The story of jet pilots flying over Korea by day, from their Itazuke Air Base in Japan, and of their wives, on station with them, who have dinner ready when they return. Jane Carter (Coleen... See full summary »
The story of jet pilots flying over Korea by day, from their Itazuke Air Base in Japan, and of their wives, on station with them, who have dinner ready when they return. Jane Carter (Coleen Gray), a reporter for a large newspaper syndicate arrives... she's also the estranged wife of the assistant squadron commander, Colonel Gil Manton (Robert Stack.) At first, she goes at her assignment of getting a story on the pilots wives with the same ruthlessness and persistence that broke up her marriage - but a mirror isn't needed to peek around the corner to where this one is headed. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This independent United Artist release is a small nugget of gold among a lot of aviation pictures made on much bigger budgets. Sabre Jet makes good use of aerial combat footage from Korea, nicely integrated into the plot of this film which is really about the home life of our fighter pilots flying missions in the Korean War from a base in Japan.
I doubt the enlisted men of the Air Force did this well, but for our fighter pilots the Air Force provided housing and the wives and children lived on the base and though it looks tacky, it's like any other suburban community. The pilots just take off in the morning, do their bit in Korea and then come home for supper to home and hearth. The only difference is that some don't make it home and some don't in Sabre Jet.
Coleen Gray is a reporter and the estranged wife of Colonel Robert Stack whose been given an assignment to do a human interest story on the wives and she chooses Stack's base for the assignment. The two are estranged as Stack is an alpha male who wants the women home, barefoot and he'll take care of the pregnant department.
It's a bit rough with Stack for her, but Gray gets a lot of good material from the other wives at the base. They want to talk about their men, they're proud military wives. Her best material comes from Julie Bishop the wife of base commander Richard Arlen. In fact some of the best scenes are with Bishop and Arlen and their two boys.
The last 10 minutes or so are devoted to an aerial dogfight and the combat footage is well integrated into the black and white film. Like many other air films post World War II Sabre Jet is a recruiting film for the new United States Air Force. So for that matter is Top Gun made a generation or two later.
Stack, Gray, Arlen, and Bishop and the rest aren't big in the hero department. They're the guys who have a tough day at the office and the women who wait for them. Sabre Jet shot on an F string budget is a nice film, no frills, but good performances throughout and nice aerial combat footage.
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