The War Lover (1962)


“How ’bout that? Those squareheads can’t even shoot straight. ” – Buzz Rickson

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Mar 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A Bomber crew stationed in England must deal with their pilot who is an amazing aviator but constantly wants to always prove to everyone that he is always right both on and off missions.

My Take on it – Steve McQueen will always be remembered for taking role of characters that were usually reckless in their pursuit of things.

This character in this film is not any different from that standpoint.

The problem is that besides being reckless and cocky in this field, his character lacks the usually added charm that McQueen carried along with him in a majority of his film roles.

McQueen and his costar Robert Wagner are both fine here but the story itself doesn’t work as well as it probably could have.

The story itself isn’t structured well enough and I would have liked to see more scenes of the aerial missions than they give us.

Regardless, the few that we get are amazing to look at and in some instances even breathtaking.

This is a film adapted from a novel and I constantly got the feeling that the book is probably much better because due to production code laws at the time, numerous themes are the story have been changed or even truncated in order to pass the censors and it’s easy to see how many abrupt interactions this causes along the flow of the story.

Bottom Line – McQueen and Wagner are both fine here, but the story gets a bot bogged down along the way. Some of the aerial shots are amazing to look at.  The reckless behavior of McQueen is par for many of his chosen roles over the years, but his character is missing the charm that he usually has that goes along with the cockiness.  The book is probably better due to some of the themes discussed here being changed due to production code rules at the time.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Mike Reilly drowned after parachuting from 2000 feet into the English Channel, near Newhaven, during the filming of a stunt for the film. He was 29 years old, had more than 300 jumps, was British parachute champion and the first Chairman of the newly formed British Parachute Association. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “The War Lover (1962)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1962 |

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