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Thunder Birds (1942)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  19 October 1942 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 231 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

A veteran American flyer trains new recruits, including the acrophobic son of his dead war buddy. Complications arise when the younger man falls in love with his mentor's girl.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (original story) (as Melville Crossman) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Thunder Birds (1942)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Preston Foster ...
Steve Britt
John Sutton ...
Peter Stackhouse
...
Colonel MacDonald
...
Lady Jane Stackhouse
George Barbier ...
Col. Cyrus P. 'Gramps' Saunders
...
George Lockwood
...
Barrett
Ted North ...
Cadet Hackzell
Janis Carter ...
Blonde Red Cross Nurse Trainee
C. Montague Shaw ...
Doctor
Viola Moore ...
Nurse
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Blake
...
Saleswoman
Bess Flowers ...
Nurse
Edit

Storyline

Technicolor tale of honor and romance. This drama from 1942 was directed by Oscar-winner William A. Wellman, and features stunning aerial photography, that was highly advanced for the time. John Sutton stars as Peter Stackhouse, a British aviophobe who is nonetheless determined to become a pilot. Stackhouse's resolution comes from his desire to serve his country, and his strength is recognized by Steve Britt (Preston Foster), who becomes his patient teacher. The two men's bond is tested, however, when they both fall for the same girl (Gene Tierney). Written by R. Alberts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place entirely in Arizona, but the theme running throughout the movie, including the party scene, is the song "Deep in the Heart of Texas." See more »

Quotes

Peter Stackhouse: I hope you're not angry?
Kay Saunders: That you were interested in my legs? Why not at all. That's what they're there for.
See more »

Soundtracks

Deep in the Heart of Texas
(uncredited)
Lyrics by June Hershey
Music by Don Swander
Played when Steve tells Gramps he's going to be living right next door
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Romantic Aerial Flagwaver In Brilliant Technicolor
28 February 2013 | by (Corning, California) – See all my reviews

The man who directed this film about aerial training, William "Wild Bill" Wellman, was a daring pilot himself, and was not only responsible for Wings, the first Oscar winning feature, but also helmed The Ox Bow Incident, Public Enemy and 1937's A Star Is Born, and compared to those classics, this is rather weak tea, rescued by Technicolor, a 22 year old Gene Tierney, and its historical value as a WWII flag-waver. Studio director Daryl Zanuck wanted to give Gene Tierney, his doll-like starlet, plenty of exposure; here she was just a few years away from her indelible performances in Laura and Leave Her To Heaven; Tierney is paired with old reliable Preston Foster in a tale set in the Arizona desert, where the brilliantly colored blue and yellow prop planes dazzle the eye, set against desert sands and clear blue sky; the story is essentially older man vs. younger flier (sometimes leading man John Sutton) who vie for the heart of the fair maid, but the side benefits of the film outweigh the tired plot elements: how often do we see young Chinese and British airmen in Arizona being trained by Americans? How things change!


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