(2012) Red Tails is about the challenges and triumphs of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all African American aerial combat unit. The movie portrays fictional events based on the Tuskegee experiences.
In 1995, HBO made The Tuskegee Airmen, shown on television and in a limited number of theaters. That screenplay was actually written by one of the Tuskegee wartime pilots. Cuba Gooding Jr. was one of the young airmen, and in Red Tails he returns as an older and wiser Major who loves his cigar.
It’s an amazing story, one that I particularly appreciate after getting to know the family of Tuskegee pilot Captain Walter Irving Lawson.
If you don’t know about the Tuskegee Airmen, then you should definitely see Red Tails.
All that being said, I liked the 1995 movie better. I would like to watch it again so I can compare the technical effects, the air battles, the planes. In Red Tails I felt like I was watching lots of different little scenarios. Since I already know the story (and really, I think most of us do …) I just wanted to learn something different about the actual people involved, not made-up caricatures.
I had such high hopes.