Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992)

R | 98 mins | Adventure, Drama | 12 June 1992

Director:

John Glen

Writer:

Kevin Elders

Producer:

Ron Samuels

Cinematographer:

Alec Mills

Editor:

Bernard Gribble

Production Designer:

Robb Wilson King
Full page view
HISTORY

The 12 Apr 1989 Var announced that producer Ron Samuels was starting pre-production on Iron Eagle III, with plans to begin principal photography during Sep or Oct 1989 in Brazil or the Philippines. Samuels had produced Iron Eagle (1986, see entry), but was not credited on its 1988 sequel, Iron Eagle II. Sidney J. Furie, who co-wrote and directed the first two films, would reportedly direct the third film. However, Furie’s sole credit on this film is a “Based on characters created by” credit. Iron Eagle III was budgeted at $10-12 million and financed by Carolco. Samuels noted that Carolco had a distribution deal with Trimark, but claimed they had the right to release this film by themselves or through a different distributor. The 27 Oct 1989 HR noted that principal photography was postponed to an undetermined 1990 start date.
       A production brief in the 29 Jan 1991 HR noted the film was retitled Aces and principal photography began 14 Jan 1991 in Tucson, AZ. The 31 Jan 1991 DV reported that aerial scenes were filmed at Tucson’s Evergreen Air Force Base using rare World War II airplanes, including Messerschmitts, P-38 Lightnings and Japanese Zeros. According to an item in the 1 Mar 1991 HR, three units shot concurrently. The first unit filmed scenes with the leading actors, the second unit shot air-to-air action, and a third unit handled the “miniature work under the direction of England’s John Richardson,” who created the models and special effects. The 23 Dec 1991 ... More Less

The 12 Apr 1989 Var announced that producer Ron Samuels was starting pre-production on Iron Eagle III, with plans to begin principal photography during Sep or Oct 1989 in Brazil or the Philippines. Samuels had produced Iron Eagle (1986, see entry), but was not credited on its 1988 sequel, Iron Eagle II. Sidney J. Furie, who co-wrote and directed the first two films, would reportedly direct the third film. However, Furie’s sole credit on this film is a “Based on characters created by” credit. Iron Eagle III was budgeted at $10-12 million and financed by Carolco. Samuels noted that Carolco had a distribution deal with Trimark, but claimed they had the right to release this film by themselves or through a different distributor. The 27 Oct 1989 HR noted that principal photography was postponed to an undetermined 1990 start date.
       A production brief in the 29 Jan 1991 HR noted the film was retitled Aces and principal photography began 14 Jan 1991 in Tucson, AZ. The 31 Jan 1991 DV reported that aerial scenes were filmed at Tucson’s Evergreen Air Force Base using rare World War II airplanes, including Messerschmitts, P-38 Lightnings and Japanese Zeros. According to an item in the 1 Mar 1991 HR, three units shot concurrently. The first unit filmed scenes with the leading actors, the second unit shot air-to-air action, and a third unit handled the “miniature work under the direction of England’s John Richardson,” who created the models and special effects. The 23 Dec 1991 HR reported the final budget was $13.5 million and the title had been changed to Aces: Iron Eagle III.
       The film marked the feature debut of actress Rachel McLish, wife of producer Ron Samuels. The 18 May 1992 DV reported that McLish, a United States bodybuilding champion and two-time former Ms. Olympia, handled her own stunts. The 23 Dec 1991 HR reported Samuels’ claim that McLish received “high preview marks” during test screenings in Chicago, IL, and Houston, TX, and that he was “gearing up a whole screen career” for the actress.
       The 8 Jun 1992 Var review and an article in the 11 Jun 1992 HR noted the film was originally planned for an “off-season” release in Jan 1992 by distributor Seven Arts, a joint venture between New Line Cinema and Carolco. When Seven Arts “evaporated,” New Line acquired domestic rights, and the release date was pushed back until a deal could be finalized with Carolco and the banks. According to New Line Distribution president Mitchell Goldman, the movie was strong enough to compete against the majors during the summer release schedule. Goldman considered a 5 Jun 1992 release, but did not want to compete with the opening of Patriot Games (1992, see entry). Instead, New Line released Aces: Iron Eagle III on 12 Jun 1992, feeling it was competitive counter-programming against Housesitter (1992 see entry).
       End credits include the following statement: “Filmed on location in Tucson, Arizona. Arizona Film Commission, City of Tucson Film Office.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
18 May 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Jun 1992
Calendar, p. 9.
New York Times
13 Jun 1992
p. 16.
Variety
12 Apr 1989
p. 33, 35.
Variety
8 Jun 1992
p. 50.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Seven Arts Presents
A Ron Samuels Production
A John Glen Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Aerial unit dir by
1st asst dir, Aerial unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam loader
2d cam op
2d cam asst
Spec still photog
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Model unit cam
Model unit 1st asst cam
Key grip
Dir of photog, Aerial unit
1st asst cam, Aerial unit
2d asst cam, Aerial unit
Grip & elec equip provided by
Process composing by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Storyboards
Airshow muralist
Airshow signs
Village muralist
Sign painter
Artist
Artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Propman
Asst props
Asst props
Set dec
Leadman
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Lead scenic
Set des
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Set painter
Asst scenic
Const foreman
Lead carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Laborer
Laborer
Laborer
Lead plasterer
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Mus coord & addl orch
Mus rec eng
Mus rec eng
Mus mix eng
Mus rec at
SOUND
Sd mixer
2d sd mixer
Sd boom
Sd cable
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Models & spec eff created by
Spec eff supv
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Model eff
Model eff
Model painter
Model painter
Titles/Title des by
Opticals by
Spec eff services
Computer graphic display shots & inserts created a
MAKEUP
Key makeup
Key hairstylist
Makeup & hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Loc accountant
Asst accountant
Accountant P.A.
Scr supv
Location P.A.
Arizona casting & extras
Asst casting
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Aerial unit coord, Aerial unit
Safety officer, Aerial unit
Aerial prod asst, Aerial unit
Apprentice scr supv, Aerial unit
P-38 pilot, Aerial unit
Zero pilot, Aerial unit
Spitfire pilot, Aerial unit
ME-109 pilot, Aerial unit
Kleiss jet pilot, Aerial unit
Eagle pilot, Aerial unit
Eagle pilot, Aerial unit
Eagle pilot, Aerial unit
Soko jet pilot, Aerial unit
Soko jet pilot, Aerial unit
Soko jet pilot, Aerial unit
Soko jet pilot, Aerial unit
Helicopter pilot, Aerial unit
Helicopter pilot, Aerial unit
Helicopter pilot, Aerial unit
C-123 transport capt, Aerial unit
Flight eng, Aerial unit
Flight eng, Aerial unit
Loadmaster, Aerial unit
B-25 pilot, Aerial unit
B-25 pilot, Aerial unit
Wing walker, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airport coord, Aerial unit
Mock-up cockpits created by, Aerial unit
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to Mr. Gossett
Asst to Mr. Chiba
Asst to Mr. Chiba
Pub
International pub
First aid, Action Medical Services
Teacher
Caterer
Craft service
Transportation coord
Captain
Office coord
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Financing services
Completion bond services provided by
Prod insurance provided by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Film processing
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Kevin Elders and Sidney J. Furie.
SONGS
“Semper Fidelis,” performed by The University of Arizona Marching Band, arranged by Brian S. Wilson
“Deutschland Uber Alles,” performed by The University of Arizona Marching Band, arranged by Brian S. Wilson
“Stars And Stripes Forever,” performed by The University of Arizona Marching Band, arranged by Brian S. Wilson
+
SONGS
“Semper Fidelis,” performed by The University of Arizona Marching Band, arranged by Brian S. Wilson
“Deutschland Uber Alles,” performed by The University of Arizona Marching Band, arranged by Brian S. Wilson
“Stars And Stripes Forever,” performed by The University of Arizona Marching Band, arranged by Brian S. Wilson
“I Need You,” performed by The 49ers, written by Pieradis Rossini, Gianfranco Bortolotti, Diego Leoni, Domenico Gallotti and Ivan Gechelle, courtesy of 4th & B’Way/Island Records, Ltd.
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” performed by En Vogue, written by D. Raye and H. Prince, produced by Densil Foster and Thomas McElroy
“Love Letters,” performed by Harry Shannon and Marie Cain, written by Doug Livingston and Harry Shannon
“Touch Me,” performed by The 49ers, written by Pieradis Rossini and Gianfranco Bortolotti, courtesy of 4th & B’Way/Island Records, Ltd.
“I Keep Pumpin’ Jumpin’,” performed by New World Beat, written by Stephen Theard and Derrick Gumbus, produced by Morris Taft, Jr. and Stevo, courtesy of Wild West Records.
+
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Iron Eagle III
Aces
Release Date:
12 June 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 12 June 1992
New York opening: week of 13 June 1992
Production Date:
began 14 January 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Carolco Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 November 1993
Copyright Number:
PA665797
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Cameras and lenses provided by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Prints
Prints by Eastman Print Film
Duration(in mins):
98
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31409
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a Texas air show, four veteran pilots engage in mock World War II battles, using paintball “bullets” and colored smoke. African American pilot Colonel Charles “Chappy” Sinclair is younger than his three cohorts: English pilot Palmer, German pilot Leichman, and Japanese pilot Horikoshi, who fought during World War II. After the exhibition, Chappy learns that his U.S. Air Force colleague, Ramon Morales, died in an airplane crash. He rushes to Letheride Air Force Base, and as he and General Simms study the wreckage, the Houston Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) station chief, Warren Crawford, asks about Ramon. Chappy identifies photographs of Ramon’s family, noting his father is the mayor of a small Peruvian village. Under Chappy’s leadership, Ramon tracked Columbian drug dealers, and Chappy speculates they shot down his aircraft. However, Ramon’s plane contained a large amount of cocaine. Doyle, a member of Ramon’s squadron, reports that Ramon was on a supposedly classified mission when he crashed. Crawford claims DEA jurisdiction, but General Simms insists he will handle the investigation. In the Izquitos village in Peru, a drug lord, Gustav Kleiss, forces villagers to process his cocaine, and keeps the mayor in line by threatening to kill his daughter, Anna. Doyle contacts Kleiss about the DEA’s increased surveillance. Kleiss is furious that Doyle killed Ramon for threatening to contact Chappy, and decides to move the next drug shipment sooner than he planned. He goes to the basement where his associate, Escovez, watches the seemingly unconscious Anna, who is chained to an overhead beam. She overhears that the “Jackhammer flight” is leaving at midnight, and Kleiss plans to kill the villagers in a few days. Drugs are placed in barrels ... +


At a Texas air show, four veteran pilots engage in mock World War II battles, using paintball “bullets” and colored smoke. African American pilot Colonel Charles “Chappy” Sinclair is younger than his three cohorts: English pilot Palmer, German pilot Leichman, and Japanese pilot Horikoshi, who fought during World War II. After the exhibition, Chappy learns that his U.S. Air Force colleague, Ramon Morales, died in an airplane crash. He rushes to Letheride Air Force Base, and as he and General Simms study the wreckage, the Houston Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) station chief, Warren Crawford, asks about Ramon. Chappy identifies photographs of Ramon’s family, noting his father is the mayor of a small Peruvian village. Under Chappy’s leadership, Ramon tracked Columbian drug dealers, and Chappy speculates they shot down his aircraft. However, Ramon’s plane contained a large amount of cocaine. Doyle, a member of Ramon’s squadron, reports that Ramon was on a supposedly classified mission when he crashed. Crawford claims DEA jurisdiction, but General Simms insists he will handle the investigation. In the Izquitos village in Peru, a drug lord, Gustav Kleiss, forces villagers to process his cocaine, and keeps the mayor in line by threatening to kill his daughter, Anna. Doyle contacts Kleiss about the DEA’s increased surveillance. Kleiss is furious that Doyle killed Ramon for threatening to contact Chappy, and decides to move the next drug shipment sooner than he planned. He goes to the basement where his associate, Escovez, watches the seemingly unconscious Anna, who is chained to an overhead beam. She overhears that the “Jackhammer flight” is leaving at midnight, and Kleiss plans to kill the villagers in a few days. Drugs are placed in barrels stamped “Property of U.S. Air Force” and loaded onto a military plane. Meanwhile, Anna pulls herself to the ceiling, unhooks her chains, strangles the guards, and sneaks onto the airplane. Upon its arrival at Letheride Air Force Base, Doyle’s team unloads the barrels onto trucks that are driven off base. Skeptical of Ramon’s guilt, Chappy breaks into his house and finds Anna searching for her brother. She is devastated to learn of Ramon’s death, and reveals that Kleiss threatened to kill their family unless Ramon helped him. She informs Chappy about the Jackhammer flight and the drugs onboard. When Chappy rushes to the base and tries to stop a truck, the driver races off. Chappy searches the remaining barrels, but finds only hydraulic fluid. General Simms refuses to believe Chappy’s story, especially after they go to Ramon’s home and discover that Anna has disappeared. Simms tells Chappy their base is closing soon, and he does not want an unfounded accusation to mar his record. Chappy meets with Warren Crawford, who offers help if Chappy can pinpoint Kleiss’s exact location. Meanwhile, Doyle sneaks into the air show hangar, and replaces several paint bullets with live ammunition. When Chappy visits Ramon’s aunt to find Anna, she flees the apartment and rushes into an apartment of thugs, but Chappy and a neighborhood teenager named “Tee Vee” save her. Anna confesses she believed she could not trust Chappy because a soldier arrived at Ramon house’s to arrest her. He tells her the DEA can help if she provides specific locations. Anna agrees, and he leaves a map with her as he rushes to perform in the air show. Heading out the door, Chappy hands Tee Vee money to keep an eye on her. Elsewhere, Doyle pays a local gang member to kill Anna, and the gang member pays Tee Vee to keep watch outside. Tee Vee has second thoughts, however, and saves her. During the air show, as Leichman shoots at Chappy’s plane, the live ammunition knocks out an engine, forcing Chappy to make an emergency landing. Certain that whoever sabotaged the airplane will also attempt to kill Anna, Chappy and his friends race to the apartment and discover that Tee Vee saved her. Chappy takes Anna’s detailed map to Warren Crawford, but the agent tells him that Peruvian officials insist the region grows only coffee. Knowing the villagers will be murdered soon, Chappy hurries to General Simms and asks for the use of an F-15 fighter jet to obtain better intelligence. Simms refuses to sacrifice his reputation on an unfounded mission, and declares Chappy grounded. Before leaving, Chappy notices that Simms’ airplane in the photographs is named “Jackhammer.” Chappy, Palmer, Leichman, Horikoshi and Tee Vee attend Ramon’s funeral. Anna reveals that some villagers have escaped, and she wants to return home and rally them to save the others. Later, as Palmer, Leichman and Horikoshi join Chappy at a bar, he asks if they would consider a mission to take down Kleiss. Declaring Kleiss an evil man, Leichman is the first to agree to the mission. The pilots convince Stockman, the air show promoter, to lend them the show’s World War II planes. Stockman adds a “super booster” to Chappy’s plane, and Air Force officer Ames takes laser equipment from the base to upgrade the planes. They plan that Anna and escaped villagers will operate laser equipment on the ground, while the strafing pilots create bedlam and destroy the drug factory. Unexpectedly, Horikoshi backs out of the mission, revealing that he lied about his background and his dead brother was actually the famous ace, not he. Ames agrees to take Horikoshi’s place, and Tee Vee asks to go, but Chappy refuses his help. Meanwhile, Doyle informs General Simms that Chappy is arming the antique planes and Ames is stealing supplies to help them. Simms orders security to detain Ames, and he and Doyle fly to Peru to accelerate the drug shipment. Chappy learns of Ames’ arrest, and Horikoshi rejoins the team. In Peru, Kleiss rigs the church with dynamite to kill the villagers. When Stockman drops Anna outside the village, they discover Tee Vee stowed away on the airplane, so they include him in the plan. As Anna and Tee Vee sneak toward the village, she avoids booby traps, but Tee Vee steps on one and finds himself hanging upside down from a tree. Kleiss’s soldiers approach, and Anna kills several before retreating. The soldiers drive Tee Vee to the village. Anna is caught by a thug, but as he attempts to rape her, she kills him with his own knife. Tee Vee is taken to Kleiss and General Simms, who recognizes equipment from his base and realizes Chappy is in the country. Simms and Doyle race to load a military plane with the drug shipment, while Kleiss sends his fighters to intercept Chappy and his men. The air fight is intense, but Chappy and his veteran team are the superior pilots. Anna sneaks into the village and frees Tee Vee, her father, and the villagers. They run to the bell tower, and Tee Vee radios Chappy that the laser equipment is set up. The pilots’ first run is partially successful, because the laser equipment is untested. On a second run, Palmer’s plane is shot down, and he bails out. The others continue to attack, and the laser interlock system works, allowing them to destroy the machine gun nests. Kleiss orders Simms and Doyle to take off, and claims the Americans will be blamed when the church explodes. As Anna gathers the villagers inside the church, Chappy bombs the drug warehouse. Two DEA helicopters arrive. Suspicious that Kleiss’s men are retreating too quickly, Anna discovers hidden dynamite inside the church and hurries to lead the villagers away. Tee Vee runs to stop a mercenary from detonating the dynamite. He kills the man, but is shot in the legs by Escovar, who blows up the church. The bell flies from the tower and lands on Escovar’s head, killing him. Meanwhile, Hirokoshi goes after the military plane loaded with drugs, and shoots Doyle in the pilot’s seat. In the ensuing “dogfight,” Hirokoshi is badly wounded, and Simms is stunned when Hirokoshi flies directly into him, blowing up both planes. As Kleiss engages the air battle with a heavily-armed German plane, Leichman acknowledges him as his brother and berates him for disgracing their family name. Kleiss shoots down his brother’s plane, but Leichman bails out safely. Chappy battles Kleiss and prevails by using the “super booster” to maneuver over and behind Kleiss’s plane. When Kleiss bails out, Anna confronts him on the ground. He attempts to bribe her, and seeming to accept, she lowers her gun. Kleiss steps on a hidden booby trap and is impaled. Later, as they celebrate in Texas, Chappy reveals the DEA received credit for the raid in exchange for giving Kleiss’s money to the villagers. Stockman received a fleet of planes to remain silent. Chappy receives a World War II vintage plane, which he names “Shadow Warrior” in honor of their fallen friend, Horikoshi. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.