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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Production
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...
Published on 26 Dec 2006 by Rick

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Memphis Belle"
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...
Published on 1 Jan 2004


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Production, 26 Dec 2006
By 
Rick "rick_in_tas" (Tasmania, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Memphis Belle", 1 Jan 2004
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars An authentic view of crewing a B17, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Misses the target, 8 Nov 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (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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4.0 out of 5 stars great combat film, 3 Sep 2014
This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is a very good film for those interested in the 8th USAAF and its mission in England in WW2 - daylight bombing raids over Occupied Europe. There is some excellent footage of B17s, some good combat and mission portrayals, and the characters are well drawn. The only drawback is the romance part of the film; rather stiff and somewhat dated in appearance, but then again, overall, it is worth recalling that this film was made 50 years ago. I would also recommend the novel of the same title.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The War Lover, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
It fulfill all my expectations and brought back my memories from the time when I was an Swedish Airforce cadet training to become a fighter pilot (once a week we saw movies related to WWII and flying and we also saw this film
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hero? Psychopath? Closeted homosexual? Impotent? All of above? One thing is certain, this "war lover" is in a lot of pain..., 19 May 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
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. The air war against Germany is well shown and even if it contains definitely less action scenes than "Memphis Belle", exactly as one of other reviewers stated this film is actually better. But the main story is not about war but about a very strange and atypical "not-exactly-love" triangle between Rickson, Bollander and Daphne.

The character of Daphne is very well conceived, as a girl both tough and vulnerable, adorably conservative on the surface and in the same time unexpectedly adventurous - and Shirley Ann Field played her perfectly! The character of Bollander was also well thought over, as he is not some kind of romantic guy smitten by a young adorable damzel - much to the contrary, all charming that he may be, he is also in the same time a cynical, tough b@st@rd who looks mostly for a "war time, good as it lasts" comfortable booty call... Although, it may - or may not - change...

But it is of course Rickson who is the center of the film and his character is as equivocal as he is disturbed. He is a riddle, and the director, very wisely, didn't want to give us the solution - although the hints keep accumulating during all the film. Me personally I had the impression, that either Rickson is a deeply closeted homosexual, who is in love with Bollander and insanely jalous, or, and that is my personal favourite hypothesis, he is straight but was rendered completely impotent by an episode from his early teenage years. No matter which one of those answers is true, he has been utterly miserable since like forever and as his whole adult life was dissimulation, acting, pretending and lying, all of this slowly but surely drives him crazy - and suicidal...

Now of course I am not certain if I got this right - so the best thing is for you to watch this film and make up your mind.

Bottom line, this is a good, solid, honest war film, a good, solid, honest war time romance and a good, solid, honest psychological drama. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars the war lover, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
my husband is very pleased with this film and thoroughly enjoyed it. first class service and packaging from you as usual.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bo, Buzz and B-17s, 15 April 2014
This review is from: The War Lover [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
A wartime love triangle involving Robert Wagner, Steve McQueen and the insipid Shirley Ann Field who couldn't act even if she were looking at cue cards. Michael Crawford is hideously miscast as "Junior", a young American air-gunner (Some mothers really do 'ave 'em). The air-raid over Germany was the best part of the movie, though not up to the same standard as "Memphis Belle". One unfortunate point to note is that 1960s hair-styles are not conducive to establishing a convincing background. The two male leads did their best to cancel each other out, but Shirley Ann Field was the weak link in the scenario. I would not recommend this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars bomber command with funny accents, 16 Feb 2013
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a good war movie with a nice portrayal of the different ways men remember and evaluate similar their wartime experiences
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The War Lover [DVD] [2003]
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