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The Wings of Eagles (1957)

aka The Wings of Eagles

"The life-inspired story of reckless, fun-loving, romantic "Spig" Wead, Sqaudron Commander."

Directed By: 
Details: 110 mins · English


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Small Frank W. 'Spig' Wead
Small 'Jughead' Carson
Small Min Wead
Small John Dodge
Small Manager
Small Capt. Herbert Allen Hazard
Small Capt. Jock Clark
Small Adm. Moffett
No_movie_poster John Dale Price
No_movie_poster Rose Brentmann


Small John Ford Director
Small Frank Fenton Screenplay
No_movie_poster William Wister Haines Screenplay
No_movie_poster Frank Wead Writer
No_movie_poster Charles Schnee Production
No_movie_poster Frank Wead Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Gene Ruggiero Editing


"The life-inspired story of reckless, fun-loving, romantic "Spig" Wead, Sqaudron Commander."


Soon after World War I is over, "Spig" Wead, along with John Dale Price (Ken Curtis), tries to prove to the Navy the value of aviation in combat. To do this, Wead pushes the Navy to compete in racing and endurance competitions. Several races are against the US Army aviation team led by Captain Herbert Allen Hazard (based on Jimmy Doolittle – played by Kenneth Tobey).

Wead spends most of his time either flying or horsing around with his teammates, meaning that his wife Minnie, or "Min" (Maureen O'Hara), and children are ignored.

The night Wead is promoted to fighter squadron commander, he falls down a flight of stairs at home, breaks his neck and is paralyzed. When "Min" tries to console him he rejects her and the family. He will only let his Navy mates like "Jughead" Carson (Dan Dailey) and Price near him. "Jughead" visits the hospital almost daily to encourage Frank's rehabilitation. Carson also pushes "Spig" to get over his depression, try to walk, and start writing. Wead achieves some success in all three goals.

After great success in Hollywood, Wead returns to active sea duty with the Navy in World War II, developing the idea of smaller escort, or "jeep," carriers to augment the main aircraft carrier force. A heart attack sends Wead home before the war's end.

Director John Ford is himself represented in the film, in the humorously-named character of film director John Dodge, played by another Ford favorite, Ward Bond.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2006-06-06

DVD : 2007-05-22