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Filmmaker Raoul Walsh (Objective, Burma!) is at the controls of this keep-'em-flying Technicolor(r) adventure, augmenting thunderous sky battles with actual wartime footage. Edmond O'Brien portrays Hardin, who tempers his flyboy recklessness when the men of the squadron are entrusted to his leadership. And a former chauffeur for Walsh makes his uncredited screen debut. His name: Rock Hudson.
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all it's in TECHNICOLOR! It has a rousing musical score. It has comic relief. It has a handsome Gung-ho cast, And it has vivid action scenes including many just released, real, in color, combat fighter footage from WW2. Today, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg could use that footage in a HBO special. This was a movie to show audiences of post-war America the heroic exploits of the young fighter pilots of the 8th Air Force, their determination, their bravado, and their sacrifices; and to entertain them. And to show the audience real aerial combat footage on the Big Screen, in color for the first time. It scores high marks for all these. And it is one of the few Hollywood films where there is no female star.
Keep your eyes open and you will see Rock Hudson in his first (non-speaking and uncredited) film role as one of the 2nd Lieutenants standing around the conference table. Another first film appearance goes to Jack Larson, TV's Jimmy Olsen in The Adventures of Superman. He plays Lt. 'Shorty' Kirk and appears in the latter half of the film but has quite a good speaking role. Tom D'Andrea, who you may recall playing Jim Gillis, the next door neighbor of William Bendix in the 1950's TV series The Life of Reilly serves up the comic relief throughout the film.
I found this film a glorious, exciting and colorful surprise film from the post-war era that is watchable over and over again.
Reasons not to like P-51 Mustangs playing German fighters
there were enough German fighters around should have used those primarily Bf-109's
The markings on the aircraft were not correct Expecially D-Day markings when fliming the D-Day missions there were none Major FUbar
Directed by Raoul Walsh
At an American air base in England in 1943, insubordinate ace fighter pilot Ed Hardin (Edmond O'Brien) is promoted to commander of his group. Now he must fight his former anti-authority stance as well as the enemy - tension grows as D-Day approaches.
The star of this film is the combat footage. Lots and lots of great color footage of planes, some of them making emergency landings and airborne kills.
Special footnote: -- A few notables here: the excellent Technicolor photography; the performance of 15-year-old Jack Larson, making his screen debut in the role of a rookie pilot who grows up in a hurry after scoring his first kill (Larson later gained TV immortality as Jimmy Olsen on Superman); making his first screen appearance, in a role so small it isn't even billed, is a former truck driver named Rock Hudson
Another top notch score by Warner's number one composer Max Steiner
1. Raoul Walsh (Director)
Date of Birth: 11 March 1887 - New York, New York
Date of Death: 31 December 1980 - Simi Valley, California
2. Edmond O'Brien [aka: Redmond O'Brien]
Date of Birth: 10 September 1915 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 9 May 1985 - Inglewood, California
3. Robert Stack [aka: Robert Langford Modini Stack]
Date of Birth: 13 January 1919 - Los Angeles, California
Date of Death: 14 May 2003 - Beverly Hills, California
Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]
Total Time: 96 min on DVD ~ Warner Bros. Pictures ~ (May 28, 2010)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From my earliest child hood memories during the 50's I have loved this movie. There is something about the cinematography and the use of some of the earliest vibrant color film... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Me109glen
The Movie showed the way it really was over the skies of Europe--!!--the battles--the Victories & the Losses--!! Read morePublished 4 months ago by CHIPMUNK JIM
Great color movie !! The P-47 Thunderbolts are the real stars
Of this movie. It's nice to see them in
We enjoy watching this movie in Oscoda, Michigan, because some of it was filmed
at the Oscoda Air Base in 1948. Read more
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