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  • I don't recall the movie being as bad as the previous poster laments, but it is the first time I saw a movie of a person I knew something of his historical record and how they played loose with the details for dramatic license (I read his massive autobiography 5 times at least--a big book for a 13 yr old to read then--and several of his other books, including his version of the ordeal at sea depicted in the movie and Capt. Cherry's version "We Thought We Heard the Angels Sing"). I was "outraged" as any hero worshiping teen could be when they changed incidents in the movie that I knew happened differently (hey! That didn't happen that way!). but from this movie, I did learn the lesson of what that disclaimer means "Though based on actual incidents..."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With all the dramas surrounding war heroes during this era, I can't imagine adults taking this "G.I. Joe" style heroics drama seriously. It's about a real-life hero floating in the Pacific after his plane goes down and all we get are flashbacks of how he got interested in flying as a child and his romantic life. This being at the tale end of the war, it probably failed to spark any interest because it has a "been there, done that" feeling audiences got for dozens of previous films, including one excellent classic, "The Fighting Sullivans", which at least had the connection of the five brothers tragically killed together on the same ship while telling its slice-of-life growing up tale which explained why they were all so close in the first place.

    In the case of "Captain Eddie", Fred MacMurray and his crew (filled with familiar faces, all wasted in bit roles), are seen diving in their plane into the ocean, escaping into life rafts, discussing the loss of their supplies, and all of a sudden, MacMurray is flashing back to his childhood (played by Darryl Hickman) and a harmless theft of neighborhood items in order to make a flying machine to zoom off his barn roof. That sequence is entertaining enough, and a conversation with his father leads to tragedy where his mother makes him swear never to fly in his life again. "Yeah right", you say, and two World Wars later, what is he doing? Flying over the Pacific.

    More brief shots at sea (including the attempt to snare a sea bird for dinner and shots of a storm which threatens to capsize them) and MacMurray is recalling his romance with the pretty Lynn Bari, belle of the ball of a dance he attends, giving her a ride home after arranging for her date's horse to scram away from his carriage. Time passes, and World War II makes him a hero. A disturbing sequence has hospitalized MacMurray overhearing the news that he is about to die any minute (over a radio no less!) as his family comes in.

    While the overall film is entertaining in its "slice of Americana" episodic way, as a patriotic war film, it truly disappoints. Young boys with dreams of flying or following in their father's footsteps and becoming war heroes were probably the only ones who left the movie theater feeling totally satisfied.
  • I was 10 when I saw this movie. I have memories of scenes from favorite films as early as 1940. This is one of them. I left the theater feeling entertained, happy they were rescued, educated about Rickenbacker's career and thrilled. At that age I was not capable of critical review but have always wondered why I never saw it again. Perhaps I was too unsophisticated to make a valid judgment. I did, however, remember that MacMurray was the star. I looked it up to learn why it was never re- released. In that era few movies were deliberately aimed at the young including war films and westerns. Even the Disney films were popular with adults. I was an avid moviegoer with minimal supervision and lots of nearby theaters so I recall many which were not written for the children but still left me with fond memories of their value for me. That is the basis for my rating.