This is just a list of aviation themed movies and have not been analyzed for
age appropriateness. Please use your best judgement! And
email us with
your input and recommendations.
We use aviation to entertain and educate girls
about their limitless opportunities for personal growth.
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Learn a little 'bout life on the
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Director: Mack Sennett
A silent black-and-white short featuring a couple of love triangles and a
biplane.

Wings (1927)
Director: William A. Wellman
The tale of two friends in love with the same woman, who's in love with
someone else, and then there's that girl-next-door who's in love with one of
the friends. Oh, and the friends become pilots in World War I.

Hell's Angels (1930)
Director: Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes' infamous film about two Royal Flying Corps pilots in World
War I was an enormous undertaking, and ended up killing several of the
stunt pilots. The film is rife with fantastically daring flying sequences.

Devil's Squadron (1936)
Director: Erle Kenton
As test pilot deaths mount, a young woman is forced to close her late
father's aircraft manufacturing company. (Not to worry-the hero test pilot
eventually saves the day.)

The Dawn Patrol (1938)
Director: Edmund Goudling
Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, and David Niven star in a story about an English
Royal Flying Corps Squadron in France during World War I.

Test Pilot (1938)
Director: Victor Fleming
Clark Gable is a daring test pilot, Myrna Loy is his love interest, and Spencer
Tracy is his trusty mechanic.

Flying Tigers (1942)
Director: David Miller
John Wayne swaggers, this time as a pilot, in this film based on the Flying
Tigers, an all-American volunteer squadron that fought against the Japanese
in World War II.

Wing and a Prayer (1944)
Director: Henry Hathaway
Naval aviation takes center stage in this movie about an aircraft carrier sent
on a decoy mission in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Look for the
"Japanese" fighters-Grumman F4F Wildcats and Douglas SBD Dauntless
bombers dressed up to look like the enemy.

God is My Co-Pilot (1945)
Director: Robert Florey
The film version of the Flying Tigers' flights over the "Hump" of the Himalayas
to supply the Chinese fighting the Japanese during World War II.

Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
Director: Henry King
Real combat footage was used in this film about a bomber squadron flying
over Germany in World War II.

Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
Director: Andrew Marton
A Korean War film featuring the true story of a U.S. Navy fighter pilot blinded
by gunfire and then "talked in" for an incredible (and safe) carrier landing.

The Wings of Eagles (1957)
Director: John Ford
John Wayne stars in this biopic about Frank "Spig" Wead, a naval aviator who
became a screenwriter after an accident ended his flying career.

The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
Director: Billy Wilder
A biopic featuring Jimmy Stewart as a young Charles Lindbergh.

War Lover (1962)
Director: Philip Leacock
Steve McQueen plays Buzz Rickson, a B-17 bomber pilot who lives to fly in
combat. Robert Wagner is his more subdued and level-headed copilot.

Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines (1965)
Director: Ken Annakin
Set in the early 1900s, the film depicts a group of air racers competing to win
a competition to cross the English Channel to Paris. Two replicas built for the
film still exist-a 1910 Bristol Boxkite and a 1911 Avro Triplane-and can be
seen at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire, England.

Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Director: Robert Aldrich
A plane (piloted by Jimmy Stewart) crashes in the middle of the Saharan
desert, stranding everyone on board. It takes a guy who builds model
airplanes to piece the fuselage back together and fly to safety. Stunt pilot
Paul Mantz was killed when he tried to land the C-82, the plane used as the
Phoenix. A really good 2004 remake stars Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi.

The Blue Max (1966)
Director: John Guillermin
George Peppard plays a foot soldier in World War I, who becomes a fighter
pilot and does his best to win the Blue Max, a medal bestowed on aces with
20 kills.

Battle of Britain (1969)
Director: Guy Hamilton
The dramatic account of World War II's Battle of Britain, in which the Royal
Air Force kept the Germans from invading England.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Director: Roy Fleischer
The United States and Japan get equal blame in this interesting account of
the events leading up to Pearl Harbor.

The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)
Director: George Roy Hill
Robert Redford plays a barnstormer who missed out on being a World War I
flying ace and can't quite get over it. There's no computer-generated imagery
in this film—all of the flying and the airplanes are real.

Aces High (1976)
Director: Jack Gold
The air battle on World War I's Western Front was brutal. This story focuses
on one British pilot fighting the Germans.

Firefox (1982)
Director: Clint Eastwood
He doesn't have to be on a horse to play a cowboy: Clint Eastwood is a
burnt-out veteran sent to the Soviet Union to steal a "MiG 31"-a fictional
fighter jet that flies at Mach 6.

The Right Stuff (1983)
Director: Philip Kaufman
Based on Tom Wolfe's book about the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Chuck
Yeager, and all of their egos.

Top Gun (1986)
Director: Tony Scott
Tom Cruise portrays a hot-shot F-14 pilot in this story about a class of new
recruits at Top Gun, the Navy's fighter pilot school for "the best of the best,"
then located in San Diego, California. Renowned aerobatic pilot Art Scholl was
killed during the filming—the movie is dedicated to him.

Iron Eagle (1986)
Director: Sidney Furie
The completely believable story of a young man who steals a fighter jet to
rescue his father, who has been shot down by an unnamed Middle Eastern
rogue state that flies MiGs.

Memphis Belle (1990)
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
The story of the first bomber crew to complete (and survive) a full "tour"—25
missions—over Europe during World War II.

Flight of the Intruder (1991)
Director: John Milius
Based on a novel by author and real-life Grumman A-6 Intruder pilot Stephen
Coonts, the film follows an A-6 crew as they fly an unauthorized mission over
North Vietnam in 1972.

Pearl Harbor (2001)
Director: Michael Bay
If you want to watch a really good dramatic re-creation of what happened at
Pearl Harbor...rent Tora! Tora! Tora!

The Aviator (2004)
Director: Martin Scorcese
Leonardo DiCaprio plays mad genius/aviator Howard Hughes.
More:
A Guy Named Joe (1943)
(1952)
Air Force (1943)
Airplane! (1980)
Airport (1970)
Always (1989)
Battle Hymn (1956)
Blaze of Noon (1947)
Bombers B-52 (1957)
Bomber’s Moon (1943)
Bright Eyes ( 1934)
Captains of the Clouds
(1942)
Ceiling Zero (1936)
Chain Lightning (1950)
Cloud Dancer (1980)
Devil Dogs of the Air
(1935)
Dive Bomber (1941)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Fail Safe (1964)
Fate is the Hunter (1964)
Fighter Squadron (1948)
Flying Leathernecks
(1951)
Forever Young (1992)
I Wanted Wings (1941)
Island in the Sky (1953)
Jet Pilot (1957)
Legion of Lost Flyers
(1939)
Men With Wings (1938)
Midway (1976)
Mosquito Squadron
(1969)
Murphy’s War (1971)
One of Our Aircraft is
Missing (1942)
Only Angels Have Wings
(1939)
Reach for the Sky (1956)
633 Squadron (1964)
Space Cowboys (2000)
Strategic Air Command
(1955)
Tail Spin (1939)
Task Force (1949)
The Aviator (1985)
The Battle of Britain
(1943)
The Bridges at Toko-Ri
(1955)
The Dam busters (1954)
The Great Santini (1979)
The High and the Mighty
(1954)
The Hunters (1958)
The McConnell Story
(1955)
The Pilot (1981)
The Purple Plain (1954)
The Rocketeer (1991)
The Tarnished Angels
(1958)
The Tuskegee Airmen
(1995)
Thirty Seconds Over
Tokyo (1944)
Von Richtofen and
Brown (1971)

A list of DVD/books
about women in aviation.
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