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The Hunters (1958)

Robert Mitchum , Robert Wagner , Dick Powell  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Richard Egan, May Britt, Lee Philips
  • Directors: Dick Powell
  • Writers: James Salter, Wendell Mayes
  • Producers: Dick Powell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001NBMHQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,183 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Hunters" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes widescreen anamorphic and full-screen versions

Editorial Reviews

With its electrifying flight sequences and high-powered cast, The Hunters is a mesmerizing film based on the best-selling novel by veteran fighter pilot James Salter. Set during the height of the Korean War, the story centers on Major Cleve Saville (Robert Mitchum), a master of the newly operational F-86 Sabre fighter jets. But adept as he is at flying, Saville¹s personal life takes a nosedive when he falls in love with his wingman¹s (Lee Philips) beautiful wife (May Britt). To make matters worse, Saville must cope with a loud-mouthed rookie (Robert Wagner) in a daring rescue mission that threatens all their lives in this well-crafted war drama.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
153 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jet-Propelled Action ! June 9, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Hunters" is a well-made, exciting Korean war drama, with the accent on aviation. It has an above-average plot for this type of film, and the whole movie, particularly the aerial sequences, is expertly directed by Dick Powell. If you are interested in combat aircraft, there are many scenes of F-86 Sabre Jets engaging MIGs in dogfight battles to the death.
While the planes are great to watch, this film is primarily about human beings caught up in war. It stars Robert Mitchum, and he is terrific--his fighter pilot character is a born leader, yet he also suspects there is something important missing in his life. He enters into a guilt-ridden relationship with the wife of another pilot, played by lovely May Britt. When there's a war on though, the feelings of two people aren't worth--as someone once said--"a hill of beans". Mr. Mitchum's main job is to lead a fighter squadron, and satisfy his boss on the ground--Richard Egan in a strong performance, knowing that every day he may be sending a man to his death.
Just to make things even more interesting for Mr. Mitchum, his squadron includes Ms. Britt's husband ( a paranoid, self-doubting Lee Philips ) and a cocky, young "hotshot" who doesn't like "rules" ( a young, excellent Robert Wagner ). It would be unfair to reveal more of the plot, but the film is consistently interesting and exciting.
The DVD is full screen on one side, and wide-screen on the other. The colour is very good for a 46-year old film. It does not have "surround sound", of course, unlike that 1986 aviation hit, "Top Gun"--then again, "Top Gun" didn't have Robert Mitchum ! Tom Cruise has a nice smile--but, for leadership and grit, I'd follow Robert Mitchum through the gates of hell !
Actually, I'll give "The Hunters" 4 1/2 stars. Action--suspense--romance--Sabre Jets--Robert Mitchum--what more do you want ? Thanks, Fox--a very nice disc !
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The F-86 is sexier than May Britt July 25, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was quite eager to acquire a DVD copy of "The Hunters" when I learned of its availability. My faded recollections of this Korean War flying epic long ago had melded into a vague and adolescent montage of childhood images of F-86 dogfights led by an aging Cleve Saville (Robert Mitchum), a cocksure would-be ace and young beatnik-like wingman, Lt.Ed Pell (Robert Wagner), the base commander (Richard Egan) who's memorable one-liner "The Iceman Cometh!" was enthusiastically uttered while observing Saville's aerial prowess through a pair of field binoculars, and of course an enemy ace named Casey Jones. When the movie stuck to flying, it was cutting edge and it was great. The aerial photography was fabulous. The F-86 Saber Jet was one classically beautiful and superb flying machine and its historic role helped define aerial combat in Korea. But alas, when the flying sequences deferred to a ridiculously improbable love triangle, "The Hunters" had a way of crashing and burning. Simple as that.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
When I was 11 years old, I saw this movie when it was released. In its air combat sequences, The Hunters is the Citizen Kane of all modern air/space combat movies, as revolutionary for its time as Star Wars later was to be for its time. While prior air combat movies had been on the square screens, usually in B&W, The Hunters was filmed in state-of-the art CinemaScope (widescreen) and Technicolor. Its air combat sequences -- twisting jets on each other's tails soaring in mountainous clouds, then diving and roaring a treetop level through valleys -- were brilliantly conceived and breathtakingly executed -- unlike anything that had been seen before. They still hold up with the best ever filmed, although they've been copied so much (by movies such as Top Gun and Star Wars) that they no longer have the knock-your-socks-off novelty that they originally did. Unfortunately, the feel-good screenplay, with a distracting romantic subplot, bears no resemblance to the gritty, macho novel on which it was based. In James Salter's best-selling novel, the Robert Michum character, Cleve Saville, is a WWII veteran fighter jock who can't get a kill to save his soul, then has no witness when his first-and-only kill (before he himself dies) is the legendary enemy ace. Hence, The Hunters movie is really a first-rate action-hero fantasy set in wartime. (...)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely an Ace May 20, 2004
Format:DVD
"The Hunters" (1958) and "The Enemy Below" (1957) are 2 war movies produced by Dick Powell for 20th Century Fox filmed in Cinemascope both with Robert Mitchum in the leading role.
Major Cleve Saville (Robert Mitchum), the squadron commander, is a famous ace and veteran fighter pilot of World War II. He is a career man whose world was his squadron and the men who flew with him. Lt. Pell (Robert Wagner), in the early part of the movie, is a reckless but eventually courageous young jet ace to whom Saville owe his life. Lt. Abbott (Lee Phillips) is the confused husband of Kris (May Britt) whom Saville falls in love with although their acknowledged desires are never to be fulfilled.
The picture is based on the novel "The Hunters" by James Salter who is himself a jet ace in the Korean conflict. In the late 50's long before the development of CGI technology, real fighter jets F-86 Sabrejet and F-84 Thunderjets (painted gray with a red star to simulate MIG-15) were flown in the aerial battle sequence which made it the more realistic than Pearl Harbor (2001).
I have kept like a treasure a copy of "The Hunters" VHS tape and it is pretty worn out by now from years of repeated viewings. Thank you Fox for putting it on DVD...46 years after its theatrical release.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Korean war movie
I enjoyed this movie. The flying scenes are excellent and really showcase the Sabre jet. I only issue I have with it is I thought the Robert Wagner character was a little over the... Read more
Published 15 hours ago by Cisco Kid
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good war drama about the air war during the korean war i nreally liked it
Published 6 days ago by mark fabrizio
4.0 out of 5 stars glad it was on
looking for this movie for a long time.. glad it was on DVD
Published 7 days ago by Joseph Robinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Watch a documentary
Air combat scenes are first rate. Unfortunately, most of the movie is a two-dimensional soap opera-like plot or views of scenic Japan. Save your money. Watch a documentary.
Published 11 days ago by Leeba
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but I thought Robert Wagner over-played his part
Great movie but I thought Robert Wagner over-played his part. His Daddy-o personae made my teeth ache at times. The over-all performance of this cast far over-shadowed it though. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Tom Wilde
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 16 days ago by Mr.u
4.0 out of 5 stars I really liked that.
Prompt delivery of this item. I really liked that.
Published 27 days ago by Tony Ramon
2.0 out of 5 stars is far superior to the movie
James Salter's book, "The Hunters", is far superior to the movie. So much was changed that I barely recognized it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joan Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars Aerial combat, lovers' triangle, action & suspense. Must see this one!
One of the best Korean War/Air Force movies I've seen. just the right amount of drama, action, and suspense to keep the story moving. Read more
Published 1 month ago by American Eagle
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like fighter combat
If you like fighter combat, this was a good movie. Like many of the classic war films, this one belongs in your collection.
Published 1 month ago by otis pelham jr.
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