by Candace Salima, US Daily Review Contributor
Movie: Red Tails
Director: Anthony Hemingway
Starring: Terence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Gerald McRaney, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo and so many more
“We count our victories by the husbands we return to their wives, by the fathers we give back to their children, to the last minute, to the last man, we fight.” Colonel AJ Bullard played by Terence Howard
The first film by George Lucas in a very long time is the best movie of his career, bar none. Yes, go ahead and pick yourselves up off the floor. Technically, cinematically, acting, story, directing … absolutely brilliant.
As you can guess, I finally made it to see Red Tails, the fictional story of the Tuskegee Airmen (332 Fighter Group) stationed in Italy during World War II. Faced with great prejudice from their American military, the Red Tails faced many obstacles, including segregation in a war fought to free the world. The story of these brave men pulled me right into the middle of it. I was caught up in the love story between Joe “Lightning” Little and Sophia (NCIS LA’s Daniela Ruah,) the drinking problem of Easy and so much more. In fact, I was so caught up in the story I caught myself talking to the screen at the most critical moments. Yes, I consider that a no no.
Set against the backdrop of WWII, this movie shares with us the story of men who fought a battle on more than one front. As they prove themselves in the air, they are given the opportunity to escort bombardiers and bring them safely home, while going up against the best of the German Air Force, and destroying them. The dogfights were stunning, bringing the viewer right into the middle of it with cameras on the planes. The skill and sheer talent the Tuskegee Airmen brought to the skies was something to be reckoned with, and soon recognized by those they protected.
The 332nd first saw combat in February 1944. Throughout various engagements over the course of the war, the 332nd was credited with destroying at least: 112 airborne enemy aircraft, 150 aircraft on the ground, over 600 train cars, over 40 barges/boats, and a German Navy destroyer. The destruction of the Navy destroyer was the first such accomplishment of its time.
The Tuskegee Airmen compiled the following combat records:
- 261 aircraft destroyed
- 148 aircraft damaged
- 15,533 sorties
- 311 missions
- 66 KIA
- 84 killed in training and non-combat missions
- 95 Distinguished Flying Crosses awarded
- 450 pilots sent overseas
“Through adversity, to the stars, from the last plane, to the last bullet, to the last minute, to the last man, we fight, we fight, we fight.” The Tuskegee Airman
I loved this movie. It was everything a movie should be, and the portrayal of these brave men was incredibly well done. I am not only giving Red Tails 5 out of 5 Stars, I’ve already tagged it as an addition to my home library. It’s a “must see” folks.
NOTE: As an interesting side note, that has nothing to do with anything, actor/singer Brian Stokes Mitchell’s father was a Tuskegee Airman.
Candace E. Salima is a radio talk show host, author, columnist, and makes her home in the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about her at www.CandaceSalima.com.
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