Ford's customarily rose-tinted view of military life, which here consists only of camaraderie, carousing, and a jovial, unconvincing leniency towards breaking the rules. The secret weapon of the film, though, is how that rosiness is put in relief with glimpses of a home life given up. The contrast of hammy staging and meta/documentary elements creates an odd tension, but the storytelling needs work. For completists.
I don't quite love the film, but there's certainly something to it. Like many Ford films a sly critique of what it's supposedly championing: here the surface glorification of the military and the stirring story of the hero who triumphed against all odds is really a portrait of a man who neglected his family and friends in a monomaniacal pursuit of glory, only to understand too late what an empty existence he's led.
The last 25 minutes of this movie englobe the least inspired shots and scenes Ford ever created. "The Wings of Eagles" works until a certain point: then it becomes turgid, obvious and even corny in the end. Too much of a simplistic picture for someone who did "What Price Glory" or "Fort Apache". I think only "Two Rode Together" is worse than this. Militarism and duty in their worst forms.