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MALCOLM MCDOWELL IN 'ACES HIGH' WITH CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

Title: ACES HIGH Year: 1976 Rating: **

Following the Victorian-era ROYAL FLASH, this is the second consecutive movie that begins with Malcolm McDowell addressing a cathedral of students, only in ACES HIGH it's World War I and his character, hot-shot flier Major Gresham, is dead serious and genuinely intrepid in battle...

Part of the Flying Corps stationed in a grassy field with makeshift barracks in France, Gresham's troop of young men sporadically take to the sky in buzzing biplanes but without any actual layout or perspective on what's to be accomplished or protected... More like practice runs, they come and go in five minutes with nothing gained or lost...

Christopher Plummer in ACES HIGH

The characters range from a young newbie looking up to McDowell to a cowardly, temperamental Simon Ward disagreeing with both... to a meek Christopher Plummer, obviously smitten with that boy who, played by Peter Firth and a distracting 1970's haircut, is the buried lead but not interesting enough to either carry or help carry a war picture...

Overall ACES HIGH resembles a BBC television movie only with good effects, and the adapted stage play dialogue fails to distinguish the fliers, who all seem rather bored, even in the shadow of war... mostly background noise devoid of placement or strategy... and everyone's basically miscast but those great antique warplanes.

Dog fights in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH
Peter Firth and Simon Ward in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH
Pascale Christophe in ACES HIGH
Dog fights in ACES HIGH
Dog fights in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH with Peter Firth
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH
Malcolm McDoowell in ACES HIGH

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