Watch Red Tails, the Inspirational Film Nick Saban Showed Alabama Football Players

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The University of Alabama Jefferson County Alumni Chapter is screening the film “Red Tails” Friday at 7 p.m. at the Patton Creek Rave Theater, according to a Facebook event invite. It’s the movie Coach Nick Saban showed the Alabama football team the night before the 14th National Championship against LSU.

Watch the first public promotional trailer for the feature film above, and notice the commander says: “We need pilots who will put bombers before themselves.”

Another indication that an individual sacrificing for the team is NOT Socialism, as some Republicans and conservative news outlets would have you believe.


The film is set in 1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program in Alabama are courageously waging two wars at once — one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base — leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills — while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training.

Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above.

Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses — Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy — and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.

Red Tails is a film directed by Anthony Hemingway, from a script by John Ridley and story by executive producer George Lucas. It is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American combat pilots during World War II, and is the first Lucasfilm Ltd. production since Radioland Murders (1994) not to be associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises.

George Lucas began developing Red Tails around 1988. He compared it to Tucker: The Man and His Dream as “a story too good to be true.”

Thomas Carter was his original choice to direct. A number of writers worked on the project until John Ridley was hired in 2007 to write the final screenplay. Lucas held discussions with Samuel L. Jackson regarding Jackson possibly directing and acting in the film. Although Jackson praised the script, he did not commit to either role. Anthony Hemingway was finally chosen to direct in 2008.

In researching the film, Lucasfilm invited some of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen to Skywalker Ranch, where they were interviewed about their experiences during World War II. Lucasfilm was also given access to the original mission logbooks used by some of the pilots.

Production began in March 2009. High-definition Sony F35 cameras were used for principal photography, which took place in the Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia and England. While shooting in the Czech Republic, the actors underwent a “boot camp” program, during which they lived in similar conditions as the actual Tuskegee Airmen.

Editing began while the production was in Prague. Avid editing systems were used simultaneously in a Prague studio and at Lucasfilm. A vehicle was fitted with a “technical center” so that the production could quickly move between locations. In March 2010, Lucas took over direction of reshoots, as Hemingway was busy working on episodes of the HBO series Treme. Hemingway had final approval over the footage.

© 2012 – 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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