6.3/10
314
12 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

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

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  

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
Whirlpool (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1871 a convict escapes, with other prisoners, to kill the man that framed him, but has second thoughts after meeting the man's beautiful future wife.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gene Tierney, Ethel Barrymore
The Egyptian (1954)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In ancient Egypt, a poor orphan becomes a genial physician and is eventually appointed at the Pharaoh's court where he witnesses palace intrigues and learns dangerous royal secrets.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Gene Tierney
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Charming tale of mountaineer-trapper Murphy's first taste "big city" life with young, sweet Sandra Dee in tow. She flees her family, which tried to trade her for some of Murphy's beaver ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sher
Stars: Audie Murphy, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland
Rawhide (1951)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A stagecoach stop employee and a stranded woman traveler find themselves at the mercy of four desperate outlaws intent on robbing the next day's gold shipment.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe
Jeopardy (1953)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A family vacationing on the coast of Mexico have to cope with multiple threats to their safety.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Ralph Meeker
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
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A deaf boxer is exploited by a gold-digging blonde.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Tony Curtis, Jan Sterling, Mona Freeman
Scorpio (1973)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the Cold War, the CIA orders free-lance operative Scorpio to assassinate his former CIA mentor Cross and a deadly cat-and-mouse game ensues.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Shot by a jealous husband, Charley falls out a porthole and is lost at sea only to find himself returned as an attractive blond woman. His best friend is staying at his house as he puts ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Pat Boone
Action | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The career of Revolutionary War naval hero from his youth in Scotland through his service to Catherine the Great of Russia.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Robert Stack, Marisa Pavan, Charles Coburn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Colonel MacDonald
...
Lady Jane Stackhouse (as Dame May Whitty)
...
Col. Cyrus P. 'Gramps' Saunders
...
...
Barrett
...
Cadet Hackzell
...
Blonde Red Cross Nurse Trainee
...
Doctor
Viola Moore ...
Nurse
...
Mrs. Blake
...
Saleswoman
...
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

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

George Lockwood: Lockwood to Stackhouse: Don't worry about the parachute not opening. It has to: It's regulations.
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.


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page