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FlyboysFlyboysJennifer Decker and David Ellison at event of FlyboysFlyboysStill of James Franco in FlyboysStill of James Franco in Flyboys


The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became the country's first fighter pilots.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 6.5/10 (18,822 voted)

Critic's Score: 47/100

Tony Bill

Stars: James Franco, Jean Reno, Jennifer Decker

Before the United States entered World War I, young Americans went to France to be fighter pilots, joining the Lafayette Escadrille. This fictional version follows a laconic Texas rancher, an eager Nebraska kid, a Black boxer already in France, and a New York swell, as they arrive green for training, get their baptism by fire when German planes ambush them on their first mission, and graduate to heroics. Rawlings, the Texan, falls in love with a young woman he meets at a bordello. Keeping their eyes on them are Captain Thenault and Cassidy, the resident ace, who keeps a pet lion. Can the boys measure up?

Writers: Phil Sears, Blake T. Evans


James Franco

Blaine Rawlings

Scott Hazell

Cinema Usher

Mac McDonald

Sheriff Detweiller

Philip Winchester

William Jensen

Todd Boyce

Mr. Jensen

Karen Ford

Mrs. Jensen

Ruth Bradley


Abdul Salis

Eugene Skinner

Jean-Philippe Écoffey

Skinner's trainer

Tim Pigott-Smith

Mr. Lowry

Tyler Labine

Briggs Lowry

Gail Downey

Mrs. Lowry

David Ellison

Eddie Beagle

Jean Reno

Capt. Thenault

Augustin Legrand

L.T. Giroux

Inspired by a true story


Official Website:
Electric Entertainment [United States] |

Release Date: 22 September 2006

Filming Locations: Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000,000


Opening Weekend: $6,004,219
(24 September 2006)
(2033 Screens)

Gross: $13,082,288
(17 December 2006)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Cassidy was mainly inspired by Raoul Lufbery, the leading flying ace of the Escadrille Squadron.


Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers):
When Lowry shares a bottle of cognac with Skinner he claims it's 'a hundred year old bottle of Louis XV'. In fact, there is no such thing. The bottle he is holding up is a bottle of Louis XIII.


Captain Thenault:
Reports can be filed. But you want "justice"? *You're* the man in the air. *You're* the man with the *gun*!

User Review

Just attended the Premier

Rating: 10/10

I just attended the premier of Flyboys at the Oshkosh Airshow. Enjoyed
it thoroughly. The flight scene special effects were difficult to
impossible to distinguish from the actual flying. Director Tony Bill
discussed the background and making of the film to an audience composed
largely of aviators including some of the best such as Bob Hoover, Sean
Tucker and others. A difficult audience to impress and impressed they

The film does not shy away from the ugly aspects of combat nor does it
ignore the seamier aspects of the non-flying life although that is
nowhere near becoming graphic. The history has been treated accurately
– and yes there was really a black pilot as portrayed in the film. I
have read a number of histories and autobiographical accounts of the
American volunteers – they were idealistic and naive. Thats just the
age they lived in – don't judge the characterizations by todays

Anyway, a wonderful film.