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Lafayette Escadrille

Sunday, June 28, 2015, 2 p.m., Dryden Theatre

The final film in the career of director William A. Wellman is curiously enough perhaps both his most and least personal film. Wellman based the film on his own experience in World War I, when he joined the French Foreign Legion and was assigned as the first American fighter pilot to help the French dogfight the Germans. But the studio interfered with production so much that Wellman, dismayed, quit the film business forever. In spite of all the hassle Lafayette Escadrille, starring Tab Hunter, William Wellman Jr., and a very young Clint Eastwood, is still clearly a labor of love, with protracted scenes of camaraderie and lovemaking as touching and precise as anything Wellman has shot in his illustrious filmmaking career.