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, ... See full summary »
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 Iaeger, 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 »
Near the beginning F86s are called in to knock out a tank, but the footage of the plane dropping the napalm is of a F80 not a F86. See more »
Sterling Hayden, a very good and underrated actor, plays a grouchy captain whose one and only goal is to keep his rescue helicopters flying. However, he has a hot-shot new pilot (Arthur Franz) who has ideas of taking wild risks and it puts him in the hot seat with Hayden. Through the course of the movie, time and again, Hayden's slow and steady mentality turns out to be the right one and Franz learns to be more of a team player.
Throughout way too much of the movie, the film makers uses TONS of stock footage--too much. It's as if half the film is stock footage. Fortuantely, while a lot of the footage is irrelevant, at least it's high quality and of the correct sorts of planes and equipment. But as a result, the whole thing comes off as cheap and a bit dull. Frankly, I wanted to see more of Hayden's grumpy but entertaining performance---though at times the dialog he and the rest of the cast were given was pretty bad.
I am a huge airplane buff, so I enjoyed seeing the A-26s, B-29s and F-86 but not much more piqued my interest. While there weren't that many Korean War films, you could easily do better with better low budget films like Samuel Fuller's "Steel Helmet" or "Fixed Bayonets". All in all, a boring film due to crap production values.
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