Saturday, 3 December 2011


Very few toy soldier companies did pilots let alone USAF ones but a couple that did were Marx and Atlantic. The atlantic ones are easily converted.The War Lover is a 1962 British black-and-white war film directed by Philip Leacock and written by Howard Koch loosely based on the 1959 novel, The War Lover by John Hersey, altering the names of characters and events but retaining its basic framework. It stars Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, Shirley Anne Field, Ed Bishop and features a young Michael Crawford.
The war itself is not the most important element of the film. Instead it focuses on the character of Buzz Rickson (McQueen) and his determination to serve himself and get what he wants – in the process antagonizing everyone.
In 1943, Captain Buzz Rickson (Steve McQueen) is an arrogant B-17 File:Color Photographed B-17E in Flight.jpgpilot stationed in England during World War II. When a bombing mission is aborted because clouds obscure all potential targets, Rickson ignores the order to turn around, dives under the clouds and completes the job, at the cost of one of the bombers in his squadron and its entire crew. Rickson revels in the fighting and destruction; when he is assigned to drop propaganda leaflets, he makes his displeasure felt by buzzing the airfield. His commanding officer tolerates his repeated insubordination because he is the best pilot in the bomber group. imageEven so, when he asks the flight surgeon his opinion, the latter is uncertain whether Rickson is a hero or a psychopath. However, Rickson's crew trusts his great flying skill, especially his co-pilot Lieutenant Ed Bolland (Robert Wagner).
Between missions, Rickson and Bolland meet a woman, Daphne Caldwell (Shirley Anne Field). Though she is attracted to both pilots, she quickly finds out what kind of man Rickson is and chooses Bolland. They soon begin sleeping together. She falls in love with him, though she suspects he will leave her behind and return to America at the end of his tour of duty.image
Meanwhile, Bolland becomes increasingly disillusioned with Rickson, his arrogance, and his callousness. Rickson pressures his navigator, Second Lieutenant Marty Lynch (Gary Cockrell), into transferring to another aircraft because he questions his orders and behavior. Soon afterwards, family man Lynch is killed in combat. His friend Bolland takes it hard and blames Rickson.B-3 Sheepskin Flight Jacket World War II
Then, when the crew is near the end of the required 25 missions, Rickson makes a move on Daphne, visiting her in her flat after Bolland heads back to the base. Rickson plans to embark on a second tour of duty, while his rival goes home. Daphne rejects his forceful advances, (unlike the novel) but Rickson tries to make Bolland think otherwise.
Finally, on a bombing mission, the B-17 is badly shot up and one crew member, Sgt. Sailen (Michael Crawford), dies of wounds. It limps back over the English Channel and the rest of the crew bails out. Rickson then pushes the unsuspecting Bolland out of the plane and tries to nurse the bomber back to base by himself, only to crash into the cliffs of Dover.

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