This movie takes place during WWI on a remote RAF outpost in France. Young, inexperienced flyers are being sent on a one-way mission to battle the German opposition. As more are lost, younger and even less experienced men are sent over to take on these missions.
There is no one more frustrated and distraught over losing lives than Major Brand. A former flyer who was promoted to officer, his job now is to dole out these assignments to the squads. His squadron leaders and former partners despise him. Brand has no choice but to obey orders from high command, no matter how much he wants to take to the skies himself. One day, he is promoted and headed back to London. Brand passes the privilege on to brazen Captain Courtney, and with his buddy Lieutenant Scott they raise havoc at an enemy base. Courtney finds himself in the same unbearable position Brand had previously held, only the flyers coming in are younger and greener.
Not a single female appears in this movie!
This movie is a multi-level film. On the one hand, we have the action-adventure element of WW I British pilots valiantly waging the air-war over France in 1915. The other level is a dark anti-war film stressing the horror of warfare. It becomes a distressingly familiar experience for Major Brand to count the number of planes as they zoom overhead, returning to base from the latest deadly mission. Seven went out today; only five returned. While on the ground, the men drink large amount of liquor, and listen endlessly to the popular song titled "Hurrah for the Next Man to Die."
The main mission is impossible to achieve for an entire squadron, but "one man, flying low" might succeed. As an act of personal redemption, Courtney takes the...