MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 14,480 this week

Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air (1942)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  19 October 1942 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
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 »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 376 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
 
a list of 370 titles
created 04 Mar 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 29 Aug 2013
 
a list of 361 titles
created 22 Jan 2014
 
a list of 37 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air (1942)

Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air (1942) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Magic Town (1947)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An opinion pollster finds a town which is a perfect mirror of U.S. opinions.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Stewart, Jane Wyman, Kent Smith
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American entertainer impersonates a wealthy aviator and flirts with his lookalike's neglected wife.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet
Drama | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A 100-year-old pioneer woman tells her story in flashbacks.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The lives, loves, and battles of fictional characters in the Army's First Ranger Battalion during WWII.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Garner, Etchika Choureau, Jack Warden
Crime | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ellen McNulty leaves her New Jersey hamburger stand and heads west to pay a surprise visit to her son and his new bride. When Ellen arrives, her daughter-in-law mistakes her for the maid ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Gene Tierney, John Lund, Miriam Hopkins
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Zero-X, a manned exploration mission crashes during lift-off on its maiden flight. Two years later an investigative committee finally concludes sabotage, and decides to call on the services... See full summary »

Director: David Lane
Stars: Sylvia Anderson, Ray Barrett, Alexander Davion
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 | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Major Joppolo and his men are assigned to restore order to the war-torn Italian town of Adano. He has to manage getting supplies into town without interfering with troop movements, all the ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gene Tierney, John Hodiak, William Bendix
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Ray Milland, Louise Campbell
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Director William A. Wellman adds another to his long line of salutes-to-aviation films in this bio of an aviation pioneer, John Montgomery (Glenn Ford.) In 1883 he built a practical glider ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Glenn Ford, Janet Blair, Charles Ruggles
Edit

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  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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

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

 
Good aviation scenes, the usual romantic plot triangle...
2 June 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

THUNDER BIRDS only gets a "6" from me because of its brilliant Technicolor photography, which looks marvelous on the print TCM is showing. Otherwise, I'd rank it much lower, even though it stars GENE TIERNEY, PRESTON FOSTER and JOHN SUTTON.

Ironically, as long as it stays in the air, it's on firm ground. The minute the planes land, the routine story does nothing but get nowhere for seventy-eight minutes.

There are a few compensations. One of them is Tierney looking stunning in all of her Technicolor close-ups. The other is the pleasure of seeing PRESTON FOSTER and JOHN SUTTON get more screen time than usual as the men she has to choose between. Unfortunately, all three of them have one-dimensional roles that any routine actor could play and none of them deliver anything special in the acting department.

Under William A. Wellman's direction, it's the spectacular aerial photography that stands out. He's unable to do anything with the trite happenings on the ground, given the poor quality of the script.

Trivia notes: When Sutton talks about his grandfather, he pulls out an old photo of director William Wellman wearing pilot gear.

The background score depends heavily on "There Will Never Be Another You" from the Sonja Henie/John Payne film ICELAND produced by Fox the same year, this time used only as orchestral music.


6 of 9 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:
?