The Wings Of Eagles (1957)

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    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

    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

    Edited 11 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Not my favorite Duke movie. If not for Maureen I would probably never of watched it. Just thought there was something missing. and I agree on the comedy thing, the whole Navy vs Army thing was just alittle tired and not all that funny to me.

    Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
    -John Wayne

  • 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

  • Quote

    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:-


    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.


    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…


    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Quote

    Originally posted by Stumpy@Mar 16 2006, 06:31 AM
    Don't know if anyone else has posted this but we have a new title on the way. Check the list of new titles added.


    Hey Stumpy, glad you swung through. Thanks for the update.

    Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
    -John Wayne

  • EXELLENT NEWS!!, I have not seen this John Wayne movie and I will be looking forward to buying this, the hunt is on now to see it in the stores.


  • 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:

  • Quote

    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


  • I kinda hate to read since it causes my eyes to hurt and other things like my lousy memory that the docter says has something to do with multi-infarct dementia, I have been searching for something this morning. Currently "The Wings of Eagles" is on AMC. Towards the beginning of the movie their first child dies but we never see why and nothing is said. Those of you who read a lot, is there anything anywhere that says why the child dies or is it left to our imagination? Just curious...

    This is absolutely one of my favorite movies. It brings back a lot of happy and sad memories of my time underway. If I had to do it over again I probably would have stayed in longer than 12 years but I would have been medically retired in 1991 anyway 2 years short of hitting 20 years.