The Ace: The Story of Johannes Steinhoff (1999)

Documentary profile of ace pilot Johannes Steinhoff, who started his career flying biplanes and went on to command NATO forces in the age of jets. Along the way, he shot down 176 aircraft for the Luftwaffe in World War Two.


Arthur Kent


Arthur Kent




Credited cast:
Ursula Steinhoff Bird Ursula Steinhoff Bird ... Herself - Interviewee
Johnny Johnson Johnny Johnson ... Himself - Interviewee
Arthur Kent ... Himself - Host
Robert Kingsbury Robert Kingsbury ... Himself - Interviewee
Henry Kissinger ... Himself - Interviewee
Christopher Foxley Norris Christopher Foxley Norris ... Himself - Interviewee
Luhr-Onno Oldigs Luhr-Onno Oldigs ... Himself - Interviewee
Gunther Rall Gunther Rall ... Himself - Interviewee
Walter Schuck Walter Schuck ... Himself - Interviewee
Wolf Steinhoff Wolf Steinhoff ... Himself - Interviewee
Raymond F. Toliver Raymond F. Toliver ... Himself - Interviewee


The Ace explores the history of 20th century aerial combat through the career of General Johannes Steinhoff. As a fighter pilot for the Luftwaffe in World War Two, Steinhoff downed 176 allied aircraft before surviving horrific burns in the crash of his Messerschmitt ME 262 jet. After the war he was recalled to restore Germany's new "peoples" air force and to help his former U.S. and European adversaries ward off the Soviet Union's nuclear threat. Steinhoff was elected Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, becoming the first German soldier to rise from the ashes of WWII to a leadership role in the Western Alliance. The program features interviews with Steinhoff's wingmen and opponents, including fellow Second War aces Gunther Rall and Johnnie Johnson of Britain's RAF. Also featured is Robert "Bud" Kingsbury, whose B-17 was shot down by Steinhoff's Me-109s in 1943 off Italy. After bailing out, Kingsbury was buzzed by two Messerschmitts while descending in his parachute. Instead of ...

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Release Date:

28 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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