The jet-fighter combat footage in The Bridges at Toko-Ri won an Oscar. Obviously primitive by even late 20th Century standards and nowhere close to the knockout aerial footage in Top Gun: Maverick.
But the aircraft carrier landing footage has a docu-realism quality, and even the third-act miniature stuff (the bridge-bombing footage, William Holden crash landing in the North Korean countryside) seems strangely acceptable. There’s something plain and palatable about it.
Dazzling as the Maverick footage is, you’re never quite sure which shots are organic (if any) and what’s digital. I know that some (most?) of the cockpit footage is “real”, but I still don’t trust it.
Some YouTube commenters have actually complained about Toko–Ri spoilers…a film that’s nearly 70 years old and they’re complaining that Illeanna Douglas has spoiled the ending! Prima donnas!