I Want to see Red Tails, so why can’t I?


This weekend Red Tails the film about the Tuskegee Airmen opens inAmerica.

After 23 years, George Lucas finally brings the story he’s been trying to make all that time to cinema screens.

And it looks like that’s where it’s going to stop.


An article about the Tuskegee Airmen in today’s Sunday Mirror states there’s noUKrelease date yet.  That can’t be right, I thought, a war film with exciting dogfights, brought to us by the man behind some of the biggest blockbusters of all time and no-one wants to distribute it in theUK?

That can’t be right.


But then I check IMDB’s release dates for theUKand I can’t find hide nor hair of it.  They’ve got release dates for films stretching all the way to 2014, but Red Tails isn’t on it.

Why the hell not?


By all accounts the reason it took so long for Lucas to get this made is that studios were sure no-one would go see a film with a nearly all black cast.

My question is, what are they comparing it too?

Films with all black casts seem to either be gangster films, family movies or tales about kids from the hood making it through a tough life.  There’s no comparison between them and an all action war film – you’re talking about different audiences.

I’ll watch the gangster and hood films at home, they aren’t a particular favourite of mine, but I’ll be there opening day for Red Tails because it’s my kind of film.


The colour of the leads or cast in a film have nothing to do with my choices about whether to see a film at the cinema or not.  I make my decisions based on the story and how cinematic a film looks.

Yes, I have seen the 1995 HBO movie The Tuskegee Airmen, but it’s not one I would have gone to see at the cinema because it was very much a TV film, lacking the scope I want from a film like that at the cinema.

Red Tails looks to have that scope.  I want to see the dogfights and the heroism up on the big screen.


There seems to be a lot of venom being directed towards this movie just because Lucas is involved.  To those doing that, grow up.

The man put his money where his mouth and heart was for this film when no studio in town would give him the chance.


I also saw a number of comments when the trailer first aired that went along the lines of “Do they have to keep forcing this racism in the film down our throats?”

Yes, you fucking cretin, they do.  It’s a film about heroes, men who overcame some of the most baseless and vile behaviour by men they were on the same side as.  It’s fucking integral to the film.


The story of these men and their exploits during the war deserves a movie like this.  A throwback to the days of the Forties and Fifties where men doing things during the war were heroes and didn’t need to be shades of grey and moral ambiguity.

They were men who fought and died for what they thought was right.  They formed bonds that those of us who haven’t been in combat can never understand – just because we can’t understand it through experience, we can respect the hell out of them emotionally though.


I’m a white guy and I’ll see this movie if it is available at cinemas.  I’ll buy the blu ray, it looks like a film I’ll rewatch a number of times during my life.

If you don’t want to see it because you don’t like war films, because you think the action in the trailers looks terrible – fine, that’s a reasonable choice to make.

If you won’t watch it because there aren’t enough white men in this film then you just don’t deserve movies good or bad.


Any studio who distributes Red Tails in the UK gets my money.

I can’t say it clearer than that.



This entry was posted in Films, Ranty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to I Want to see Red Tails, so why can’t I?

  1. Great article, Rob. I hadn’t even heard of this project but it’s something I’d genuinely like to see.

    And as for the people complaining about the racism being shown… Desk, this is Head. Head, meet Desk. (That said, it’s usually a mistake to read below the line comments on the internet. The ones on virtually any given Yahoo News article will usually make you want to kill everybody in the whole world on general principles.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s