6.5/10
331
10 user 5 critic

Red Skies of Montana (1952)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | February 1952 (USA)
Drama dealing with the hazardous work of the U. S. Forest Service's paratroop fire-fighters in Montana.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
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Peg Mason
...
Edward J. (Ed) Miller
...
Richard 'Dick' Dryer
...
Steve Burgess
...
Boise Peterson
...
R.A. (Pop) Miller
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Storyline

When a large forest fire breaks out in the mountains of Montana, a squad of 'Smoke Jumpers', the paratroop-corps of fire-fighters in the U. S. Forest Service, is flown to the scene from their regional headquarters in Missoula, Montana. The Forest Rangers, under Cliff Mason, put out the blaze, but several of the fire-fighters are killed. Ed Miller, son of one of the dead rangers, thinks he died because Mason was a coward, and sets out to prove it. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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The "Smoke Jumpers" hit the screen in Red Skies of Montana


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Passed | See all certifications »

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February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smoke Jumpers  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Watch for a very brief, uncredited appearance by Charles Bronson. He's shown for a few seconds as a cook in the mess hall, holding a soup ladle. See more »

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Featured in Boom! Hollywood's Greatest Disaster Movies (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Based upon an actual event
22 November 2005 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

This film is very loosely based upon an actual event known among smokejumpers -- and the entire state of Montana -- as the Mann Gulch tragedy, in which 12 out of 15 smokejumpers were burned to death. Norman Maclean, author of "A River Runs Through It" and a resident of Missoula, Montana, home to the first smokejumpers and now the principal school for them, spent the last 13 years of his life research the event, in incredible detail, and writing an utterly fascinating book, "Young Men and Fire", which I heartily recommend.

Obviously, since the book was not published until after Maclean's death in 1990, it was not the basis for the movie, but the event was.

I first saw it in a fund-raising presentation in the Wilma, an old Art Deco theater in Missoula, coincidently sitting beside a student from the Smokejumper Center. His attention was rapt. The funds, BTW, were used to recover and restore the actual DC-3 that carried the Mann Gulch smokejumpers.

There is an account of the presentations made at the 2004 National Smokejumpers Association reunion by the spotter (gives the "go" signal, on board the aircraft), the dispatcher, and one of the survivors from the Mann Gulch tragedy, found on the University of Montana Web site, at www2.umt.edu/comm/f04/airplanes.shtml. It's short but intense, and will give you an appreciation of what happened. Then the book . . .

In electing to give this a 9, I've taken into account the technology available and the style of movie making and acting of the times. I would say the acting would rank significantly lower by today's standards. But it is well worth watching.


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