The War Lover

  • 1962
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

McQueen plays an American bomber pilot stationed in Britain during WW II who revels in combat and has no compunction about killing. His crew members, including copilot Wagner, are dismayed by McQueen's zeal, but they all respect his flying ability. Trouble brews between McQueen and Wagner, however, when the copilot takes up with an English woman, Field,...read more

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McQueen plays an American bomber pilot stationed in Britain during WW II who revels in combat and has no compunction about killing. His crew members, including copilot Wagner, are dismayed by McQueen's zeal, but they all respect his flying ability. Trouble brews between McQueen and Wagner,

however, when the copilot takes up with an English woman, Field, whom McQueen is determined to add to his list of conquests. Field sees through McQueen's facade of bravado, realizing he is incapable of a mature relationship. With their rivalry at its peak, the two fliers are called upon to

undertake an especially dangerous mission over Germany that tests their skills to the limit. Based on a novel by John Hersey, THE WAR LOVER probes the psychopathic, childish, and suicidal impulses that lurk beneath the veneer of heroism Mc Queen's character displays. Howard Koch's script does a

fine job balancing moral questions and character study with WW II action, but the film falters when it comes to the romance. McQueen contributes a nicely nuanced performance, making his rather despicable character real and likable. Wagner is also surprisingly good in what could have been a grating

and thankless role. While indulging his passion for auto racing during lulls in the shooting, McQueen was nearly badly hurt when his car spun out on a wet track. The only injury he received was a split lip, but the stitches were noticeable enough that director Philip Leacock let McQueen do all his

cockpit scenes with an oxygen mask on to cover the scar. The plane used for THE WAR LOVER was one of the few B-17s still in serviceable condition, and it appeared in several other films, including TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: McQueen plays an American bomber pilot stationed in Britain during WW II who revels in combat and has no compunction about killing. His crew members, including copilot Wagner, are dismayed by McQueen's zeal, but they all respect his flying ability. Trouble… (more)

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