A naive young officer straight from school arrives on the Western front to fight the air war against the Germans. However, the life expectancy of green pilots is not long.
This is an excellent film about WWI Royal Flying Corps and their fights against the Germans over the trenches.
Fantastic cast - McDowell, Trevor Howard, Peter Firth, Simon Ward and Christopher Plummer - they are all some of the best in the business at portraying English upper classes. Especially the mean McDowell (with his ironic speech at Eton 'we are caning them' when they're not really) and the callow Peter Firth, all Boys Own enthusiasm.
Shows the pious nature of the English elite, with John Gielgud as the headmaster spouting out empty platitudes about decency and 'playing the game' while, meanwhile, McDowell is playing dirty tricks on German pilots (the scene where he gets his opponent to land in the field and then destroys him as he walks towards his plane to offer help).
Fantastic aerial shots.
- Journeys End with WW1 planes
Ive seen this film about four times. A great film that didn't flinch from showing a class-ridden and brutal look at the reality of World War 1. Malcolm MacDowell was excellent as the Squadron Leader and Christopher Plummer was superb as the 'kindly uncle' figure who gave allowances and understanding to young pilots who were faced with the prospect of death every day on active duty.
World War One films are very hard to make , simply because the Director has to capture and expose the horror of a modern war in a period where the participants are caught in a mood of adventure and duty.Aces High demonstrates this fact entirely.
The film is based on the book Journeys End , and damn I missed it when it was on at the theatre , but hey. Anyway this film version is turned into the Play with Planes.
Anyway a great Film and brilliantly acted. I highly recommend this film to any war film buff , like myself.
Director: Jack Gold
Writers: Howard Barker (screenplay), R.C. Sherriff
Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... Maj. John Gresham
Christopher Plummer ... Capt. 'Uncle' Sinclair
Simon Ward ... Lt. Crawford
Peter Firth ... Lt. Stephen Croft
David Wood ... Lt. 'Tommy' Thompson
John Gielgud ... Headmaster
Trevor Howard ... Lieutenant Colonel Silkin
Richard Johnson ... Major Lyle
Ray Milland ... Brigadier General Whale
Christopher Blake ... Lieutenant Roberts
Gilles Béhat ... Captain Beckenauer (as Gilles Behat)
Elliott Cooper ... Lieutenant Wade
David Daker ... Mess Corporal Bennett
Barry Jackson ... Corporal Albert Joyce
Jacques Maury ... Ponnelle
Language:English| German (only a few words)
Release Date:December 1977 (USA)
Filming Locations:Booker Airfield, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, UK