A vivid and unusual WW I film, THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK features Fredric March as the fearless leader of a British flying squadron who, at the film's opening, is already embittered by the slaughter in the skies. An angry Cary Grant accuses March of keeping him from the front and from
glory. Of course, March has tried to prevent his former chums Grant and Jack Oakie from going into combat--but for compassionate reasons. Nevertheless, a cynical rivalry between March and Grant ensues, even after Grant is assigned as March's observer, flying in the rear cockpit of the two-seater
fighter to photograph enemy strong points and act as a rear machine-gunner. Five men in the squadron have been killed, and March's anger over the loss of life bubbles to the surface. Ordered to take a ten-day leave, March spends the time in London with beautiful Carole Lombard, who brings warmth
and affection back into his life. Upon his return to his squadron, however, March learns that Grant has flown off on a needless mission that causes the death of likable Oakie. Moreover, March discovers that the German ace he has just shot down, a long-standing opponent, is a mere boy. In a rage,
March gets drunk, then delivers a searing denunciation of war in front of the entire squadron. Going to his room, March commits suicide. When Grant finds the body, he secretly places March in his plane, takes off, and riddles the body with machine-gun bullets so that it will appear March died
heroically in combat. March is later buried in a hero's grave as Grant looks on. This film, with its fine aerial shots and exciting dogfights, was produced to compete with such popular war vehicles as THE DAWN PATROL and also to provide March with a project that would take him out of the drawing
room and into adventure. March and Grant are terrific in their adversarial roles, and Lombard, though shown only briefly, is hauntingly effective. Sir Guy Standing, as the commander, is steadfast and authoritative.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A vivid and unusual WW I film, THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK features Fredric March as the fearless leader of a British flying squadron who, at the film's opening, is already embittered by the slaughter in the skies. An angry Cary Grant accuses March of keeping h… (more)