Fred Thomas Presents - Fred, a long time connoisseur of aviation photography and movies, invites you to view his all time favorite movies. Needless to say, the focus is on flying. So expect to see some awesome aviation movies!
When: The third Wednesday of each Month
Where: Sundance Flying Club Briefing Room,
1901 Embarcadero, Ste 109
Palo Alto, CA
What time: Short topics and serial starting at 7pm. Main feature follows.
Light supper: donation appreciated!
|March||21||Flying Leathernecks||Flying Leathernecks is a 1951 action film directed by Nicholas Ray, produced by Edmund Grainger, (who had produced Sands of Iwo Jima) and starring John Wayne and Robert Ryan. The movie details the exploits and personal battles of United States Marine Corps aviators during World War II. Marines have long had the nickname "leatherneck," hence the title.|
|April||25||Flight Commander||This movie was released with the title
The Dawn Patrolin 1930. It was retitled as "Flight Commander" when it was released for TV.
The movie is a World War I film starring Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. It was directed by Howard Hawks and won the Academy Award for Best Story for John Monk Saunders. It was subsequently remade in 1938 starring Errol Flynn, David Niven and Basil Rathbone.
|May||16||The Great Santini||The Great Santini is a 1979 film which tells the story of a Marine officer whose success as a military aviator contrasts with his shortcomings as a husband and father. The film explores the high price of heroism and self-sacrifice. It stars Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe, Lisa Jane Persky, Julie Anne Haddock, Brian Andrews, Stan Shaw and David Keith. The film is set in 1962 before widespread American involvement in the Vietnam War. Conroy makes the point that Santini is a warrior without a war, and in turn is at war alternately with the service that he loves and his family.|
|June||20||Flying Tigers||Flying Tigers is a 1942 black-and-white war film, starring John Wayne and John Carroll as mercenary fighter pilots fighting the Japanese in China prior to the U.S. entry into World War II.|
|July||18||The Crowded Sky||One of the first modern day airline disaster movies, this 1961 film contains all the elements of suspense, humor and drama that one would expect of its genre. With the only drawback of a weak supporting cast, the story line is a solid one. In this film, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. plays a navy pilot on a collision course with a commercial jet piloted by Dana Andrews. Years later, in one of the later Airport series, the roles are reversed and Andrews plays the pilot of a small plane on a collision course with a commercial aircraft piloted by Efrem Zimbalist. Troy Donahue does a creditable job as a young sailor hitching a ride with Zimbalist to get home. An interesting device in this film is the close-up thought technique, particularly when used with the character played by Keenan Wynn.|
|August||15||Blue Thunder||Blue Thunder is a 1983 feature film that features a high-tech helicopter of the same name. The movie was directed by John Badham and stars Roy Scheider. A spin-off television series also called Blue Thunder lasted 11 episodes in 1984. Francis McNeil "Frank" Murphy (Roy Scheider) is a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) helicopter-pilot-officer and troubled Vietnam War veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His field partner is the newly assigned Richard Lymangood (Daniel Stern), who is given the nickname "JAFO". The two patrol Los Angeles at night and give assistance to police cars below. Murphy is selected to pilot the world's most advanced helicopter, nicknamed "Blue Thunder," which is essentially a military-style combat helicopter intended for police use in surveillance and large-scale civic disobedience. With powerful armament, stealth technology that allows it to fly virtually undetected, and other accoutrements (such as infrared scanners, powerful microphones and cameras, and a U-Matic VCR), Blue Thunder appears to be a formidable tool in the war on crime.|
|September||19||A Wing and a Prayer||In this 1998 made for TV movie, an air-traffic controller (Claudia Christian) faces the challenge of her career when she is forced to guide a disabled airplane to safety, unaware that her husband is aboard.|
|October||17||Dive Bomber||Dive Bomber is a 1941 American propaganda film directed by Michael Curtiz. It is notable for both its Technicolor photography of pre-World War II United States Navy aircraft and as a historical document of the US in 1941, including the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, one of the best known World War II US warships. The film was the last of a collaboration between director Curtiz and actor Errol Flynn which began in 1935 and spanned 12 films. The cast also includes Fred MacMurray, on loan from Paramount Studios and Alexis Smith in her first credited screen performance. Flynn portrays a Harvard-educated doctor who is involved in heroic medical research on pilots, with MacMurray as the skeptical veteran aviator who gets swept up in the project. The plot is not historically accurate but, depicted in a near-documentary style, the film contains elements of true events that were involved in period aeromedical research, as well as real contemporary medical equipment.|
|November||14 (Date changed)||Air Wolf||Airwolf is an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on a high-tech military helicopter, code named Airwolf, and its crew as they undertake various missions, many involving espionage, with a Cold War theme. The series' protagonist is Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) who was a test pilot for Airwolf, an advanced supersonic helicopter with stealth capabilities and a formidable arsenal. Airwolf was built by the FIRM, a division of the CIA (a play on the term "the Company", a nickname for the CIA). Airwolf was stolen by its twisted creator, Dr. Charles Henry Moffet (David Hemmings). Michael Coldsmith Briggs III (Alex Cord), the FIRM's deputy director (codename Archangel), then asks Hawke to go to Libya to retrieve the helicopter. Archangel has a blind left eye and walks with a limp as a result of having been caught in the carnage Moffet unleashed when he stole Airwolf.
On September 6, 2011,