The Great Waldo Pepper

  • 1975
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Adventure

A handsomely mounted aviation adventure from the director, screenwriter and one of the stars of the hugely successful BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, this film deals with that colorful era of the early 1920s when barnstorming--performing aerial feats before rural crowds--was so popular. The self-proclaimed Great Waldo Pepper (Redford) is one of those...read more

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A handsomely mounted aviation adventure from the director, screenwriter and one of the stars of the hugely successful BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, this film deals with that colorful era of the early 1920s when barnstorming--performing aerial feats before rural crowds--was so

popular.

The self-proclaimed Great Waldo Pepper (Redford) is one of those celebrated aerial daredevils. Though he had been an undistinguished WWI flyer, he claims to have met German ace Kessler (Brundin) in combat. Olsson (Svenson) is his friendly rival in matters both professional and romantic. Their

ongoing tomfoolery eventually leads to several mishaps, crashes, and--during a spectacular daredevil flying feat--a death. Grounded by federal aviation officials, the resourceful Pepper decides to go west to Hollywood, the land where dreams are made and fabulous frauds are the norm. Here Pepper

becomes a stunt pilot and must finally confront the truth about his own legend.

The somewhat formulaic story--told better in such films as THE TARNISHED ANGELS--owes much to THE LOST SQUADRON, a largely forgotten film directed by the great Erich von Stroheim, that deals with WWI pilots performing impossible barnstorming and movie stunts. Redford is perfectly cast as the

boy-man of the air who cannot find a place in a society that has no more need of heroes. Brundin is outstanding as the misplaced German ace, but the rest of the cast is nothing to brag about. The stunts themselves, however, are indeed spectacular.

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  • Released: 1975
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: A handsomely mounted aviation adventure from the director, screenwriter and one of the stars of the hugely successful BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, this film deals with that colorful era of the early 1920s when barnstorming--performing aerial feats b… (more)

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