The 10 Best Warplane Films, According to Real Aviation Buffs (No Top Gun, Thank You)

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2. The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) Based on James Michener's slim (only 120 pages!) novel about Marine Corps fighter-bomber pilots flying off an aircraft carrier during the Korean War. William Holden is his usual taciturn self as the doomed Cmdr. Brubaker, and Mickey Rooney is, surprise!, a feisty Irish helicopter pilot.

The film was based on a couple of USMC squadrons Michener covered for Life magazine while assigned to aircraft carriers off the coast of North Korea. Among the aviators he followed was a very young and unknown Neil Armstrong.

Among the faithful, The Bridges at Toko-Ri is noted for its extremely realistic combat scenes using F9F Panther jets.

It won the Oscar for Special Effects, and we can clearly see why with all these jets zooming in to attack the enormous mountain-bridges of the title while being shot at by Korean flak gunners. And if Korean flak gunners don't get you interested, how about the radiant young Grace Kelly in living color?

The film's last line is remembered by all who see it, we suppose because it's short. And uttered by a crusty Frederick March as Admiral Tarrant. The line? "Where do we get such men?" He repeats it, of course. You have to say a line like that twice in these movies.

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Mel Sharkskin