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MASTERS OF THE AIR: Episode 1 and Two: “Part One” and “Part Two”

"Courage Under Fire"

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What You Need To Know:

MASTERS OF THE AIR is a patriotic miniseries on Apple TV+ about the 100th Bomber Group of the U.S. Army’s 8th Air Force during World War II in Europe. The first two episodes focus on the first two missions that the two leading squadron commanders, Gale Cleven and John Egan, and their men face together. In the first mission, the Bombing Group and two other groups must fly back without hitting their target because the German resistance was too strong. As a result, three planes and 30 men are lost. Then, when the second mission, a bombing run to Norway, hits a navigation snag, will the Bombing Group find its way home?

Episode 1 and 2 of MASTERS OF THE AIR are exciting, suspenseful, and beautifully produced and acted. The music by Blake Neely is stirring and outstanding. The episodes honor the courage, talent and sacrifices of the men in. the 100th Bombing Group. However, they have intense violence and lots of foul language, including several “f” words and at least 15 strong profanities. So, MOVIEGIDE® advises extreme caution.

Content:

(BB, PPP, CC, LLL,VV, N, AA, D, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview with redemptive and very strong Pro-American, patriotic elements honors patriotic duty, service, courage under fire, camaraderie, and sacrifice and contains some overt references to Christian faith, especially in Episode 1;

Foul Language:
31 obscenities (including several “f” words), five Jesus profanities, five GD profanities, one light profanity, and a bomber navigator gets air sick during one scene and vomits in Episode 1; and, 16 obscenities (including one “f” word), three Jesus profanities, two GD profanities, four light profanities, and bomber navigator gets airsick again and vomits in two scenes in Episode 2;

Violence:
Strong intense war violence (especially in Episode 1) has American bombers encounter flak and German jet fighters, with some blood splattering in a cockpit, other men getting wounded in planes, one wounded man being carted off in an ambulance, ;

Sex:
No sex scenes but soldiers dance with women in clubs and point out women to their buddies in about three scenes;

Nudity:
Partial bottom rear male nudity as doctor shows a frostbite injury to an officer on a man’s upper legs;

Alcohol Use:
Some alcohol use in Episode 1, and some alcohol use and drunkenness in Episode 2 (man puts whiskey into his morning coffee);

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Brief smoking in Episode 1 and man smokes a cigar in Episode 2; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A airman bets another airman $2 that he can make a woman laugh in one minute.

More Detail:

MASTERS OF THE AIR is a patriotic miniseries on Apple TV+ about the 100th Bomber Group of the U.S. Army’s 8th Air Force during World War II in Europe, and the first two episodes being released first focus on the first two missions that the two leading squadron commanders, Gale Cleven and John Egan, and their men face together. Episode 1 and 2 of MASTER OF THE AIR are exciting, riveting, and beautifully produced and acted, with some references to faith, but they have intense violence and lots of foul language, including several “f” words and at least 15 strong profanities overall.

Episode 1 opens in a bar with Major Gale “Buck” Cleven and two women saying goodbye to Buck’s friend, Major John “Bucky” Egan, who’s traveling to England the next day to be the exec leader of the 100th Bomber Group, which has four squadrons. Buck explains to his girlfriend Marge that, when he met John, he started calling Gale “Buck” after a friend he knew in school. Soon, everyone was calling Gale Buck, even though everyone calls John Bucky. Bucky tells Buck that, even though, as the exec who leads all four squadrons, he’s going to have a desk job, he’s going on bombing runs as an observer. He promises to tell Buck what the missions are really like.

However, when Buck joins John a few weeks later in England, Egan hasn’t told Buck anything because going on a bombing mission is something you can only experience, not fully describe to someone, especially another airman or pilot. So, the first bombing mission to destroy some U-Boat pens in Bremen, Germany is so chaotic and fraught with danger that all the bombers have to go back to England without hitting their targets. The German anti-aircraft flak and fighter planes were just too overwhelming. Worse, three planes and 30 American men are lost and a couple men need to go into the hospital. Meanwhile, the Bombing Group’s Commanding Officer has to leave so he can visit a specialist to treat a terrible ulcer that’s causing him to cough up blood.

Bucky Egan decides to get drunk and shows up drinking some coffee at a morning meeting with the new CO, a Colonel “Chick” Harding. It turns out that Buck Cleven delivered a letter to Colonel Harding earlier that morning saying that, in his opinion, Major Egan, would make a better Squadron Leader than an exec. Harding agrees, but Harding’s new choice for exec, Major Jack Kidd, isn’t happy about the switch. Apparently, these particular American officers are happier being in the thick of the action, serving with the men under them, than sitting at a desk worrying how many of them will be returning safely.

After some R and R, the Bombing Group, along with two other groups, get another assignment, this time to bomb some submarine pens in Norway. However, the lead navigator, Lt. “Bubbles” Payne, has a terrible case of the flu. He has to be replaced by Lt. Harry Crosby, no relation to Bing. The problem is, Crosby has a terrible case of air sickness whenever he flies. So, the big question in Episode 2 is whether Crosby can overcome his air sickness and get the bombers on target and then home to England.

Episode 1 and 2 of MASTERS OF THE AIR are exciting, suspenseful, and beautifully produced and acted. The music by Blake Neely is stirring and outstanding.

As they did with BAND OF NBROTHERS and THE PACIFIC, which focused on American infantry men in Europe and American Marines and sailors in the Pacific during World War II, Executive Producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg of MASTERS OF THE AIR honor the courage and sacrifices of American servicemen. The first two episodes give viewers an inkling of the harrowing nature of doing a bombing run over Europe. The Germans didn’t just sit idly by while the Americans bombed the heck out of their military bases and industries. They fought back! And, that’s one of the reasons the 100th Bombing Group was nicknamed “the Bloody 100th.”

The first two episodes of MASTERS OF THE AIR are well worth watching; but, be forewarned, the two episodes contain intense scenes of air battles with bloody casualties and lots of strong foul language, including several “f” words and 15 strong profanities. So, MOVIEGIDE® advises extreme caution.

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