Capt. Russ Edwards commands a helicopter rescue unit that fly wounded soldiers out of battle areas and rescue pilots who have to ditch their aircraft. He has a problem with one of his men, ...
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The story of men at war and that of the esteemed Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Soon after the U.S. entry into World War II, Pyle joined C Company, 18th Infantry in ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
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Capt. Russ Edwards commands a helicopter rescue unit that fly wounded soldiers out of battle areas and rescue pilots who have to ditch their aircraft. He has a problem with one of his men, former fighter pilot Lt. Pete Stacey, who takes unnecessary risks with his helicopter. Stacey is frustrated at having to fly helicopters pilots instead of jets and wants out. Helicopter pilots are in short supply however meaning he has no chance of being transferred. Under pressure from his squadron commander to reduce the number of helicopters out of commission for repairs, Edwards does his best to get Stacey on side. He eventually comes around. Written by
This film was showing on the screen as photographer O. Winston Link snapped his iconic photo of a Norfolk and Western freight train passing an Iarger, West Virginia drive-in theater, titled "NW1103 Hot Shot Eastbound". According Smithsonian Magazine: "The explosion of light washed out what was on the movie screen at the moment; he had to print the image of the plane from a negative he'd made separately of that night's showing." See more »
Stock footage of the pilots from the right side of the chopper as they fly it was reused in nearly every flying scene, and was stock footage of the choppers in flight. It is especially telling when you notice that the closeup of the pilots always shows a window with a unique bullet hole it in, and even when that particular chopper is supposedly shot down and lost that chopper and window with a bullet hole shows up again. See more »
Stock Footage and Stock Characters and Thrilling Helicopter Action
Rough tough, phone in the performance and cash the paycheck Captain Sterling Hayden commands a fleet of helicopters in the Korean War. Can he keep his BATTLE TAXIS in the air rescuing shot down pilots, or will re-purposed hot shot pilot Arthur Franz keep flying the copters into unnecessary danger?
If you want character driven drama, any sense of suspense, or performances you'll remember five minutes after "The End", this is not the movie for you. If you want camp, atrocious dialog, and amazing overacting, this also is not the film for you. But, if you love watching spliced bits of stock footage, newsreel stuff, and endless shots of helicopters and jet fighters in the midst of not so exciting action, this is your movie. Heck, this flick even has Hayden and Franz show a group of hot shot pilots a movie full of stock footage, newsreel stuff and helicopters, just to get all that stuff that had been rotting at the stock company's shelves in.
The performances are pretty dull -- but in fairness to the actors, there is so much footage from other sources, they don't have much time to develop their characters beyond the desired stereotypes. The script is pretty dreary as well, with only one moment of actual originality appearing two-thirds of the way. But if you enjoy looking at old helicopters and jets, this is actually a pretty valuable film.
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