Released in 1943, Air Force was immediately hailed as the definitive "patriotic heart-throb in celluloid" that America, engulfed in war and passionately bent on victory, was primed to embrace. Lawrence Suid charts the evolution of this cinematic success in his introduction to the screenplay, tracing the tangled network of artistic, military, and nationalist interests that molded this film and made it, even after the martial fervor had settled, a standard against which all future films about war would be measured.Throughout the filming, there was tension between the aims of the War Department and those of Howard Hawks. Hawks would ultimately produce more than stilted propaganda: it is the skillfully modulated tension, the ambience of men in war, and the total immersion in action and adventure that make this a Hollywood classic still savored and studied today."
Lawrence Suid is a historian and freelance writer. His publications include Guts and Glory (1978), a study of the military's influence on the American film industry.Tino Balio, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, and the editor of The American Film Industry as well as the 22 volume Wisconsin/Warner Bros. Screenplay series, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He directed the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research from 1966 to 1882."