The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)

PG   |    |  Adventure, Drama


The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) Poster

A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ... See full summary »


6.7/10
5,217

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


8 May 2006 | manuel-pestalozzi
9
| The air and the ground
First I must say that this beautiful movie handles the wide screen format extremely well, to watch it on TV comes near to an act of profanation. The lines, the colors , the surfaces, the sun that always seems to be low above the horizon ... The Great Waldo Pepper really is a work of cinematic art.

Secondly I would really like to know how the idea for this script developed. It looks like the aviation business is a metaphor for the movie industry. I would not be surprised had director and co-scriptwriter George Roy Hill put many personal feelings and experiences into it. Aviation stands for freedom. But even in the title scene the constant fear of being forcefully grounded becomes evident – the main character, aviator Waldo Pepper, talks an overawed boy into getting a canister of gas for him with the promise of a free tour above the landing strip. Cute, at first sight, but also curiously grim. It immediately started me wondering how the boy could manage to carry the full canister over the required long distance.

The wish to be free and be able to fly off sets ever more demanding conditions. People get bored with acrobatics, they want to see blood. The artists comply, because they are ambitious but also because they know that it is the only way that allows them to continue. Time moves on and it becomes evident that commercial air service will put an end to the adventurous phase of aviation. Hollywood seems to be the only way out. Acrobats are needed as stunt-men there. The grindhouse routine of the dream factory is not to their liking, but what else can they do? On a set Waldo Pepper meets a famous German flyer he idolizes. Much to his surprise this Erich von Stroheim character is deeply in debt. „In the air, I see heroism, chivalry and a spirit of comraderie", rasps the German, „but on the ground ..." He just limply shrugs. The final quixotic showdown between Pepper and the German is a natural and very good ending of this surprisingly „deep" and rather pessimistic movie that offers far more than nostalgia.

Critic Reviews



Janelle Monáe Brings Sci-Fi Expertise to "Homecoming"

The critically acclaimed actor and musician goes deep on androids, UFOs, and the films she studied to nail her performance in Season 2 of "Homecoming."

Watch the video

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com