Flying Tigers (1942)

Genres - War  |   Sub-Genres - Combat Films, War Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 8, 1942 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Similar in story to Only Angels Have Wings, The Flying Tigers is nevertheless an entertaining and fairly exciting war-time flick. Sure, it's long on propaganda, and its plot is not terribly original, but it's directed with muscular verve by David Miller and features John Wayne in the kind of role at which he excelled. Coming out of Republic Studios, it didn't have an overly generous budget, but it was enough to make the film look good, especially through judicious use of stock and newsreel footage, which was expertly edited in. Miller seems to have a genuine love for the material, and he doesn't care if some of it is a rehash; he treats it as if it's brand-new, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Wayne sails through his role with ease, effortlessly handling all the duties demanded of him and relishing lines like "I hope you two had a good time, because Hap paid the check." The supporting cast is also good, with John Carroll impressing as the obligatory self-centered flyer who has to pay a price. The action sequences are very well done, and overall it's a good way to pass the time.