6.4/10
262
11 user 3 critic

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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When an heiress finds out that the friendly young man she's met at Sun Valley is really an investigative reporter, she ruins his career by falsely claiming they're married.

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Reginald Gardiner
Biography | Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of Soviet cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenko who was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa,Canada in 1943 and defected in 1945 to reveal the extent of Soviet espionage activities directed against Canada.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, June Havoc
Belle Starr (1941)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

At the end of the Civil War, Southern beauty Belle Shirley, indignant at the way Yankees treat the Southerners, marries Confederate guerrilla leader Sam Starr and continues to raid Union towns, becoming a symbol of Southern resistance.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Randolph Scott, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews
China Girl (1942)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In November 1941, American news photographer Johnny 'Bugsy' Williams manages to escape from the Japanese and finds himself back in Burma where he meets the beautiful Miss Haoli Young. ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, George Montgomery, Lynn Bari
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Susan Miller works behind the girdle counter in a department store and dreams about the beautiful clothes and glamour she can never hope to have. Enter May Worthington and Warren, a pair of... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Sundown (1941)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1941, a mysterious Somaliland native woman helps the British against the Nazis.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, George Sanders
Hudson's Bay (1941)
Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Highly fictionalized early history of Canada. Trapper/explorer Radisson imagines an empire around Hudson's Bay. He befriends the Indians, fights the French, and convinces King Charles II to sponsor an expedition of conquest.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Paul Muni, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. Sir Guy ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Victor Mature
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In WW2, U.S. Army Major Joppolo and his troops are tasked with administering the war damaged Italian town of Adano where the locals decry the loss of the town bell.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gene Tierney, John Hodiak, William Bendix
Tobacco Road (1941)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Hillbilly family life in 1941 rural Georgia.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charley Grapewin, Gene Tierney, Marjorie Rambeau
Dragonwyck (1946)
Drama | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A simple Connecticut farm girl is recruited by a distant relative, an aristocratic patroon, to be governess to his young daughter in his Hudson Valley mansion.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Vincent Price
Edit

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
...
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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

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

There Will Never Be Another You
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the lingerie store scene and often in the score
Also played by the band at the USO dance
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A solid little WWII propaganda film.
11 November 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Aside from Gene Tierney (who gets top billing), this film has no big-name stars. Preston Foster plays a nice guy who is an instructor at a military flight school in the Southwest. He's a great pilot and in love with Tierney. One of his students, John Sutton, is an odd case. He is in flight school even though he easily becomes air sick AND he's already a doctor. In real life, I strongly doubt that the military would have trained any doctor to be a pilot--as the really needed doctors and it would have been a shame to waste that training. However, this is a Hollywood film, so you'll need to suspend your sense of disbelief. As for Sutton's motivation, his father was a great WWI pilot who was friends with Foster and Sutton's brother (also a pilot) was just killed. So, to fulfill his family legacy he enters training school. Along the way, Sutton also falls for comely Tierney and this brings problems--Sutton adores Foster and doesn't want to hurt him--but Tierney is a hot tamale and has fallen for Sutton as well.

The main theme, aside from the romance with Tierney, is Sutton's fitness to be a pilot. Despite the family history, he somehow is NOT at home in the air and is a great risk to be washed out of the school. It's only with the help of Foster that he has any chance at all to make it.

This Technicolor film is highly reminiscent of a group of films about pilots in school during the war. Believe it or not, there were quite a few films like this, such as CAPTAINS OF THE AIR and I WANTED WINGS and all are grand entertainment due to excellent flying sequences and good acting. Despite Sutton and Foster no longer being household names, they also did a nice job in the film. While I really enjoyed the movie, I also realize that not everyone loves airplane films like I do. So, while I might like the films enough to give them an 8 or 9, I realize that for the average person out there, the films aren't quite as compelling. Still, it's a solid WWII propaganda film--an excellent movie to bolster the war effort and entertain at the same time. The only problems with the film, and they are minor, are that the plot is a tad formulaic and in a few scenes the plane did some turns and acrobatics no real plane at the time could have done. As I said, minor problems in an otherwise good film.

By the way, for some semi-insane dating advice listen to the guy playing Tierney's Uncle. The scene where he was giving advice to Foster made me smile.

Also by the way, while I said that Foster was mostly forgotten today, he and the Commander (Jack Holt) were pretty big stars back in the silent days. It's interesting here seeing them in roles suited to them in middle age, as they continued acting well past their days as top-billed stars.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the 1942 movie Thunder birds danb_89
Thunder Birds & Pearl Harbor chaplinpricefan

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?