Nothing makes a good war movie stand out like an intense aerial battle. Dogfight movies are popular because they usually involve cockier than hell characters, feature a few hot women, and have killer special effects. Below are eight of the most epic movie dogfights of all-time.
One of the most popular movies of the 1980s, "Top Gun" features an epic dogfight scene near the end of the movie where Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Iceman (Val Kilmer) take on a horde of Russian fighters. Iceman and Maverick end up taking out four MIGs, causing several others to retreat. What makes the dogfight epic is awesome special effects and and plenty of action.
Considered by many as one of the best movies of all-time, "Star Wars" features a plethora of dogfights between the rebel X-wing fighters and the dreaded TIE Fighters. The Millennium Falcon even gets into the act when it takes out a pair of fighters, allowing Luke to blow up the Death Star.
Probably one of Clint Eastwood's least known movies, "Fire Fox" tells the tale of Air Force Major Mitchell Grant, a former Vietnam POW who is ordered to sneak into the Soviet Union and steal an highly advanced aircraft code named Fire Fox. Grant is successful, but one of the soviet pilots takes off in pursuit aboard a similar aircraft. Moments later they engage in a dramatic dogfight, which ends with Grant shooting down the Russian pilot.
Quaid would be center stage in of one of the best cinematic dogfight scenes of the 90s? The former Uncle Eddie, alongside Bill Pullman, fight off several alien space ships. However, after ol' Uncle Eddie's last rocket jams, he decides to fly into the mothership's weapons bay sacraficing his life himself, while bringing down the hulking aircraft. Rumor has it, Clark Griswold even shed a tear during this patriotic event.
Imagine that – another 80s movie makes the list. While many found the movie to be unrealistic and downright dumb, it actually had a cult following and was popular enough to launch a few sequels (which, by the way, did not make the list). The movie goes something like this: boy applies to Air Force Academy, boy gets rejected, boy's father is a fighter pilot in Air Force, boy's father gets shot down over a fake Arab nation, boy's father is sentenced to be executed, boy meets father's military friend, boy and father's military friend put together a plan to rescue boy's father, boy's father's military friend gets shot down during rescue attempt, boy rescues father himself, boy's father gets wounded by sniper, boy engages in dogfight with much more experienced fighter pilot, yet boy wins.
Any good war movie made prior to 1970 more than likely had John Wayne as its leading actor. "The Flying Leathernecks" was filmed in 1951 and John Wayne played the role of Major Dan Kirby. After whipping his crew into shape, Kirby and his fellow airmen take out enemy Japanese fighters, ships, and ground crews. This movie actually has pretty good special effects for being filmed in the early 1950s.
"Battle of Britain"
This epic 1969 film describes the intense air battles that took place between the Royal Air Force and the invading Nazi fighters. There are several great dogfight scenes which both sides take heavy losses. The best battles take place over the city of London near the end of the movie.