Aces High

1976 film by Jack Gold

Aces High is a 1976 war film starring Malcolm McDowell, Peter Firth, Christopher Plummer and Simon Ward. The film, which is an Anglo-French production, is based on the 1928 play Journey's End by R. C. Sherriff with additional material from the memoir Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis. It was directed by Jack Gold. The screenplay was written by Howard Barker. Aces High turns the trench warfare of Journey's End into the aerial battles fought above the Western Front by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in 1917. The film covers a week of a squadron where the high death rate puts an enormous strain on the surviving pilots. Many characters and plot lines are loosely based on those of Journey's End: the idealistic new officer who is killed at the end, and whose sister is the girlfriend of his tough but alcoholic commanding officer, the kindly middle-aged second-in-command (known as "Uncle" by the younger officers) who is killed on a dangerous intelligence-gathering mission ordered by the top brass, and the officer whose claims of neuralgia are taken to be cowardice.
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