GenreAdventure, Short, Romance CinematographyRobert Fraisse CountryFrance
Release dateSeptember 18, 1996 (1996-09-18) (France)
April 21, 1995 (1995-04-21) (United States) WriterAlain Godard, Jean-Jacques Annaud CastCraig Sheffer (Henri Guillaumet), Elizabeth McGovern (Noëlle Guillaumet), Tom Hulce (Antoine de Saint-Exupery), Ken Pogue (Pierre Deley), Ron Sauvé (Jean-René Lefèbvre), Val Kilmer (Jean Mermoz) Similar moviesRelated Jean-Jacques Annaud movies
Wings of Courage is a 1995 American-French drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The 40-minute film was written by Annaud with Alain Godard. It was the first dramatic film shot in the IMAX format, and the first 3-D IMAX film.
Wings of Courage is an account of the real-life story of early airmail operations in South America. The film stars Craig Sheffer, Val Kilmer, Elizabeth McGovern and Tom Hulce.
In 1920s South America, a small group of French pilots led by aviation pioneer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Tom Hulce) struggle to prove they can offer a reliable airmail service over the Andes. When one of the young airmail pilots, Henri Guillaumet (Craig Sheffer), crashes on such a flight in the Andes, a search is started. Henri has to try and get back to civilization on foot. Back home, his wife Noelle (Elizabeth McGovern) and colleagues start to fear the worst.
Wings of Courage was the first IMAX 3-D short film created to be projected on the world's largest screens, with a process that uses a wider film gauge, more intense light and a brighter screen (covered with five coats of silver). The 3-D glasses were also a new type, liquid crystal lenses that are controlled by radio waves with each lens blinking 48 times a second, in sync with the projected image.
For Roger Ebert', Wings of Courage is "... a technical, rather than an artistic achievement." In the review in The New York Times, Caryn James had a similar evaluation: "'Wings of Courage' is a swooping, old-fashioned adventure tale that uses flashy newfangled technology. The first fiction movie made for IMAX 3-D (the format that makes everyone wear oversized, goofy-looking goggles), this 40-minute film plays to the strengths of its 3-D technique. It's a winning ploy. Film critic Leonard Maltin considered Wings of Courage, "Beautiful scenery aside, this is a lumbering, boring true-life adventure ... Dramatically speaking, it's about as lively as a 1930s Monogram programmer.