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The War Lover [DVD] [2003]


Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The War Lover [DVD] [2003] + Hell Is For Heroes [DVD] [1962]
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Product details

  • Actors: Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, Shirley Anne Field, Gary Cockrell, Michael Crawford
  • Directors: Philip Leacock
  • Writers: Howard Koch, John Hersey
  • Producers: Arthur Hornblow Jr.
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Jun. 2003
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000096KJI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,447 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Steve McQueen fights his own private battle as a volatile 'll ever see!

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rick on 26 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD
This film may seem a little dated now, but is probably a little closer to the truth of the time than many a modern recreation. The flying action is intercut with real action footage of the daytime air war over Germany in WWII. The action on the ground is pretty realistic too, the Americans portrayed as brash and self-confident, the British as stoic and formal. And so it was during those years.

Some errors of fact occur, but overall it shines with a good script, good acting and some wonderful flying. It doesn't gush with patriotism, it doesn't force its morality down your throat. A non-intrusive score by Richard Addison rounds out a very worthwhile production. The DVD contains the original trailer (pay no attention, it is rather sensational!!) and subtitles.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD
McQueen starts as an American bomber captain with a ruthless attitude which is more feared than respected by his fellow crewmen. He knows how to fly but he certainly doesn't have many social skills or time for people he takes a dislike to, usually because they have seen through his fragile personality and outer skin. McQueen puts up a capable performance and we see the actor in a nastier light than we have seen from later films of his, first introducing Wagner to a girl and then trying to steal her later on. He does show some compassion to his tough exterior in parts but the end result is a very unstable extrovert character who would be an accident waiting to happen in a modern airforce.
Wagner backs up McQueen ably as the co-pilot with the reason and common sense to counter-act his leader and soothe their working relationship in the air. Shirley-Ann Field plays the girl with the stiff upper lip Britishness who is attracted to Wagner for his charm and calmness, but is thrilled by McQueen's toughness and directness. She gives a very stiff-looking acting performance that lets the film down on occasion, though probably not helped by the script.
Overall the film is worth buying for those who like me had never seen it before, the sound and quality of the DVD is fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Jun. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are many films of the Second World War which either focus on, or feature, the war in the air. "Memphis Belle" even gives centre stage to a B17 Flying Fortress, but "The War Lover" provides perhaps the most authentic sense of what it must have been like preparing for and undertaking a daylight bombing raid with the USAF (apart from one or two hilariously dodgy aerial special effects). The build-up to take-off and then the take-off itself have the detail and immediacy of a documentary, and the tension mixed with anticipation fairly bounces off the screen. The 'changing room' feel of airfield barracks will be recognised by anyone who has stayed in such places, and the village-hall atmosphere of the briefing room is also captured well, rather than feeling like a film-set of a briefing room. The story itself is pretty ho-hum. Steve McQueen manages to convey twisted-youth-turns-into-battle-crazy pilot in an annoyingly crazed way - but then people like that probably were annoying, crazy and frightening. Robert Wagner and Shirley Anne Field provide the not-too-sickly love interest, a young Michael Crawford does to the Yank accent what Dick van Dyke did so successfully to the Cockney accent in Mary Poppins - but the star is the B17 and the crew as they fly her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
The War Lover is a mostly botched but still watchable watering down of John Hersey's novel about a sociopathic bomber pilot (Steve McQueen, playing an airborne variation of his psychotic soldier from Hell is For Heroes). Unfortunately the film is less interested in the thin line between heroism and psychopathic behavior than Robert Wagner's romance with Shirley Ann Field (in a performance so bad that at times her vocal delivery is so far off-target it's like nails on a blackboard), leaving the feeling that the real story has been sidelined for much of the film. Some good airborne sequences keep it watchable if you lower your expectations, but this could have been much more.

Sony's DVD offers a decent but not outstanding widescreen transfer with the original trailer as an extra.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I liked this 1962 British black and white war film, in which we can see as main stars two A-list American actors of the 60s - which kind of makes sense as they both play Americans... Below, more of my impressions, with some spoilers.

Great Britain, 1943. Captain Buzz Rickson (Steve McQueen), an American pilot flying a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, is being watched with a growing concern by his superiors - and ultimately also by his co-pilot, Lieutenant Ed Bollander (Robert Wagner). Rickson is an incredibly gifted pilot, an absolutely fearless man and also a suprisingly charismatic war time leader - but he is also prone to most serious insubordination and mind defying crazy stunts... The flight surgeon who observed him for some time is uncertain whether Rickson is a hero or a psychopath - but hints at the possibility of both those things being true...

Things will ultimately start to go REALLY south when Bollander starts to meet regularly with a young British woman, Daphne (Shirley Ann Field, adorable). Daphne lost her British fiancée already some time ago and tries to move on by engaging into a "no strings attached" war time romance with the young and dashing American officer - but it turns out it is not that simple and the whole thing may get more serious with time... For some reason, this romance enrages Rickson, although he certainly doesn't seem to lack for female companionship and even has a kind of Casanova reputation - even if he is a really nasty @hole in his treatment of women... I will say no more about the story.

I found this film interesting in both of its main plots.
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