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The Wings of Eagles (1957)



The Wings of Eagles

(1957)

110 minutes

Action / Biography / Drama / War

Directed by John Ford

Written by Frank Fenton, William Wister Haines and Frank Wead

Produced by Charles Schnee

Cinematography by Paul Vogel

Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Cast:

John Wayne as Frank W. 'Spig' Wead

Dan Dailey as 'Jughead' Carson

Maureen O'Hara as Min Wead

Ward Bond as John Dodge

Ken Curtis as John Dale Price

Edmund Lowe as Adm. Moffett

Kenneth Tobey as Capt. Herbert Allen Hazard

James Todd as Jack Travis

Barry Kelley as Capt. Jock Clark

Sig Ruman as Manager

Henry O'Neill as Captain Spear

Willis Bouchey as Barton

Dorothy Jordan as Rose Brentmann

The Wings of Eagles trailer 

Frank ‘Spig’ Wead is a U.S. Navy pilot who loves adventure, yet is a passionate advocate of naval aviation. He is so devoted to the program, it gets in the way of his personal life. Things drastically change after an accident leaves him paralyzed. This does not stop his love for flying and finds a new way to express himself and that is through screenwriting. When World War II comes around, he knows he must be a part of it despite his paralysis. 

World War I aviator Spig Wead has a personal mission to sell the Navy on the value of aviation in combat.  He works tirelessly with his friend John Dale Price to convince the Navy to enter racing and endurance flight competitions.  He succeeds at besting the Army aviation team, convincing the Navy.  However, while he is preoccupied with his career, his wife and family grow to miss him.  After an accident that leaves him paralyzed, Spig further spurns his family and spirals into depression.  His Navy buddies encourage him to take up writing, and after selling a few scripts to Hollywood, Spig has conquered his depression and is able to walk again.  However, is his recovery enough to let him serve his country again at the outbreak of WWII?
 
Notes:

John Ford knew Frank 'Spig' Wead personally, and made this film in his honor.

John Ford included a fictionalized version of himself in The Wings of Eagles, named John Dodge, played by his good friend Ward Bond.  All of the props in Dodge’s office are actually John Ford’s.

Frank Wead lost his hair as a natural result of aging.  In order to portray this accurately, Wayne agreed to do the later scenes without his toupee.  The Wings of Eagles is the only film he allowed this to occur in.

This is third movie starring both John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Most of the extras in the flight scenes were actually Navy flight students and instructors.  Although the Navy objected, Ford made sure the men were paid “extra” wages.

Frank Wead wrote the stories for the movies Hell Divers, Ceiling Zero and another John Wayne film, They Were Expendable.




Directors:
Actors: John Wayne
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Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan
Matinee Classics - The Wings of Eagles starring John Wayne, Dan Dailey, Maureen O Hara, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, James Todd, Barry Kelley, Sig Ruman, Henry O'Neill, Willis Bouchey and Dorothy Jordan


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