar capacity,
      flying through the hangar, and into the swimming pool.
      Six war planes had to built, as they no longer existed.
      The aircrafy carrier was the USS Philippine Sea.

      User Review
      Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
      Not one of Ford's best works as a director, but it's an excellent film nonetheless. It's one of the best biopics I've ever seen. The subject is Frank "Spig" Wead, a Navy man through and through who, despite all his success in the service, was never able to make much of a connection with his wife and daughters. It was a very personal story for John Ford, who was a good friend of Wead's. Wead was the screenwriter on Ford's excellent They Were Expendable (and also Air Mail, which I haven't seen). The film concentrates on the man and his relationships. John Wayne gives a downright excellent performance as Wead. Maureen O'Hara is back as his love interest, and their interactions here are marvelous. Also giving excellent performances are Ken Curtis (maybe his best role in a Ford film), Dan Dailey, and Ward Bond as the first movie producer who hires Wead. Bond's performance is in loving imitation of John Ford. The Wings of Eagles is a very touching tribute to a friend. The only problem is that it is such a personal story to Ford that the most interesting part, the relationship with the wife and kids, is not treated fully in order to make Wead look better than he probably did in real life.

      Rating 7/10
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 11 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Memorable Quotes

      John Dodge: I don't want a story just about ships and planes. I want it about the men who run them - how they live and think and talk. I want it from a pen dipped in salt water, not dry martinis.

      'Jughead' Carson: [the General has just given him some whiskey for Spig] Well, thank you sir!
      'Jughead' Carson: [he chugs it and throws it behind the mirror] They can make better booze in a bathtub!

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Originally posted by SXViper@Jan 22 2006, 01:57 PM
      Not my favorite Duke movie. If not for Maureen I would probably never of watched it.

      What caused us to want to see this in the first place was the fact that it was one of the five movies Duke and Miss O'Hara made together. It was disappointing that she played such a small role.

      Amazon has it available in DVD for around $12.

      Chester :newyear:
    • Hi,
      I have been researching all the threads, back to the start of the JWMB,
      looking for previous discussion, relating to the movies.
      I have found the following, comments, and have copied them here,
      so that they are now under one forum:-
      General Sterling Price
      post Aug 24 2003, 04:15 AM

      My wife and I just finished watching Wings of Eagles for the first time. We enjoyed it...even though it is kind of a tragic story...but the question that is left unanswered at the end is...does Wayne leave the Navy to go back to live out his days with his wife (and would she have him), or does he live out his live alone.

      This was based on a true story, so maybe someone knows the answer...



      post Aug 24 2003, 09:35 PM

      I have watched this movie many times and really like it. I get the impression (no way to know if it's true or not) that it wasn't meant to be between them. Everytime things were going good, something happened. It would be interesting to know what really did happen. There should be an autobiography available on Wead.

      post Aug 25 2003, 03:08 AM

      I was watching Wings of Eagles this weekend too! It made my day that they were having a John Wayne day! I was thinking the same thing too about them getting back together. I think they did, because Maurren O' Hara, said, when the news came over the radio, about Pearl Harbor, "If the Navy wont have you Spig I will!"
      I would like to see a biography of Spig though, it would be really interesting! I really like that movie, even though it is tragic, I love the fight he gives, for walking again! What a hero!


      General Sterling Price
      post Aug 26 2003, 04:25 AM

      Yeah…it was just tough for my wife and I to watch it right after having seen The Quiet Man. It seems that in Wings of Eagles, Wayne and O’Hara pick up where they left off, and then to see their relationship disintegrate like that. I wouldn’t have felt the film such a tragedy, say if Wayne’s wife was Angie Dickenson (Rio Bravo), then I would have said he was better off with the Navy anyway…


      post Aug 26 2003, 08:26 AM

      My wife thought it was particularly tragic that he would shut out his wife and family at such a time in his life. She told me that I better not try that if such a thing happened to me, because she'd be marching into that room and looking me in the eye, and reminding me of our wedding vows, especially that part about "in SICKNESS and health".

      How sad that he never saw his daughters again, except in pictures. He was a heroic man, and certainly an example of perseverance, and it is a shame his wife and daughters couldn't share in his triumph. That is what family is for, isn't it?


      post Aug 26 2003, 02:05 PM

      mrs chester,

      you are so right but as well as reminding him of his vows also clonk :headbonk: him one for shutting you and the littlens out :) .
      as you say chester he did miss out on a lot by not sharing his success with his family

      cheers smokey
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Watched this movie last evening and absolutly enjoyed it. Began late at night after football game of World Cup was finished and cun't stop until end. May be it is not the best of Fords films but it sure have the touch of a great master. And of course the figure of Spig is the most fashinating. I'd like to read something about him, can anybody recommend?
      Senta :rolleyes:
    • Originally posted by Senta@Jul 6 2006, 12:43 AM
      Watched this movie last evening and absolutly enjoyed it. Began late at night after football game of World Cup was finished and cun't stop until end. May be it is not the best of Fords films but it sure have the touch of a great master. And of course the figure of Spig is the most fashinating. I'd like to read something about him, can anybody recommend?
      Senta :rolleyes:

      The Dvd Was Released June 6th 2006 and newbury comics has it for $13.99 Which is the best price i've seen it listed at so far

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