Original Australian Daybill Poster Aces High
Aces High is a 1976 Anglo-French war film directed by Jack Gold and starring Malcolm McDowell, Peter Firth, Christopher Plummer and Simon Ward. The screenplay was written by Howard Barker. As acknowledged in the opening credits, the film is based on the 1930s play Journey's End by R. C. Sherriff with additional material from the memoir Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis. Aces High moves the action from the trenches to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The film depicts a Royal Flying Corps squadron in the First World War during one week of battle, where the high death rate of pilots puts an enormous strain on those remaining. The exterior scenes in Aces High were mainly shot in Southern England and Spain. The squadron depicted, No. 76 Squadron, (which was actually stationed in England throughout the war and never saw combat during WW1), is loosely based on No. 56 Squadron, one of the notable S.E.5 squadrons. The airfield facilities, barracks and motor transport are authentic looking First World War era equipment and the aircraft flown, although not real S.E.5s but converted Stampe SV.4s, similar enough and the camouflage used authentic. There is a real Avro 504 used in the film. Some scenes are based on real stories of the RFC, such as the pilot who prefers to jump from his burning aircraft rather than being slowly roasted in his cockpit (no parachutes were issued during the conflict to Allied aircrew).The film is now a favourite amongst aviation enthusiasts.