Wings of Courage (1995) Poster

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10/10
WHAT A FILM!!!
jbdean18 February 1999
Originally I got this film because Tom Hulce was in it but after I finished watching it (and had finished drying my eyes from all the crying I had done) I sat back, heaved a huge sigh and thought ... "WHAT A FILM!"

I didn't see it in 3-D (but would love to) and it still took my breath away! The acting is superb and the photography excellent! And what struck me the hardest was "why aren't we told about these *heroes* in school?" These men, who risked their lives for opening the lines of communication, bridging huge gaps between friends, family, lovers, etc., were true heroes in every meaning of the word. And this one particular man, who would travel to the ends of the world and back again for the love of his wife, is what people are hoping to find enter their own lives. And to realize this is a TRUE STORY is just unbelievable!

But I think Tom Hulce has the best line in the film ... "Good night, you love birds." At a time when only single phone lines existed, he places two phone receivers opposite of each other so husband and wife can speak on the phone over thousands of miles. After the call is ended, he says this line. The deliverance of the words and the look on his face ... what a moment!

{{sigh}}
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Best IMAX film out there!
TheDvDFan20 January 1999
This is the best IMAX film out there! I'm not joking. It is great cause it is the first drama IMAX film. The cast is just perfect and the plot will get you hooked. Now you can see it in your own home (it is now on video)! So if you can find it rent it tonight or if you have it playing at the local IMAX theater near you see it there.

Grade Average: A
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3/10
Not half bad...not half good either
Val-6319 February 2000
I'll admit it outright: I got the movie because of Val Kilmer. I had no idea what it was about, just that I needed it to complete my Kilmer collection. If I wasn't mad enough at spending twenty bucks on a forty minute movie (if it was that long), I was even more perturbed to find Val Kilmer in the movie for less than five minutes. His face IS the cover for crying out loud!

That bickering aside, I still wasn't too impressed with the movie itself. The cinematography was everything I expected from an IMAX film, but the plot just left me wanting more. I guess I can't find the drama when I know the outcome.

At any rate, the film is mediocre at best, and wrong to use Val Kilmer as a selling point. True Romance might as well try that too, he is in that film for about the same amount of time.
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10/10
Superb Movie of Integrity, Endurance and Commitment
gware19972 September 2013
I attended this movie because of the title (Wings of Courage) and was forever captured by the recap of Henri Guillaumet's integrity and commitment to their goal and his family.

For me, the acting added to the credibility of the story. For a short story, it presented as much presence as a two hour movie and the Imax format envelopes you in the action.

How much of the story is actual, I do not know, but the principle of it continues to inspire me in troubled times. I often suggested this for viewing to classes of young people and adults needing an understanding of the real costs of success.

Incredible scenery and every time I see an ant, I remember the endurance of that man and others like him who purchased our progress and freedoms by perseverance.
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A wonderful 'true-life' adventure story!
moonbus6916 April 2003
I was very anxious to see this film, having read all of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's books on his flying adventures. I also love the Imax format. Unfortunate (for me), I missed its run at Imax, but finally rented a copy. Have to say that even on the home TV screen (and without the Imax 3-D viewing equipment), that this film was a memorable and moving cinematic gem. The scenery in the mountains is just sublime - very beautiful! Craig Sheffer, as the main character (French airmail pilot Henri Guillamet), was superb. He portrayed the truest hero there is - the quiet one whose unselfish actions are never witnessed by another soul, while the public applauds men of lesser virtue (such as the pilot played by Val Kilmer). And it was nice to see Tom Hulce portray one of my own personal heroes - 'Saint-Ex'!

This is one of the better films of true survival against near-impossible odds. The participants of those 'Survivor' shows should give this movie a viewing or two... really!
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6/10
Good but...
Chris-1328 February 1999
I finally saw the first IMAX drama: The Wings of Courage. With beautiful images, it's probably great in IMAX, but, I don't see it in IMAX. I rent it on video. So, I lose all the charm of the movie but I see it... The 40 minutes runtime will be most long if the movie was released in real cinema theater. But, it's very interesting to watch and enjoy.

For the movie poster, we see the face of Val Kilmer, but he is about 5 minutes in the movie. I think they helping marketing... but not the sense of the movie.

Chris
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IMAX 3D Worth Watching
TSHunter30 December 2002
This is by far the best IMAX (70mm) as well as 3D film I have ever seen, and I dare to say, it stands on its own. The only gripe I have is that it could be feature length, but then I guess it would cost WAY too much to film, as IMAX/3D film cameras and processing is extremely costly. Then again, if this was developed into a feature film it would probably recoup the costs of the IMAX 3D version which didn't do anything astounding at the box office. Most of the IMAX Films out there are boring, and rely solely on the fact that they are shown on a HUGE screen that is usually at least twice the size of a regular movie screen, with excellent sound also. The only IMAX screens I know of in the L.A. area are owned by Edwards Theatres in Irvine and Ontario, The California Museum of Science and Industry in L.A. next to the Olympic Coliseum, The one owned by Disney, and the one at Universal Studios Citywalk (which is a lame ride). Because of the scarcity of screens, most films are filmed in 35mm or 70mm films are shown on 35mm screens with apparent higher resolution when projected. So this movie I would say is a diamond in the rough of IMAX/3D films: slickly produced, great sound, picture, cinematography, acting, and script, as well as beautiful breathtaking scenery of the Swiss Alps. Hope this helps you in your quest for movies worth watching.
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3/10
An Uninspired Epic in 40 Minutes
objesguy31 July 2005
From the director who brought you the Name of the Rose, Seven Years in Tibet and Enemy at the Gates, comes a movie that has all the tangibles of an epic. A man gets stranded in the mountains and must overcome all obstacles to get back home. Now, it sounds like this movie would be two to three hours long, but surprisingly it's little over a half-hour. Yes, a half-hour, which is incredibly surprising since it is starring big names such as Val Kilmer and Tom Hulce (Mozart in Amadeus). However, this was the first dramatic piece for Imax, and since Imax specialized in science theater at the time, which only ran about a half-hour a piece, they were worried that their audiences would have the patience to sit through a two hour film. Thus, they grabbed this film, a rather heartfelt but incomplete film that has good intentions, but rather poor execution. Thus, it is no surprise that this movie was released in Imax theaters rather than traditional theaters nationwide, simply because regular movie goers would be outraged by such a short and half-done film.

Imax movies tend to be technological achievements more than anything. They're basically nature specials on a huge screen, but because of that screen and sound, they seem better than they really are. Unfortunately, Wings of Courage doesn't take advantage of Imax's technological advantages, thus it's a surprise why this movie even was released in such an atmosphere. However, despite it's technological "miscast" the movie is hardly worth Imax's steep price of admission (yes, i saw this in theaters amazingly). The plot is simple and heartwarming, but the characters really never pop out or grasp the audience's attention. They seem aloof and conservative, which is not a good thing to do in a short film. Thus, the audience never seems to get into the characters, and the plot suffers because of it, because instead of getting an inspirational story, it just seems as if the story drags. Thankfully, it doesn't drag on too long since the movie is only 40 minutes.

Anothe problem with the movie is the casting. In all the promotions, Val Kilmer was on everything, from movie posters to all the commercials. However, Val Kilmer really makes a glorified "Cameo", saying a few lines and dying in a newspaper article. It's bad enough that the director deprived Kilmer of any lines, but depriving him of his own demise? Come on! Thus, the movie suffers without any real star power, because none of the other actors really flourish. Whoever was in charge of the promotion obviously did a good job of fooling people, because instead of getting a movie with Val Kilmer, like everyone expected, the audience gets a film with a few lousy actors who never do a good job in their role, making this movie a total bore-fest.

It's a shame that Imax's first drama was such a sappy and boring one, but thankfully they have released much longer and more feature films, most recently Batman Begins. However, while Imax's blunder was great and perhaps costly (i'm sure this movie tanked for them), the director really should be a bit embarrassed with this flick, for it seems as if they ran out of money during production and were forced to do a forty minute flick instead of a two hour epic. While there are some positives in the movie, such as good cinematography, the rather boring plot, lifeless actors and short time make this movie a frustrating snooze-fest that has viewer grinding their teeth after realizing they had just wasted 10 bucks. Too bad they don't give refunds for bad movies.
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4/10
Mountains yes, Story no
vigihawk4 September 2016
The scenery and representations of the Latécoère 28 airplane are good. Otherwise I found the movie confusing and rather dull. Just how much tromping through the snow can one take/ Difficult to figure out who was who as the characters appear so briefly. As real historic figures they are reduced to mere secondary characters. To someone unfamiliar with aviation they mean nothing. Saint-Exupery's name is merely a come-on as his talent is not apparent. (Interesting seeing Hulce years after he played Mozart. Credit is due for what must have been difficult filming in the mountains. If you are a Saint-Exupery fan, you're better off seeing the wonderful 2015 "The Little Prince".
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