‘The Pilot’ uses a real Soviet plane to bring an untold story of World War II to the screen

“The Pilot” is a Russian action thriller based on the true story of Aleksey Maresyev, a World War II pilot whose plane was shot down over the German-occupied Novgorod region. The film follows Maresyev as he tries to fight off cold, wild animals and Nazis as he tries to get home.

The film will be released on digital, Blu-ray and DVD on March 1, 2022, and we have a first look at the trailer.

While the film’s characters speak Russian (and likely German), the release will give viewers the choice of subtitles or an English-dubbed version.

Nikolai Komlev is the name of the character based on Maresyev, and he is played by Russian actor Pyotr Fyodorov. If you’re not a fan of Russian movies or TV, you’ve probably never heard of him, but Fyodorov is a well-known lead actor in his home country.

The film used a still-active Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 for the flight scenes. Of the 40,000 aircraft of this type built during the war, only two still exist. The plane we will see in the film was forced to land on an icy lake in the Murmansk region in November 1943. It sank and remained submerged until 2012, when it was recovered and returned to new.

Aircraft scholars will note that, although the film is set in 1941, the two-seat version of the aircraft seen in the film did not enter production until 1943. Considering that only two remain around the world, producers are kindly asking that we give them a pass.

Like the Oscar-winning film “The Revenant”, “The Pilot” was filmed in extreme weather conditions that replicate what real pilots endured during the war. There is a lot of snow and the wild animals you see on screen are real wolves and not special effects.

We don’t see many WWII movies about our Russian allies, but this one has a brave pilot who fights off wolves and Nazis to get home to his family. It looks like a winner.

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