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Discrepancy In Movie "Island In The Sky"?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:33 am

I have just been watching the recently released DVD of this movie, which stars John Wayne, from the novel of the same name written by E.K.Gann. The story is closely based on a true incident in which the author participated. This occurred in 1942 when the US Transport Command had just been formed and was using mostly civilian pilots seconded from many US airlines. Gann himself came from American Airlines. These pilots wore whatever they pleased, though many of them continued to wear their airline caps.
This situation is also pictured in the movie, but for some reason all the C-47 planes in the film have polished metal finishes and carry the titles 'United States Air Force'. I believe that this title came into effect in 1948. Before that it was the US Army Air Corps and then the US Army Air Force. Since Ernie Gann wrote the screenplay himself I can't imagine that this is just a simple mistake - though with Hollywood anything is possible. If, on the other hand, the story was updated to the post-war era, why do they still have civilian pilots flying USAF Transport Command aircraft?
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RE: Discrepancy In Movie "Island In The Sky"?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:44 am

Just a guess, but maybe the movie folks changed the script (from the book) to reflect what the aircraft (that they could get ahold of) said, without having to repaint them...
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RE: Discrepancy In Movie "Island In The Sky"?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:49 am

Funny you should mention this. The movie was played on TV, I think on the American Movie Classic channel, and my TiVo recorded it. I saw that Mr. Gann got credited as "technical advisor", so it's strange that this flaw was allowed. It seems from this link that the movie was made in 1953 which is well after the USAAF became the USAF.

There were a bunch of other minor flaws in the movie. One thing I thought was cheezy was the fake motion of the plane in turbulence as well as the simulation of hail hitting the hull, which sounded like some stage hand was wacking the plane with a hammer.

Not to be too morbid, but about 1/3rd of the way through the movie Frank Lovatt dies, and about 2/3rds of the way through the movie the crew is suffering due to lack of food, so I was somewhat expecting to see the late Mr. Lovatt make a very direct contribution to the survival of the rest of the crew, if you know what I mean! I guess the movie viewers of 1953 weren't ready for that kind of thing, unlike the viewers of 1993.
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RE: Discrepancy In Movie "Island In The Sky"?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:24 am

I have another one. The movie "The Aviator", the story of Howard Hughes who at one time owned a big hunk of TWA...there was a scene that was to have been in 1948. The background was a building with the words.."Trans World..." on it. The problem was that TWA was known at Transcontinental and Western until 1950 when the name was changed to Trans World Airlines.
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RE: Discrepancy In Movie "Island In The Sky"?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 6:03 am

Come on guys, surely you know by now that Hollywood is all about entertainment. They really don't care to let the facts get in the way of a good yarn. By the way, my wife HATES watching movies & shows with me that involve aviation. According to her, I pick them apart too much. She says just relax and enjoy the story.

We just have to take a deep breath, relax and have the satisfaction of knowing the truth our selves.

NAH, forget that last bit, I'll still blast 'em.
"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

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