Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Flying Tigers -

Blu-ray Shopping Bag

5 Comments | Add


Rate & Share:


Related Links:



  • Series:

Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Flying Tigers


By Robert T. Trate     May 13, 2014

Flying Tigers arrives on Blu-ray
© Olive Films
I was raised on John Wayne movies. Well, John Wayne and John Ford movies. The better films were when the two of these men worked together. It took me a long time to peel back the layers and notice those little words “Directed By” to see the difference. I still like John Wayne movies, even when they aren’t directed by Ford. However, most of the time, they just seem to be missing that certain something. One that comes very close to being a Ford/ Wayne picture is Flying Tigers. Olive Films (a new distributor) is re-releasing this classic film from 1942 on Blu-ray today. 

Films set and filmed during World War 2 always have that “why we fight” mentality. There is always a sacrifice for the greater good. Sadly, in the era in which they were made, films are often goodie goodie with heroics and action overtaking the hardships that WW2 dealt to so many. The Flying Tigers has a unique distinction of being made and released just one year after the United States entered the war. It is about men who fought a different kind of war before the Americans were bombed at Pearl Harbor. 

John Wayne plays Jim Gordon, a man battling the Japanese in China. Gordon is in charge of a band of flyers who are paid by the US government to protect the Chinese people. One would think that this band of men is actually a group of flying mercenaries. We quickly the learn about the hardships that the Chinese people are enduring and that this group of flyers believes in what they are fighting for. 

Gordon is reluctant to give flyers with a troubled past a second shot for the good of his men. He knows that peace of mind is all that matters, but he is losing good flyers every day. At this this point in the story, Woody Jason (John Carroll) and Blackie Bales (Edmund MacDonald) enter the picture. The two men couldn’t be more different. Woody is the best at what he does, but has little regard for what the Chinese people are going through. He sees each Japanese pilot as money in the bank. At one point, Woody even takes to the air in a plane with no ammo. Blackie is a man with something to prove. On his last assignment, Blackie was responsible for the death of a beloved flyer. The Flying Tigers is his last chance to fly again. 

John Wayne is John Wayne in this film (albeit, young). He is a leader who is both loved and well respected. He needs these new flyers to gel with his unit and that is where the story comes from. Wayne’s girlfriend (Anna Lee) is the unit’s nurse, but Woody has his sights set on her. In most respects, this really is Woody’s story, but as much as John Carroll tries to make this his picture, there is no escaping the shadow of the Duke. 

Olive Films released a great Blu-ray edition of the film. It is not on the level of Criterion’s restoration, but still has a clear picture far better than any previous release. Sadly, there aren’t any special features, history about the Flying Tigers, or even a trailer. I know it is great to have just the movie in this format, but for those of us that truly love film, this is now a standard in our buying of movies. I did find the history wrapped around the film intriguing, so I will leave you with this quote from the opening prologue: "Since the Flying Tigers first spread their wings in the skies above China, the enemy learned to fear the intrepid spirit they have displayed in face of his superior numbers. They have become the symbol of the invincible strength of the forces now upholding the cause of justice and humanity. The Chinese people will preserve forever the memory of their glorious achievements." 'Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek'. I wonder if this still holds true?

Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Flying Tigers [Blu-ray]
2. Sin City (Uncut) [Blu-ray]
3. Marvel Knights: Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today
4. Hellboy 20th Anniversary [Blu-ray]
5. Her (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack)


Easy Money: Life Deluxe [Blu-ray]

Last Samurai [Blu-ray]

Ocean's Trilogy Collection: [Blu-ray]

Special ID[Blu-ray]

Stalingrad [Blu-ray]

Training Day [Blu-ray]


Book of Bantorra: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

Book of Bantorra: Complete Collection

D Fragments! 2 2014

Dragon Ball Z: Season 4 [Blu-ray]

Haganai Next: Season 2 (Limited Edition DVD/Blu-ray Combo)

Log Horizon 4 [Blu-ray]

Unbreakable Machine-Doll 5 [Blu-ray]

Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5, Vol. 1

Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5, Vol. 3

Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5, Vol. 2

Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5


Deltora Quest Megaset

Marvel Knights: Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today

Hellboy 20th Anniversary [Blu-ray]

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron [Blu-ray]


Flying Tigers [Blu-ray]

Flying Tigers

Godfather Part III [Blu-ray]


Crocodile Dundee / Crocodile Dundee II [Blu-ray]

Her (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack)


Planes / National Lampoon's Vacation / National [Blu-ray]

Private Lessons 1981

Criterion Collection

Overlord [Blu-ray] 1975



Daddy's Little Girl

Evilspeak [Blu-ray] 1981

Final Exam [Blu-ray] 1981

 I Frankenstein [Blu-ray]

I Frankenstein

LA Maniac

Panic Button




Batman Begins [Blu-ray]

Blade 2 [Blu-ray]

Clash of the Titans / Wrath of the Titans [Blu-ray]3D

Godzilla King of the Monsters 1956

Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]

Journey to the Center of the Earth / Journey 2 [Blu-ray]

Limitless [Blu-ray]


Poseidon Rex

Sin City (Uncut) [Blu-ray]

V for Vendetta [Blu-ray]

Where the Wild Things Are [Blu-ray]


Afterlife: Series One

Barney Miller: Season 5

Eastbound & Down: Season 4

Longmire: Season 2

Magic City SSN 1&2 Combo DVD [Blu-ray]

Orange Is the New Black: Season 1 [Blu-ray]


Fast & Furious 6-Movie Collection

Fast & Furious 6-Movie Collection (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)

Ultimate Gangster Collection Contemporary 2 [Blu-ray]


Showing items 1 - 5 of 5
CyanideRush 5/13/2014 5:24:27 AM

I'm not particually a fan of the film, but the cover art on this release is lovely.

hanso 5/13/2014 12:05:13 PM

Orange is the New Black is $12.25 at Kmart and Sears.  You may get lucky and be able to price match at best buy or Target. 

Also, Barnes & Noble is having a buy 2 get 1 movie deal next two weeks I think.

I picked up Orange is the New Black. 

Lex0807 5/13/2014 2:45:10 PM

 Oh, you lucky bastards in the USA, with your enormous range in films to buy :P

Muenster 5/13/2014 5:51:15 PM

Thanks. Nice review. Too bad so many movies from this age go unnoticed these days.

RobertTrate 5/13/2014 7:58:01 PM

 There is good stuff England too. 



You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.