Top 10 Best Aviation Movies Of All The Time !

The importance of the flight of Wright’s brothers on 17 December 1903 is paralleled by two popular films, A Trip to the Moon in 1902 and The Great Train Robbery, 1903, in film history. A trip to the Moon can be used as an aerial film if you want to extend your concepts more. Of course, selecting this list is completely arbitrary, not only in taste but in perspective. When you see a movie for the initial time your age, your capacity to suspend disbelief, your desire to avoid technical specifics is too picturesque. Maybe not surprisingly, for films on other topics we aren’t so picky. Most of us will watch a movie about surgical treatments or protocol in the courtroom and never see the obvious inaccuracies in physicians’ or lawyers’ eyes.

But here we laid some ground rules for this essay in assessing the choices and the justification for selecting the ten best films ever made in aviation. They are the following:

  • Not too stuffy or minor technical mistakes.
  • Do not drop a sentimental lie.
  • Treat the film more than just a way to display it as a novel.
  • Make sure World War I is addressed (just kidding, maybe).

After choosing the aviation films, our top ten picks are here.

10. The High And The Mighty (1954)

The High And The Mighty

William Wellman has directed another aircraft film, the great Ernest Gann, which wrote not only the book it was based on but also the screenplay. The outcome is a disaster aviation film that is the best of its kind. “I used a 737 driver to date,” remarks BT. She said everyone liked the film because the copilot pulled and took the plane down.

DH also observes that The High and the Mighty made a huge thrall in the movie buff world to the DVD in the past year.” BT points to the best flick, which is not listed here: The task force (1949) Gary Cooper with Walter Brennan, a Dauntless, and a Wildcat. The whole movie picturization is well depicted and seems so fascinating to the audience.

Directed By:William A. Wellman
Produced By:Robert Fellows, John Wayne
Released Date:July 3, 1954
Distributed By:Warner Bros.
Starring:John Wayne, Claire Trevor

9. The Bridges At Toko-Ri (1954)

The Bridges At Toko-Ri

“Where do these men come from?” We think it is Fredric March’s question at the end of the movie, and in one sense, it describes the message of the Movie. “The ending of The Bridges at Toko-Ri is 1954, not just as complicated because a great movie star ends up dead.” (DH agrees, commenting) The sacrifice of non-carrier fliers that take the opportunity to do amazing stuff when they call is devastating. 

Working jets off the WWII operators was challenging and made it much harder to do so under the circumstances in Korea. While the film doesn’t present the rate of injury as anything as it was at the time, it conveys the constant threat and bravery to do the very difficult missions. William Holden played the character the helicopter pilot as being more compensated to Mickey Rooney.

Directed By:Mark Robson
Produced By:William Perlberg, George Seaton
Released Date:December 1954 (U.S.)
Distributed By:Paramount Pictures
Starring:William Holden, Mickey Rooney, Fredric March

8. The Dam Busters (1955) And 633 Squadron (1964)

The Dam Busters

Both films are lumped together because they are a time when fine, clean, patriotic aviation films in the United Kingdom are produced with real aircraft and a good impact. The filmmakers only had a small number of Lancasters and Mosquitos, but movie footage was edited in The Dam Busters. 

The creator states that “I’m sure anyone who knew the inventor Barnes Wallis was “bouncing bomb” in real life. You must’ve laughed a little at Michael Redgraves’ amazing portrait of him. Cliff Roberston did his normal good job at Squadron in 633 and was without a doubt fortunate enough to be at the Mosquito scenes. All these considerations make them rank on number eight for being the Top Ten best Aviation Movies.

Directed By:Michael Anderson
Produced By:Robert Clark, W. A. Whittaker
Released Date:16 May 1955 (UK)
Distributed By:Associated British Pathé (UK)
Starring:Richard Todd, Michael Redgrave

7. Battle Of Britain (1969)

Battle Of Britain

Every fan knows the Merlin-powered Messerschmitts and Heinkels have been ex-Spanish aviation forces, so they don’t bother anybody. The array of characters was spectacular, and Laurence Olivier was cast as Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding by the producers in good taste and good sense. As a worthy bonus, Susannah York was also tossed in, bringing a big result for the Movie.

The Movie is based on a good book of the time, The Narrow Margin. The basic scenes have been shot at Duxford and contribute to the overall realization of the effort. In reality, they had burned down a WWII film hangar, which became a little too practical. It was a marker on the old hangar’s building when they were in Duxford in 1991, but unfortunately, it was blown up when the scene was being taken!

Directed By:Guy Hamilton
Produced By:Harry Saltzman, Benjamin Fisz
Released Date:15 September 1969
Distributed By:United Artists
Starring:Harry Andrews, Michael Caine

6. The Blue Max (1966)

The Blue Max

What, the second film of WWI? Well yeah, the arrival of The Blue Max, WWI’s first (in my knowledge) color film for aviation, was not much more welcome. We owe a great deal to Jack Hunter, author of the movie book, who died last year. The replicas made for the film are, let’s it, worthwhile to see Pfalz in space. The film is excellent. George Peppard is doing his normal stone mask, but Ursula Andress is compensating. 

The thread of the plot has an important twist – the aristocrats compared to a German fighter squadron. As we remember, many German pilots hadn’t been commissioned, but the contempt of Willi von Klugerman (Jeremy Kemp) had probably been the personality of Peppard. As well, DH seemed more generous, and “Peppard’s projection of haughtiness was also good.

Directed By:John Guillermin
Produced By:Christian Ferry, Elmo Williams
Released Date:21 June 1966
Distributed By:20th Century Fox
Starring:George Peppard, James Mason, Ursula Andress

5. Strategic Air Command (1955)

Strategic Air Command

The most stunning aerial photographs of Convair B-36 and Boeing B-47 are well pictured in the Strategic Air Command. Expertly, these two express the beauty of flight. In the scenes in which the protagonist is reportedly on the plane, Jimmy Stewart is particularly nice. His practical way – without dramatic yokes, no dead-front look, no wandering eyes – shows you he’s a professional pilot. 

He’s an expert. He stands and scans the tools and does no correction, showing just what he does. Beirne Lay’s plot gives June Allyson, who was still teary-eyed thinking about the chance for a woman who can’t get a sense of her husband’s flying love. All these considerations make this Movie rank number five on this list.

Directed By:Anthony Mann
Produced By:Samuel J. Briskin
Released Date:March 25, 1955
Distributed By:Paramount Pictures
Starring:James Stewart, June Allyson

4. Hell’s Angels (1930)

Hell's Angels

Good behavior is not all, not even the amount of authentic Howard Hughes aircraft used to make this Movie more extravagant when the characters of the story flew into the formation or were about to start, including to make Curtiss Jenny look like an Avro 504. 

The job done in the laboratory for the Zeppelin is superb, with more than many special effects. Dozens of other films include the monumental dogfighting scenes, which are still stolen for documentary use. So Hell’s Angels is a pick for the Top 10, considering its many flaws. The more you get the immortal Jean Harlow, the more zeppelin scenes are perfect (in two-strip Technicolor, no less). She is still not known how to act, but her effect on the flesh is overpowering.

Directed By:Howard Hughes, James Whale (dialogue)
Produced By:Howard Hughes
Released Date:November 15, 1930 (US)
Distributed By:United Artists
Starring:Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow

3. Wings (1927)

Wings were awarded the first-ever Best Oscar in 1929 and a greeting to Lafayette Flying Corps director William Wellman. Wellman had flown in France with Tommy Hitchcock, who later saw the promise of the P-51 Mustang powered by the Merlin engine. Wellman served in the U.S. Army Air Corps shortly after the war. He had a career as a messenger in Hollywood and soon became director. Wellman’s prestige and connections were sufficient to convince the Air Corps to produce a virtual armada of over 220 aircraft. 

Thomas Morse MB-3A Scouts, Curtiss P-1 Hawks, Martin MB-2s, and de Havilland D.H.4s. The Movie presents some other World War I planes, including a Spad VII, a Fokker D.VII, and an S.E.5a. Unlike Twelve O’Clock High, which was flown by Buddy Rogers, Richard Arlen, and the unforgiving Clara Bow. Wellman, F.J. Saunders, Arlen, and Roger were all pilots. 

Directed By:William A. Wellman
Produced By:Lucien Hubbard, Adolph Zukor
Released Date:August 12, 1927
Distributed By:Paramount Pictures
Starring:Clara Bow, Charles (Buddy) Rogers, Richard Arlen

2. Twelve O’Clock High (1949)

Twelve O'Clock High

Twelve O’Clock High is the love for the U.S. Air Force, and their first-hand understanding of the actual case that is the basis for a film is partly written by Beirne Lay Jr. Gregory Peck is still reliable in this film. It makes the flight scenes very believable using the still usable B-17s and comprehensive fight footage. Twelve O’Clock High, naturally, is more about leadership and control than aircraft, and it may be military and a company training vehicle today. 

Thankfully the screenplays felt that the normal obligatory interest in love was not interrupted. On the other hand, Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Charles Bickford, Van Johnson, Brian Donlevy, John Hodiak, and Cameron Mitchell are Wow in the Movie that made it so realistic to the audience.

Directed By:Henry King
Produced By:Darryl F. Zanuck
Released Date:January 26, 1950
Distributed By:Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Starring:Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe

1. Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965)

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

With excellent replicas of successful and failed early flying machines, breathtaking scenery, and a fine cast are depicted in “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines,” which includes massive stars Terry Thomas, Sarah Miles, and Irina Demick as Brigitte, Ingrid, Marlene, Francisco is, Yvette and Betty.

This good-humored romp has it all. Every character of Demick is magnificent, carefully amazed, and beautifully eager. However, the replica aircraft had more confident and better-designed power plants than the originals. A difficult time flying and showing how splendid flying was in the first decade of the flight was pictured in the Movie.

Directed By:Ken Annakin
Produced By:Stan Margulies
Released Date:16 June 1965
Distributed By:20th Century Fox
Starring:Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles


There is no discussion, depending on your viewpoint, of the present blessing or disturbance of the use of digital imaging (CGI). It has been a long way to admit, even though the musician’s concerns disregard topics such as turnover, acceleration, speeds, etc. The 9-G turns in Pearl Harbor were no doubt difficult to swallow at street level. And while we may not be pleased with Twelve O’Clock High’s torture storyline, even CGI can be seen by seeing Gothas in flight which also includes our above-mentioned compiled list of the ten best aviation Movies.

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