The Rocketeer,

Minute 091: Happy Valentine’s Day

August 28, 2017

Guest Host: Rory Aylward

started out in the film industry as the assistant to a Literary Agent on Long Island, New York. After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserve National Guard, he moved to Los Angeles to try his luck in Hollywood. Offered extra work on shows like “Tour of Duty” and “China Beach” he realized there was a market for someone who could deliver background actors who knew how to march, salute, handle firearms, etc. and formed VETS Military Advisors. After making a good impression on films such as “Robert Heinlein’s The Puppetmasters” and “Strange Days”, he was hired by Producer Stratton Leopold as the Military Technical Advisor on Fox’s “Courage Under Fire.” Working for director Ed Zwick inspired him to want to work on the more creative side of the business and as he added Technical Advisor credits he also began exploring opportunities to develop and produce his own projects. Aylward put his career on hold in early 2001 when he was asked to come on temporary active duty to conduct Anti-Terrorism courses for the National Interagency Civil-Military Institute in San Luis Obispo, California. He was there on September 11th and knew that his tour would be extended indefinitely. Indeed, he stayed at NICI until he left to serve as a producer on the Hallmark Channel film “Silent Night.” Afterwards he divided his time between the military and film before deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (VIII) where he served as a Civil Affairs Officer on a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Nuristan Province (the setting of the film “The Man Who Would Be King”) and was awarded the Combat Action Badge. He returned from Afghanistan and was asked to help stand up a pilot program for the State Department to train civilians who would be working with the military. Aylward deployed again in the Spring of 2011 to Kunduz Province, where he served as the liaison to a German Provincial Reconstruction Team. He returned home a year later and continued to train both civilian and military audiences. He retired from the Army Reserve in 2013 after 26 years of service.


With Jenny held hostage, Neville Sinclair, Lothar, Eddie Valentine and his gang face off with The Rocketeer.

The thrum  of large motors fills the air.  Everyone turns to look at the sky above the Griffith Observatory. From behind the domes dotting the roof of the observatory, the nose of an airship appears.

It’s the Luxembourg, the same airship Jenny and Cliff saw in the newsreel on Friday night. The entire group looks up at the zeppelin as it passes over the Griffith Observatory.

Sinclair hands Jenny over to Lothar, and then says to the storm troopers, “Ergreif die rakete. Schnell! (Grab the rocket – – fast!)”

A trooper responds with “Jawohl!” and begins to unfasten the rocket from Secord’s jacket.

“Haltet sie in schach (Keep them in check),” says Sinclair. He turns to Valentine. “Goodbye, Eddie,” says Sinclair, smiling broadly. The stormtroppers raise their weapons, facing Eddie and his gang. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” says Neville in a parting shot. Eddie angrily glares at Sinclair.

Suddenly, two carbon arc lights snap on, bathing the scene in a blue-white glow. “What’s that?” asks Spanish Johnny.

“This is the FBI!” shouts Fitch, though a loudspeaker. Wooly stands next to him. They are accompanied by dozens of police and FBI agents. “Throw down your guns!” finishes Fitch.

“It’s the Feds!” says Spanish Johnny.

“Shoot him!” yells Sinclair, grabbing Jenny from Lothar. Lothar pulls out his pistols, but Secord presses the rocket’s ignition switch and blasts across the lawn of the plaza and into the tree line.

“No!” shouts Jenny.

Cliff slams into a stormtrooper and the two of them go down an embankment on the other side of a guard rail.

“Lousy Krauts!” yells Valentine, snatching up a machine gun from the plaza sidewalk. “Let ’em have it!” he shouts, opening up a volley of shots at the Nazi troopers. Several troopers fall to the ground trying to evade Eddie’s sweep of bullets.

Neville has Jenny by his own jacket’s collar, and he drags her toward the Observatory building.

Fitch and Wooly seek cover between parked police cars, while Eddit keeps shooting and retreating back to the FBI’s line. More troopers fall under the hail of bullets.

Wooly sweeps his machine gun back and forth, shooting more Nazi troopers.

In This Minute

Bill Campbell as Cliff Secord
Timothy Dalton as Neville Sinclair
Jennifer Connelly as Jenny Blake
Paul Sorvino as Eddie Valentine
Tiny Ron as Lothar
Robert Miranda as Spanish Johnny
Daniel O’Shea as Mike
James Handy as Wooly
Ed Lauter as Fitch



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