Von Richthofen and Brown
Time Out saysCorman's Poe-derived motifs are transposed exuberantly to the skies as WWI biplanes fight it out with romantic heroism. Law's Baron von Richthofen, an airborne Teutonic knight, carries the seed of inevitable disaster within him: his mistake being that he removes the goggles from the first pilot he shoots down (the eye fixation again) and looks into the dead man's eyes; his perversion, that he needs to remember each kill. The Baron is firmly identified with the past, and his plebeian Canadian counterpart Brown (Stroud), representative of the new generation, ends up not with grudging respect for a gentlemanly enemy, but with the growing realisation that both of them are instruments of a destructive force. Good fights evil as in the regulation war movie, only here good and evil are neither separable nor where you'd expect to find them. Corman may have risen through the ranks, but his production economies are still blatant. Period reconstruction is abandoned, and each plane, one would swear, crashes to the same whizzbang soundtrack. Originally the German segments were shot in natural Yankee, now they are dubbed into German-accented English: 'Effry moment I am in ze air viz zees schpandaus in my hands - zat iss forever!' Schterling schtuff.