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Lafayette Escadrille Details


Though director William Wellman was attached to the Lafayette Flying Corps during WW1, many people believed that he was actually with the celebrated Lafayette Escadrille, and this 1958 actioner does little to dispel that belief. The film concentrates on a group of courageous young American aviators who, long before the USA's entry into the Great War, band together to fight the minions of the Kaiser in the skies of France. One of these reckless flyboys is Thad Walker (Tab Hunter), who arrives in Paris after being thrown out of his wealthy father's home. Joining the Escadrille with Walker are fellow expatriates Tom Hitchcock (Jody McCrea), Duke Sinclaire (David Janssen) and "Wild Bill" Wellman (played by the director's son, Bill Wellman Jr.). After a bit of parlez-vous with the local mademoiselles, Walker and his pals take to the air, and at this point, the film really gets off the ground (no pun intended). The spectacular aerial sequences are evocative of those in Wellman's silent classic Wellman, though Lafayette Escadrille itself falls a bit short of classic status. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Tab Hunter
as Thad Walker
Jody McCrea
as Tom Hitchcock
Marcel Dalio
as Drillmaster
David Janssen
as "Duke" Sinclaire
Paul Fix
as U.S. General
Veola Vonn
as Mme. Olga
Will Hutchins
as Dave Putnam
Clint Eastwood
as George Moseley
Bob Hover
as Brett Halsey
Tom Laughlin
as Arthur Blumenthal
Brett Halsey
as Frank Baylies
Maurice Marsac
as Sgt. Parris
Raymond Bailey
as Mr. Walker


William Wellman
William Wellman
William H. Clothier
Leonard Rosenman
Composer (Music Score)
Owen Marks
John Beckman
Art Director
Marjorie Best
Costume Designer
Gordon Bau