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Chain Lightning (1950)

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2:08 | Trailer
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
...
Leland Willis
Richard Whorf ...
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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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

Although the plane in the film resembles the Bell X-1, a realistic full-scale JA-3/JA-4 model created by Paul Mantz, the aerial sequence director, was built for $15,000. The jet was constructed on the frame of a highly-modified Bell P-39 Airacobra. The Warner Bros contract called for completion of a realistic fighter able to taxi, eject exhaust and deploy parachutes. See more »

Goofs

When Brennan is wearing the pressurized suit there are holes in the bottom of the face mask. That would keep the suit from being pressurized. 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]
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Wizard of Oz (1939) 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
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User Reviews

 
A bizarre sort of routine action film that ANYONE could have starred in instead of Bogie.
22 August 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Chain Lightning" is one of the strangest Bogart films you can find. While I could easily envision Bogart playing a part like this in the 1930s before he was a star, by the late 1940s (when the film was made) he was a huge star--and for films that were absolutely nothing like this film! Instead of the world-weary and cool-talking hero, here he is a bit of an action star and plays a role intended for someone significantly younger. Seeing a 50 year-old guy playing a WWII bomber pilot is patently ridiculous--especially since Humphrey Bogart looks all of 50 in the film. He also looks a bit tired and lost--mostly because it's just not his sort of film and you wonder what the folks at Warner Brothers were thinking. I assume they simply stuck him in the movie because he was under contract and they had no other films for him at the time...and any one of several dozen younger actors at the studio could have made this film. Now am I saying it's a bad film? Not really--but it IS a badly miscast picture.

The film begins in the present (1949) and then looks back at the flying career of Matt Brennan (Bogart). It picks up during WWII when he's a thrill-seeking bomber pilot who refuses to go home after he completes his tour of duty and then proceeds to the post-war period where he's rather lost. He's soon recruited to fly experimental aircraft--something that Matt is SO perfect for that it would seem like the welfare of the entire free world depends on him. Now you'd THINK in a country the size of the US that they would find a pilot who is less cagey and willing to go back into the cockpit and they have to practically beg or trick him into doing this! But soon Matt's flying all sorts of craft and he's also reunited with his old flame, Jo (Eleanor Parker). What's next? See the film.

What follows is a fairly standard Warner Brothers movie--one that Alan Ladd would have done well with (as he was quite nice in "The McConnell Story") and which is modestly entertaining but nothing more. The romance and 'controversy' are strictly by the numbers and offer nothing new. Not a bad film but a strange one.


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