Watch The Great Waldo Pepper putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 6.6/10 from PG votes
||Release: 13 Mar 1975 /
||Genre: Adventure, Drama
||Director: George Roy Hill,
||Stars: Adventure, Drama
||Synopsis: A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ...
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A richly detailed period film, "The Great Waldo Pepper" is a wonderful
tribute to the early days of American pilots and aviation done with a
What is the allure of the skies? Everything else, money, love,
companionship, takes a backseat to the thrill and exhilaration Waldo
(Robert Redford) and his fellow pilots experience when barnstorming over
mid-west America, circa 1934. Director George Roy Hill, one of the best
the business, explores this feeling but gives us no easy answers. As the
story of Waldo Pepper unfolds, we must decide for ourselves what motivates
these aviation pioneers to climb into their Curtiss JN-4 biplanes and
for the public.
Part of the answer might lie in the fact that many barnstormers of the
1930's had been combat pilots in the First World War. They were young,
eager and reckless. Up there, they found a sense of honor and chivarly
more than a few fancied themselves as knights of a new age, their steed
made of fabric, wood, bracing wire and powered by 100 horses spinning a
propeller. After the war they came home, happy for the war to be over but
missing a feeling that had taken hold of them over the skies of France.
Through his original story and an outstanding screenplay written by
Goldman, George Roy Hill has beautifully captured the character of these
and the era in which they lived. And, sadly, occasionally
The on ground relationships between the characters have depth and are very
believable. Consider Waldo Pepper and his closest childhood friend, Ezra
Stiles (wonderfully played by Edward Herrmann). Waldo is a pilot, first
foremost. Ezra, who is also a pilot, prefers designing aircraft to
Together, they attempt to design, build, and fly an aircraft to be the
to accomplish an aerial maneuver known as the outside loop. In a
conversation while watching an airshow, Waldo questions the feasability of
Ezra's design (it's a monoplane in an age when monoplane designs were
considered inferior to biplanes). Ezra counters Waldo's questions, in
close friend fashion, with the design stunts Waldo attempted when they
young which caused Waldo injury, concluding with "then don't tell me how
design aircraft". This scene contains humor and also adds depth and
believability to their friendship.
The aviation sequences are just as believable and very real. When this
was made in 1975, there were still limitations to special effects. Every
shot and scene of the pilots and aircraft are real (and there are quite a
few) and incredible. There are no "bluescreen" shots. With every
of Robert Redford in the cockpit, you can see he is really in the air. As
good as computer effects are today, I still can't see how this could have
been done any better. There was also a strong desire on the filmmakers
concerning accuracy. These are aircraft really are JN-4s, Sopwith Camels,
and Fokker Triplanes. All period aircraft. And my hats off to Hollywood
stunt pilot Frank Tallman (who has passed away since) and his crew for the
outstanding stunt flying accomplished in this film. Hollywood legend has
that Mr. Tallman actually ended up in the hospital with two broken legs
because of an air accident with high tension wires which occurred during
This is an overlooked, wonderful film. It is both drama and comedy,
elements which George Roy Hill and William Goldman bended beutifully
together, as in their previous work, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid".
"The Great Waldo Pepper" is a very heartfelt, human story which captures
era of freedom in the skies which we will, sadly, never see again.
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