Flat Top war movie
Flat Top war movie

Flat Top (1952, United States)

Categories: aircraft carrier moviesaircraft moviesdogfight moviesnavy movies

Running time: 85 minutes

Language: English

Aboard American aircraft carrier somewhere near Korea Commander Dan Collier recalls his days as a group leader during the World War 2. It was the same ship, but back then he was an experienced pilot, one of the best fighter pilots in the US Navy, put in charge of flight group aboard the aircraft carrier. Together with his second in command Lieutenant Joe Rodgers they are trying to prepare the new group of pilots for their first combat action, but their approach towards their subordinates is completely different. Collier prefers very strict discipline and tough training, while Rodgers keeps closers to the soldiers and tries to guide them rather than order them. When one of the pilots, Barney Smith, makes rather risky landing on the carrier and ignores the signals to go for another round Collier grounds him. Rodgers tries to persuade him to give the boy another chance, especially since soon they will face the enemy, but for Collier the rules are the most important element in the army. Soon the carrier reaches the destination and the pilots prepare for their first combat engagement - attack on Japanese ships and boats on one of the islands of Philippines.

American war movie made with help from US Navy, which is never a good sign. To make things worse the creative team for this production was a director, who specialized in western movies and writer, who mostly wrote pulp fiction. The effect? It’s a very typical war movie with plot almost identical to such films as Run Silent Run Deep, Men of the Fighting Lady, Take the High Ground! or even The Caine Mutiny. If you’ve seen any of those movies, then you’ve already seen Flat Top. But while the production lacks depth and originality some of the scenes were filmed aboard a active service aircraft carrier (USS Princeton) and some of the scenes used are actual footage from World War 2. Unfortunately at the same time the movie lacks realism and same footage was used several times throughout the film.

Our rating


Film value

4 / 10

Realism factor

3 / 5

Adventure factor

3 / 5

Historical accuracy

3 / 5

Flat Top full movie

full movie Flat Top on DVD

Creators of Flat Top

Lesley Selander movies

Steve Fisher movies

Steve Fisher


Cast of Flat Top

Sterling Hayden movies sterling-hayden

Sterling Hayden

as Commander Dan Collier

Richard Carlson movies richard-carlson

Richard Carlson

as Lieutenant Joe Rodgers

Keith Larsen movies keith-larsen

Keith Larsen

as Ensign Barney Smith

William Phipps movies william-phipps

William Phipps

as Red Kelley

John Bromfield movies john-bromfield

John Bromfield

as Ensign Snakehips McKay

William Schallert movies william-schallert

William Schallert

as Ensign Longfellow

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Events depicted in Flat Top

World War II (1936-1945) Battle of Leyte (20 Oct 1944)

Themes in Flat Top

USS PrincetonAmerican pilotsAmerican aircraft carriersAmerican navyUS Navy

War movies like Flat Top

Tora! Tora! Tora! 1970 war movie

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

True story of political and military operations that lead to Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.