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Angel's Wings...

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Just finished watching an odd French WWI flying film called "Angel's Wings". (Netflix) On the whole: pretty good. Good photography, and it certainly avoids the most egregious cliche's about flying on the Western Front. It centers on the the son of a wealthy factory owner who has successfully fought tuberculosis, but his lungs are too scarred up and the army won't take him. So he learns to fly (some really nice French countryside and Bleriots) and the service welcomes him in. After a rocky start at the squadron, he finds his groove and racks up an impressive score. His mates get jealous. Then they begin to see him as a Jonah. So much good luck has to be paid for with bad luck. Which is to say, paid with their lives. (no spoilers here) The aerial encounters are brief and do not feature any fancy dogfighting.


There are some oddities. The French are shown flying some version of Morane-Saulnier parasols. First, two-seaters like the attached pic. (gunner in the rear) and later, single seaters. Our hero even successfully shoots down a Dr.1 (twice!) which means these squadrons are flying Moranes well into late 1917.

There's an attempt to bring in a Nieuport (I think) but only one, and it has Tiger Moth written all over it.

Towards the end there were two 'somethings' that might have been stand-ins for SPADs, but, in any event, didn't come close.

The German planes look really good, but I'm not up on two-seaters (and they're nearly all 2-seaters) but think Aviatik/Rumpler/Albatros and you won't go too far wrong.

It is also odd that the squadron never seems to fight as a unit. Our hero is a lone wolf hunter. I'd thought that had pretty much gone by the boards in 1917.


I tried to find a Wikipedia article (or something else close) about this film, but no go.

Edited by Hauksbee

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It is a strange film, which I did like to watch once, when I was totally unprepared,

but not so special that I would watch it again, I think.

It is about Guynemer a bit (tuberculosis and fear from altitude), but very freely.

The French title is


L'Instinct de l'Ange


See more here:



Edited by Olham

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The choice of planes was largely decided by the availabilities of the movie's partner, the J-B Salis Flying Club at La Ferté Alais. They have at least one Fokker Dr.I, and two, perhaps three Morane AI, which are since long among their main stars. Their annual meeting has been for decades an important event to many lovers of old planes in Western Europe.

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Just went through the 30+ pages of plane photos. Didn't see any of the German two-seaters. I wonder where they came from?

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