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The Great Waldo Pepper


Action / Adventure / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Susan Sarandon Photo
Susan Sarandon as Mary Beth
Robert Redford Photo
Robert Redford as Waldo Pepper
Marilyn Burns Photo
Marilyn Burns as Spectator
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
763.94 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.61 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
P/S 2 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle7 / 10


It's 1926. WWI pilot Waldo Pepper (Robert Redford) is barnstorming and telling tales of his war exploits in a legendary fight against German ace Kessler. He gets into a rivalry with Axel Olsson (Bo Svenson) who travels with his girlfriend Mary Beth (Susan Sarandon). Waldo has been telling tall tales. In fact, he was a great instructor who was held out of the majority of the war. The two rivals become partners in Doc Dillhoefer (Philip Bruns)'s flying circus. He reconnects with sometimes girlfriend Maude (Margot Kidder). Maude's brother Ezra (Ed Herrmann) is building a monoplane to attempt the impossible outside loop. After many tragedies, he is reduced to being a Hollywood stuntman under an assumed name in a movie about the legendary dogfight.

The flying sequences are amazing with real planes. There are some dangerous stunts with limited camera tricks. The dogfight is thrilling. The tone turns quite sad in the middle. Quite frankly, I expected a heroic tale but it turns into a bummer with one particular incident. While that incident is powerful, it damaged the mood of the movie in a profound way. It actually may not be necessary since there are two tragedies in a row. The second one is the only absolutely necessary one. The first one should be reversed to uplift the story and the second one can be used to create the turn into the third act. Sarandon had more to give in this movie. The mood is bittersweet and the movie is pretty good overall.

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg7 / 10

fly high

Having directed Robert Redford in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting", George Roy Hill cast him yet again in "The Great Waldo Pepper". Redford puts his all into the role of a pilot seeking glory after World War I. But the scene that really sticks in my mind is Susan Sarandon's stunt on the wing; that must've been one harrowing experience!

It's not a masterpiece but one that you gotta see.

Reviewed by JamesHitchcock7 / 10

The Surly Bonds of Earth

Now that flying seems such a mundane, everyday way of getting people from A to B, it is strange to recall that there was a time, not so long ago, when it seemed far more magical. In the twenties and thirties aviation represented what space travel came to represent during my childhood in the sixties and seventies- mankind's most thrilling new adventure. The aviator-poet John Magee was able to write in his sonnet "High Flight" that while flying he had "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" and "put out my hand, and touched the face of God".

"The Great Waldo Pepper" is a film which, like the more recent "The Aviator", captures some of the excitement of those days. It is set in the world of the "barnstormers", troupes of pilots who would perform stunts to entertain the crowds. This was a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s, and many of the barnstormers were former fighter pilots from the First World War; the troupes became known as "flying circuses", after the squadron commanded by Manfred von Richthofen, Germany's greatest ace. At first their stunts were relatively simple ones, but as time went on the crowds became more demanding and the pilots were expected to perform increasingly dangerous manoeuvres, sometimes verging on the suicidal. The proprietor of the "flying circus" featured in the film puts it simply. "I'm not selling good flying. I'm selling sudden death." The film charts the exploits of the title character and his two great rivals, Axel Olsson (an American but presumably originally from Scandinavia, to judge from his accent) and Ernst Kessler (a German loosely based upon another real-life flying ace, Ernst Udet). Pepper's rivalry with these two men stems from the fact that they both had distinguished combat records during the war, whereas he served in the American forces but was employed as an instructor and never saw active service. (His rivalry with Olsson, however, does not prevent them from becoming close friends).

At the beginning of the 1920s flying was an almost entirely unregulated activity, but during the decade it became more commercialised as the first airlines and air mail services were launched and tighter regulations were introduced in the interests of public safety. After a young woman is killed in a dangerous stunt that goes wrong, Pepper loses his pilot's licence and is forced to abandon barnstorming. He is, however, unwilling to give up flying altogether, and travels to Hollywood where he becomes a stunt pilot under an assumed name. He learns that Kessler and he are both working on the same film, a wartime aviation drama, and that they are due to re-enact a famous dogfight between British and German planes. Somehow, they manage to turn their film sequence into a real-life duel.

The film was directed by George Roy Hill and starred Robert Redford, who had previously worked with Hill in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting". (Unlike those two films, however, this one does not co-star Paul Newman). One of Redford's greatest assets as an actor was his amiable, boyish charm, and that is much in evidence in this film, especially during the more comic first half. He plays Pepper as charming and debonair, with an insouciant, devil-may-care attitude, in contrast to the more level-headed Olsson and the gloomy, saturnine Kessler. Kessler has fallen on hard times after Germany's defeat; his pessimistic attitude is due to the fact that he was a hero in wartime but has become a nobody in peacetime. (Something similar happened to the real Udet, who went on to join the Nazis and ended up committing suicide). His character comes more to the fore in the second half of the film which is notably darker than the light-hearted early scenes.

There are excellent performances from Redford and from Bo Brundin as Kessler. (Olsson is played by Bo Svenson; are there any other English-language films where two major male characters are played by actors named Bo?) The main attraction of the film, however, is not the acting but the magnificent flying sequences, all of which were performed using real aircraft, not models or special effects. (It is said that the actors performed all their own stunts, including wing walking, which must have given the film's insurers some nervous moments). It is these exhilarating scenes which give the film its excitement and much of its emotional power, making it a fitting tribute to the pioneers of aviation. 7/10

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