Click on "Red" in the title to read Harry's story about when he met the REAL Tuskegee Airmen
Here you see a Red Tail P-51 shooting down a German Messerschmidt 262 - the first fighter jet.
A real life photo of some of the Tuskegee Airmen in front of an old P-40 Flying Tiger. These guys were Jackie Robinson before Jackie Robinson.
I love movies about flying and World War II. Movies about the little guy or the downtrodden winning out are movies that I cannot turn off. Throw a little bit of history and flavor it with some romance and a pretty girl - you have me in your pocket.
Today is opening day of the movie "Red Tails" - the action packed adventure movie about the real life Tuskegee Airmen. Lulu is at a convention in Dallas all week - and I have been at home nursing a bad cold - flu - step throat - however bad I feel at the moment. I figured Lulu really didn't want to see this - and besides it was opening day - so I went alone and have the rest of my life to brag about seeing the premiere of this fine film.
Simply put - Roosevelt wanted to try an experiment where a group of segregated black college grads would be trained to fly fighters. The service was complete split - black and white - and frankly - it was 1944 - and the US was losing pilots big time. The group fought their way to being some of the finest flyers - having a record of never losing a bomber that they were assigned to protect.
At first they were assigned dumpy old P-40's relics from the early war - lastly they were given our best fighters - the P-51 - to fight against the only jets in the war that were assigned to protect Berlin.
If John Wayne were black - he would have been the leading character in this movie and it would have been made 50 years ago. Since he wasn't - and we didn't have the computer graphic design that we have now - we had to wait until now - and I am glad they did.
George Lucas was working on this project for almost 20 years. He claimed that he was waiting for the computer generated graphics to come of age - but really I think he was waiting for someone to help fund it. Since none of the studios wanted to touch it - either because of cash or racism - Lucas opened his own pocket and risked $57,000,000 of his own money to produce this film.
The Friday night show at 6 PM in Tallahassee was pretty full - and the crowd was about 2/3 black. The crowd support of the heroes was very spontaneous. Some of the monologue might appear a little corny to kids used to more F bombs being tossed than dropped bombs - but this is the way war movies were when I was a kid in the 1950s. There was one or two "S words" dropped - just enough to earn a PG rating - and absolutely no lewd sex scenes. There was one very pretty Italian girl who had the attention of one of the flyers - but she did not have any lines of English in the film - maybe a single word or 3.
The Germans played their part perfectly with blue eyes - blonde hair - and broken English. Most of the flight scenes were computer generated - most of the location shots were done in Croatia - the rest was done in front of a green screen.
The film was 2 hours and it moved smartly. The emotions were roller coastered - with good scene - bad scene - good scene - bad scene - fast - slow - fast - slow.
There are certain films that whenever they come on TV - I stop surfing - and watch the end. Groundhog Day - Private Parts - Billy Elliot - Field of Dreams - Rudy - Tora Tora Tora - Buddy Holly - and Jim Thorpe All-American. This movie can be added to that list and maybe I will not even tell Lulu I went to see it without her and allow her to take me again. I think next time I will go in the morning for senior citizen discount of half price. It had been a long time since I spent $10 on a movie ticket - even for two of us.
In the future I can see this film filling up many hours in American school's history classes. Maybe that is why they let out all the dirty language and sex. I understand they had those two things in the real World War II.