- Release Date
- November, 1st, 1969
- Running Time
- Screening Format
- -,HDCAM SR
- Screen Size
- Cinema Scope (1:2.35)
[ Directed by ]
[ Cast ]
[ Staff ]
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Story ]
In 1929 - the Japanese Air Force is still in its infancy. Lieutenant Kato (Makoto Sato), instructor at the Tokorozawa Flying Academy, has two promising young pilots. Second Lieutenant Kihara (Sei Hiraizumi), who graduated from the Army Academy with an excellent record, is transferred to the Air Force at his own request - a course similar to that taken by Kato himself. Cho Eishun (Jun Fujimaki) is a Chinese officer studying aviation in Japan. The three become close friends, but a few years later, war breaks out between Japan and China.
In 1937, Kato is in northern China as commander of a fighter squadron and paints a red eagle on the fuselage of his fighter each time he shoots down an enemy plane.
Kihara is also helping Commander Kato, but one day he is attacked by an enemy fighter with the marks of a dragon on its fuselage, and dies. Kato learns that the enemy fighter pilot is none other than Cho Eishun. Kato challenges him to an air duel and shoots him down. But the flaming plane is deeply etched in his mind.
Appointed as instructor at the Tokorozawa Air Regiment, Kato visits the families of his men who had been killed in action.
Second Lieutenant Ando (Kojiro Hongo) is worried that Mrs. Kato (Shiho Fujimura) will have no time to see her husband. She goes to the late Lieutenant Kihara's family where her husband is expected. Kato scolds her bitterly. But Kihara's father suggests that, to be a good commander, tenderness is of greater worth than severity.
Kato introduces Ando to a girl named Keiko (Yoko Namikawa), and they fall in love. Then Ando is ordered to the front.
In his dreams, Kato often sees the flames engulfing Cho Eishun. And when he tells his wife about it, she sees for the first time the bruise on his heart.
At the start of the Pacific War, Falcon fighters are in action at the front and Takeo Kato dies above the Bay of Bengal on May 22, 1942.
【Quoted from Unijapan Film Quarterly 1970.13.1】
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