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The 1991 film
- Adaptation Displacement: The movie is more well-known than the comic book.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: James Horner's score. The entire score.
- In particular is the main theme, people have described it as the perfect audio representation of the feeling of flight.
- Melora Hardin singing "Begin the Beguine" at the South Seas Club. Very much evocative of the glitz and glamour of 1930's Hollywood. Plus, the song itself is a nice Big Band standard in its own right.
- Cult Classic
- Draco in Leather Pants: Neville Sinclair. You'd be surprised just how many people thought Jenny Blake should've ended up with him. It helps that he's played by Timothy Dalton.
- Ear Worm: You may never have seen the film, but you've heard the theme music a billion times in trailers.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Being a movie about flight, James Horner died in a plane crash in 2015.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Bill Campbell convincingly played Cliff Secord as a chivalrous, heroic, and decent man. About ten years later, he played Mitch, who couldn't be more different. Also, both his leading ladies are called Jennifer.
- This wouldn't be the last time that Joe Johnston directed a film about a Golden age World War II Comic book hero with an unashamedly idealistic edge. In fact, that's probably why Marvel hired him.
- Inferred Holocaust: The Luxembourg bursts into flames and starts falling out of the sky. Last we saw, it was flying over densely-populated Los Angeles. The movie shows the swastika on the tail fin being consumed by flames, then artfully cuts away to the pastoral denoument, but in reality, that flaming wreckage is going to have to land somewhere...
- Magnificent Bastard: Neville Sinclair.
- Nightmare Fuel: The Nazi propaganda film showing Nazi rocketmen attacking America.
- Lothar's signature method of killing people: folding them in half.
- Neville Sinclair's death
- Older Than They Think:
- Watch this film, and then watch Iron Man, and you'll see how similar the flying scenes are between both films. "Industrial Light and Magic" is in the credits for both. Not surprising.
- The art direction and film choreography is also reminiscent of Captain America: The First Avenger. Which is helped in part by both films sharing the same director.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- Spiritual Licensee: You know that 1930's art deco Superman or Batman movie that some people often tout? This may be the closest thing to it.
- Vindicated by History: Time has been kind to this film. It suffered the year it came out (1991) surrounded by bigger blockbusters - Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (the 2 highest-grossing films of the year!), City Slickers, and others - but it received favorable reviews and gained a cult following thanks to video rentals and TV, as well as earning a spiritual successor in the Captain America films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: People are already claiming that it's unrealistic to have a black female pilot in the World War 2 era. Bessie Coleman and Mildred Carter would like to have a word with you.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The sequel is already getting hit with this thanks to having a black female lead. Fun drinking game: Go through the comments on any article reporting the story and take a shot each time there's a comment about "political correctness" or "historical inaccuracy".