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Chain Lightning (1950)

Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot.... See full summary »

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(story "These Many Years"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joan "Jo" Holloway
...
...
Carl Troxell
...
Maj. Hinkle
...
Maj. Gen. Hewitt
...
Ed Bostwick
Fay Baker ...
Mrs. Willis
Fred Sherman ...
Jeb Farley
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Storyline

Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot. Carl Troxell, wants to sell an escape cockpit to the Air Force. He wants Matt to stall the presentation of JA-3 the prototype that doesn't include the ejection seat, to give him more time for the experimental JA-4. But Matt doesn't believe it is yet safe enough to try. Written by vlady@worldnet.att.net

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THERE'S A NEW BOGART THRILL IN THE SKY! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

31 May 1950 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Des Teufels Pilot  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart's character was in the 323rd bomb squadron that flew out of Bassingbourn Air Base. This base was given to the USAAF (United States Army Air Force) by the RAF (Royal Air Force) as the first home of the B-17's in the United Kingdom. This base was the home of The Memphis Belle and was visited by the royal family on two occasions. Clark Gable even flew out of Bassingbourn once, though he was not stationed here during his tour as a side gunner. See more »

Goofs

When the JA4 is moving to taxi, the crew ladder (near side) is removed, however, the A-frame ladder (far side) is not moved and the JA4 starts the taxi with that ladder and 2 personnel are going to be taken out by the starboard (right) wing. See more »

Quotes

[Matt Brennan is doing test trials in the air]
Leland Willis: Brennan, do you hear? Bring that plane down or you'll never fly again.
Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan: How do you want it Willis, the easy way or the hard way?
Leland Willis: I don't want any more tests. Understand Brennan? No more tests.
Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan: OK Willis, the hard way.
[Matt pulls the microphone plug out and puts the jet into a climb]
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Connections

Featured in The F.B.I.: The Architect (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
Music by Joseph Meyer
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Al Jolson
Sung at the cafe with piano accompaniment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
routine drama -- and Lt. Rip Masters!
9 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From 1950, "Chain Lightning" stars Humphrey Bogart, Eleanor Parker, Raymond Massey, Richard Whorf, and James Brown. Brown played Lt. Rip Masters on Rin Tin Tin and I believe was my first crush.

This is one of those films Bogart probably made to fulfill his contract obligations with Warners, the other one being "The Two Mrs. Carrolls," a scream of a film in which he's really terrible. He's so rarely bad, and he's certainly not bad in this.

Bogart plays Matt Brennan, a pilot, and in the beginning, he's testing a plane. His girlfriend Joan (Eleanor Parker) rushes up and begs her boss (Raymond Massey) to order him down, as she's afraid for him.

The story then goes into flashback, with Matt and Joan during World War II. He was a bomber pilot, in love with Joan. He flew hazardous missions from England to Germany, while Joan is a nurse. He leaves for the states first - they want to get married, but he is unable to find anyone who can give him permission.

Once back in the states, after bouncing around for a bit, Matt is hired as a test pilot by Leland Willis (Raymond Massey) an aircraft manufacturer.

There, he re-connects with Carl Troxell (Whorf) who is now dating Joan, Willis' secretary. Apparently after he left England, Matt never contacted Joan, even though he wrote letters that he never sent. He felt the life that he could offer her wasn't good enough.

Matt takes the new jet JA-4 on a hazardous flight, and that brings us back to the first scene.

This is a pretty ordinary film, with Parker looking beautiful and Bogart acting tough - kind of Rick Blaine as a pilot. I will take issue with what one person on this board said, that Massey was playing Howard Hughes and doing a bad job. If the studio had wanted someone to play Howard Hughes, they would have hired someone else and named the character Howard Hughes. Massey was playing a Howard Hughes type, and he was fine.

The aviation part of this film was ahead of its time for sure. The rest of it was not special. I've always loved Bogart's acting, and even though he's probably going through the motions here, I'd rather watch him go through the motions than almost anyone. Eleanor Parker, another favorite of mine, gives a lovely performance and is absolutely beautiful.


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