Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Eagle and the Hawk (1933) Film Review - Cinecon 44 Screening

Plot Summary - Precode aviator drama following the adventures of two flyboys during WWI - brazen and tough Cary Grant and more sensitive ace pilot Fredric March who is becoming seriously disenchanted with the brutalities of war. In France on his very first day on the job as pilot, the observer flying with March is killed - two months go by, five observers flying with him have died and March is devastated by this loss of so many young men. His latest observer is skilled gunner Grant who seems to get a real kick out of killing and shoots down an enemy who is parachuting out of an observation balloon, making him extremely disliked by the other men in his unit who consider that like "shooting a man in the back". As more and more men are killed, anguished March slowly begins to crack - especially after he shoots down a famous German ace who ends up being a twenty-year old kid. At one point he's given ten-days leave, where he goes back to London and has a very brief encounter (a horse-drawn carriage ride followed by champagne in the park) with Carole Lombard, who is lavishly decked out in satin, her face and neck fully draped in a large amount of white fur.

Review - This film was really, really good - and it didn't hurt that it was screened at Cinecon 44 with a gorgeous, sharp and clear restored print. A gripping tale with a strong anti-war message, the film is well acted and photographed and features lots of well done, exciting flying scenes. Fredric March gives a stellar performance here - quite memorable. A superb film, I loved this one. Rating - 10/10 stars

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