6.4/10
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Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air (1942)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 19 October 1942 (USA)
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)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Steve Britt
...
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
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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

Taglines:

For two pilots, one woman became a conflict of interest.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Tommy in the U.S.A.  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Lady Jane sends Churchill a cheque for £25,000 as a reply to the loss of her grandson, she is referencing Lady MacRobert who lost three sons. In their memory she donated £25,000 to buy a Short Stirling which was called MacRobert's Reply. The RAF continued to use the name, most recently on a Panavia Tornado. 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

The Army Air Corps Song
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
Sung by a chorus during the opening credits
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Professional propaganda entertainment, with a hackneyed love triangle and only one bad scene
11 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A veteran American flyer (Preston Foster) trains new recruits, including the acrophobic son (John Sutton) of his dead war buddy. Complications arise when the younger man falls in love with his mentor's girl (Gene Tierney).

This propaganda piece, with a hackneyed love triangle, contains one bad scene: at a Red Cross station, where nurses are being trained, we get some dull slapstick and an unchivalrous attempt to make an unattractive girl the butt of several jokes. Everything else works well enough. The acting is solid, the color is gorgeous and the aviation scenes are impressive. A nice flashback scene features Dame May Witty, as Sutton's grandmother, strutting her stoic English stuff. The main reason to watch this is for Gene Tierney, who is as beautiful and charming as ever.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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