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War Lover

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Overview

Loosely based on a novel by John Hersey, this standard wartime drama stars Steve McQueen as Buzz Rickson, command pilot of a B17 bomber, and Robert Wagner as Ed Bolland, his co-pilot. When Buzz first comes on the scene, Ed admires him for his daring and skill in executing the bombing raids over Germany. But as time goes by, Buzz starts to fall for Ed's girlfriend Daphne Shirley Ann Field and at the same time, Ed begins to see that Buzz is only good at piloting bombers -- in civilian life he is a total washout. ...
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Overview

Loosely based on a novel by John Hersey, this standard wartime drama stars Steve McQueen as Buzz Rickson, command pilot of a B17 bomber, and Robert Wagner as Ed Bolland, his co-pilot. When Buzz first comes on the scene, Ed admires him for his daring and skill in executing the bombing raids over Germany. But as time goes by, Buzz starts to fall for Ed's girlfriend Daphne Shirley Ann Field and at the same time, Ed begins to see that Buzz is only good at piloting bombers -- in civilian life he is a total washout. The contrasts between the men, Buzz's internal problems, and the love triangle provide the dramatic fodder throughout the 105-minute running time.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Fans of the John Hersey novel upon which The War Lover is based are inevitably disappointed by the film version -- and legitimately so. Hersey's novel is a deftly written exploration of war and its effect on different types of men; its power lies in the manner in which it is written rather than in what it has to say, and that's the most difficult type of literature to transfer to the screen. Howard Koch's screenplay does an admirable job of capturing the energy and tension in the novel, but it sacrifices depth, nuance and characterization along the way. As a result, War comes across as a fairly involving war movie, but not one that stands out especially. Yes, it's to the film's credit that it presents a picture of a man who, in normal society, would be a dangerous, amoral heel but who finds in war the kind of environment in which he can thrive and make a contribution, all the while merely feeding his own ego and needs. But once this is established, there's not a lot that is done with it. Still, the actions sequences are exciting and well done, and aside from one notoriously weak fiery parachute sequence, the special effects are quite good. The love triangle is weak tea indeed, but the performances of Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner count for a lot.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/6/1996
  • UPC: 043396604735
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve McQueen Buzz Rickson
Robert Wagner Ed Bolland
Shirley Ann Field Daphne Caldwell
Gary Cockrell Lynch
Michael Crawford Junior Sailen
Al Waxman Prien
Bill Edwards Brindt
Jerry Stovin Emmet
Chuck Julian Lamb
Robert Easton Handown
Tom Busby Farr
George Sperdakos Bragliani
Bob Kanter Haverstraw
Ed Bishop Vogt
Richard Leech Murika
Bernard Braden Randall
Sean Kelly Woodman
Neil McCallum Sully
Justine Lord Street Girl
Louise Dunn Hazel
Arthur Hewlett Vicar
Technical Credits
Philip Leacock Director
Richard Addinsell Score Composer
Bill Andrews Art Director
Gordon Hales Editor
Julie Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Arthur Hornblow Jr. Producer
Bob Huke Cinematographer
Robert Huke Cinematographer
Howard Koch Screenwriter
Andrew Low Set Decoration/Design
Muir Mathieson Musical Direction/Supervision
George Partleton Makeup
Ted Samuels Special Effects
Wally Veevers Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Buzz says, "To Infinity and...oops"

    Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner look great in their AAF uniforms, but neither actor is very convincing, especially when they have to emote behind oxygen masks. The plot is both familiar and dull: hotshot flyboy (McQueen's character Buzz Rixson) is a success at war but a hidden failure at life; the truth outs when he pursues his co-pilot's girlfriend and she reads him off. McQueen's Buzz is so cocky and self-contained that I just don't buy the redemptive ending. It looks and feels like a cheap exit. I've seen better drama in a comic book. The real stars of this film are the planes, and if you're a B-17 fan, you are gonna love the flying. The production is excellent and the fidelity to accuracy and detail is top shelf. The B-17 interior shots are a minor history course, and you get a really good feel for what it was like to be a ball turret gunner. The best part in the film is when Buzz buzzes the field in retaliation for having to fly a mission to drop propaganda leaflets instead of bombs. The Fort goes right down on the deck for a couple of the best full-power passes ever filmed with a 4-engine warbird. The ground crews cringing and running can't be acting. It is great. Never mind that any pilot would have been busted to mascot for pulling that stunt. Oh, and by the way---no actor ever boarded a B-17 better than Steve McQueen. He was the best there ever was at displaying casual, cool-as-heck athleticism. But you'll have to sit through most of the film to see it.

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