The Blue Max, 1966
The Blue Max picks up the genre of World War I flying movies laid down in 1930 by The Dawn Patrol and Hell’s Angels, but brings a new complexity to the protagonist flying ace. In this version of the aviation war film, the lead character is more antihero, dominated by thirst for personal glory at all cost and a lack of respect from his comrades in arms. Yet, he is found useful by the high command for propaganda to build morale on the home front. Filmed before the days of computer-generated action scenes, the real flying sequences are among the best ever put on film. A half-century old, The Blue Max still holds up as visually striking and compelling drama.
Free tickets are required and can be requested on this page starting July 7, 2017. This film will also be shown at the same time at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.
About the Film Series
Movies have always shaped our cultural memory of historical events, and World War I has been a rich subject for filmmakers. Hollywood Goes to War: World War I on the Big Screen, a year-long film series, presents the most visually striking and engaging dramas set during the First World War ever made. Once a month, join us as we screen Hollywood’s finest feature films on World War I and explore how the war and its far-reaching effects have been represented and interpreted on the big screen.
This film series is part of the National Air and Space Museum’s observance of the hundredth anniversary of the First World War.