This documentary examines the importance of WWII’s most famous airplane and raises awareness about the importance of keeping the remaining B-17s flying for generations to come. It covers the history of the airplane, and the stories of brave men who flew them, and looks at the people today who struggle to keep these flying museums in operation.
LENGTH: 1 x 52 Minutes
INTERNATIONAL TRACK: Yes
CLOSED CAPTIONS: No
ASPECT RATIO: 4:3
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2003
RELEASE YEAR: 2003
SUPPLIER: Fortress Films
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
RIGHTS TERRITORY: Worldwide
During World War II America fought a fearsome battle over the skies in Europe. It was a decisive moment in the history of the world. Much was at risk. From 1942 to mid 1944, Germany had the advantage: experience, years preparing for the inevitable air war, and great engineers behind extremely well designed machines. One plane however, was to overcome all of these odds and prove that persistence was a much greater power than fear. This airplane was the B-17 Flying Fortress, and the legacy it leaves behind is unmatched in the history of aviation.
This documentary covers the history of the airplane, from early designs to the outbreak of war, and the stories of bravery behind the faces of the men who flew them. It contrasts the past by also focusing on today’s struggles to keep these flying museums in operation. Unless awareness is created to help with this preservation, in the near future B-17s will only be found in static displays. Almost 13,000 B-17s were built during the war. Sixty years later only 13 still fly. It is important to capture the history of the men behind these flying machines while they are still alive. It is also important to capture images of these machines while they still exist.
Houston International Film Festival, Platinum Award (Best Documentary Under 60 Mins.)
Palm Springs Festival of Festivals, Audience Award
Newport Beach Film Festival, Official Selection
“…successfully conveys horrific and incredible details about WWII air combat. A testimony to the legacy and contributions of the B-17 aircraft, pilots, and crew.” – Booklist
“…beautifully edited and scored, with current and archival footage of the B-17. Surviving plane crew and even a Luftwaffe pilot who flew against them bring to life the incredible story of the plane called the ‘Queen of the Skies.’” – Library Journal
“This new documentary is the most in-depth study of the last remaining flyable B-17′s in existence today. Beautifully edited with current and historic footage of the B-17, the producers have captured the true meaning of why she was called ‘The Queen of the Skies.’”
– Michael Faley-100th Bomb Group Historian and Photo Archives
“During our childhoods, we baby boomers were given a steady diet of war movies and TV shows. Some of us became interested, and learned all we could about what had happened during that era. Unfortunately, one of the sources of information we neglected to tap into were our fathers and grandfathers. Then our lives became busy as we started careers and family, and our interest in WWII took a back seat. Now, many years later, our interests have been re-awakened and we are discovering what we missed the first time around. We are now beginning to ask the silver-haired warriors about their experiences, but in some cases it is sadly too late.
“Mark Feijo’s film is a huge work of historic preservation. History of the World’s greatest conflict is being preserved in the tradition of ancient story tellers. This oral history is complimented by archival moving film and still photos, which many of us would not otherwise have a chance to see. Equally important is Mark’s focus on the last flyable B17s.
“The B17, and its cousin the B24, once filled the skies over Europe. Well over 12,000 were built, and good many were shot down, crash landed, or abandoned on the content. Today, barely a dozen are still in flying condition, and if people’s interest fades that number will quickly dwindle. Mark’s film draws the viewer’s attention to this plight. These few flying B17s may become museum pieces all too soon. This is all well and good, but these relics are best seen in their native environment: In the air!
“B17: Flying Legend is an interesting journey back in time, while keeping a foot in the present, and an eye to the future. All too soon, our veterans will “fade away,” leaving only echoes of the past. Mark’s film helps keep that memory alive, and promotes the preservation of the last flying B17s. As Mark states in his film, ‘For future Generations!’”
– Robin Smith, Historian, 486th Bomb Group Association
“As we prepare to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the close of World War II, this exceptional program examines one of the aircraft which played a pivital role in that conflict. Viewers will find this to be a remarkable resource filled with warm interviews with those who actually flew into combat accompanied by archival footage, both black-and-white and color, and an incredible collection of stills. Hauntingly beautiful music supplements the well-paced presentation, and the DVD format allows maximum ease of utilization plus the bonus of selecting various Dolby audio options. The legend of the b-17 began in 1944 with the release of famed producer William Wyler’s documentary The Memphis Belle, which is included in its entirety here. Additionally, the bonus section includes over 200 historical photographs and a virtual tour of the workhorse aircraft. Library patrons of all ages will find this a facinating production.” -School Library Journal