The first Iron Eagle movie was not critically acclaimed or financially successful, but did pretty well in the cable TV and home video markets. The most notable feature of the film was the inclusion of a new character in the series called Doug. Doug was a military intelligence officer who was killed by the Iron Eagle in the first five minutes of the film. Doug also appears in the next Iron Eagle movie, which follows his storyline. But it’s worth noting that the first Iron Eagle movie doesn’t feature Doug and Chappy as primary characters.
The movie is loosely based on true events, and the Israeli air force played the part of the U.S. Air Force and the fictional country of Bilya. It was difficult to find an Israeli fighter jet to play the part of the bad guys, but the pilots in Iron Eagle fit the bill perfectly. Nevertheless, the film’s premise is based on a true story. A young Doug Masters aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he’s rejected from the Air Force Academy. Then he learns that his father was captured by the fictional Arab nation of Bilya.
The film has been a cult classic ever since it was released in 1986. It is often referred to as the Top Gun of the Air Force, but that doesn’t mean it’s a flop. Despite the lack of star power and big budget, Iron Eagle is a great movie. Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr. played the wise and experienced fighter pilot Colonel Charles “Chappy” Sinclair.