There are awesome moments in movies can be a source of excitement and awe for viewers. Here are some of the best helicopter scenes in movies that do just that.
For flight enthusiasts, films can have an extra level of excitement when you see aircraft in motion. It can get your adrenaline pumping just basking in the awe of the scene or thinking about what went into making it possible. For action lovers and aspiring pilots alike, here are some of the best helicopter scenes in movies.
Best Helicopter Scenes in Movies
Everyone remembers the iconic scene where Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, does a limbo drop and dodges bullets in slow motion. But another memorable moment is in his rescue of Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne. Here, Neo attaches a rope to his waist and jumps out of an escape helicopter to catch Morpheus, who has just been shot in the leg in the second before he jumps towards the open cockpit. Both of them dangle dangerously before Neo drops Morpheus safely on a roof and saves Trinity, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, from an explosion as the helicopter crashes into a skyscraper.
This movie boasts a classic scene where a squad of American helicopters flies over a coastline and empties countless shells and explosives into a Vietcong-controlled village below. The Wagner piece “Ride of the Valkyries” sets a tone of anticipation as the helicopter closes in on the target and then rises in energy as the troop spreads carnage everywhere from their elevated position in the sky. Not only does this part of the movie showcase Francis Ford Coppola’s skill with the camera, but it also serves to communicate the wanton violence that Robert Duvall’s character, Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, indulges in without a second thought.
Tom Cruise has always been known to be daredevil when it comes to performing his own stunts, and this scene is no exception. Attempting to follow the movie’s villain, Cruise as Ethan Hunt climbs up from dangling cargo beneath a helicopter to the landing and then skids into the cockpit, all while in midair. Once inside, he commandeers the aircraft successfully, saving it from spiraling freefall in the moments before he gains control.
In real life, Cruise had to undergo rigorous training to fly the helicopter himself for this scene, even though he was already a licensed pilot with several years under his belt. The downward spiral feat alone took 16 hours a day for over a month in order to prepare for, according to an interview with director Christopher McQuarrie in the Los Angeles Times. Now that’s dedication! Watching the scene, you just might want to start researching information on obtaining your own helicopter license with such inspiration—though it’ll be hard to top Tom Cruise, it’s well worth the effort.