IMDb > Toward the Unknown (1956)
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Toward the Unknown (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.5/10   321 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Beirne Lay Jr. (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Toward the Unknown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
October 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
ROCKET SHIP PILOTS, U.S.A.! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
At the dawn of supersonic flight in the 1950s a group of Edwards Air Force Base experimental aircraft test pilots push themselves to the limit. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Excellent Period Piece See more (30 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

William Holden ... Maj. Lincoln Bond

Lloyd Nolan ... Brig. Gen. Bill Banner
Virginia Leith ... Connie Mitchell

Charles McGraw ... Col. 'Mickey' McKee

Murray Hamilton ... Maj. Bromo Lee

Paul Fix ... Lt. Gen. Bryan Shelby

James Garner ... Lt. Col. Joe Craven

L.Q. Jones ... 2nd Lt. Sweeney

Karen Steele ... Polly Craven
Bartlett Robinson ... Senator Black

Malcolm Atterbury ... Hank - Bell Technical Rep.
Ralph Moody ... Harvey Gilbert
Maura Murphy ... Sarah McKee
Carol Kelly ... Debbie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard H. Cutting ... Doc Bailey - Flight Surgeon (uncredited)
John Daheim ... Stranger in Nightclub Fight (uncredited)
Cathy Ferrara ... Lucy Craven (uncredited)
Don C. Harvey ... Jerry the Bartender (uncredited)
William Henry ... AP Captain (uncredited)
Robert Hover ... Pilot (uncredited)
Les Johnson ... Pilot (uncredited)

Nelson Leigh ... Chaplain (uncredited)

Jon Provost ... Joe Craven Jr. (uncredited)
Autumn Russell ... Harriet (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Mickey Simpson ... Gate Guard - Edwards A.F.B. (uncredited)
Bob Stratton ... Jimmy (uncredited)

James Westmoreland ... Pilot (uncredited)
Will J. White ... AP Sergeant (uncredited)
Jean Willes ... Carmen (uncredited)
James S. Wilson ... Chase Pilot (uncredited)

Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy 
 
Writing credits
Beirne Lay Jr. (written by)

Produced by
Beirne Lay Jr. .... associate producer
Mervyn LeRoy .... producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Baron 
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (director of photography) (as Hal Rosson)
 
Film Editing by
William H. Ziegler  (as William Ziegler)
 
Art Direction by
John Beckman 
 
Set Decoration by
Ralph S. Hurst  (as Ralph Hurst)
 
Costume Design by
Moss Mabry 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Mel Dellar .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Al Alleborn .... assistant director: second unit
Russell Llewellyn .... assistant director
Russell Saunders .... second unit director (as Russ Saunders)
 
Sound Department
Stanley Jones .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
Leo K. Kuter .... special effects art director (as Leo E. Kuter)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Harold E. Wellman .... photography: second unit
Paul Mantz .... aerial director of photography (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Thomas Reilly .... film editor: second unit
 
Other crew
Frank Everest .... technical advisor (as Lt. Col. Frank Everest Jr. ARDC)
Price Henry .... technical advisor (as Maj. Price Henry ARDC)
Ralph Martin .... technical advisor (as Lt. Col. Ralph Martin ARDC)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (WarnerColor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-12 | Sweden:15 | USA:Approved (certificate #17997)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The farewell fly-by honoring Lloyd Nolan's character was led by "Pete" Everest (Frank Everest), accompanied by Iven Kincheloe, Lou Schalk, Stu Childs and Robert M. White. All were famous Edwards AFB test pilots.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Early in the film when Bond observes General Banner crash his aircraft, it's referred to as an "F-102". In reality the hulk that Banner is pulled from is a Convair XF-92, the experimental predecessor to the F-102 Delta Dart.See more »
Quotes:
Brig. Gen. Bill Banner:[to Maj. Lincoln Bond] Even with torture, you're not the kind to crack.See more »
Soundtrack:
The U.S. Air ForceSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
17 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Excellent Period Piece, 22 March 2005
Author: DrHypersonic from United States

This film has excellent performances by Holden and some of the other actors, but the real stars are the extraordinary research airplanes of the Air Force Flight Test Center in 1955-56, when the film was made. There is superb inflight footage of the Martin XB-51 (which is painted up as the "F-120" fighter), and outstanding footage of the Bell X-2 rocket research airplane, as well as footage of the rare TF-86 (only two were made), a two-seat version of the famed F-86 Sabre jet fighter. For "real" the X-2 in 1956 reached an altitude of 126,200 feet flown by Captain Iven "Kinch" Kincheloe, and Mach 3.2 (2,196 mph) by Captain Milburn "Mel" Apt. Both were advisers on the film. Apt died in the crash of the X-2 on 27 Sept. 1956, the same flight on which he reached M = 3.2, Kincheloe was selected as lead AF pilot on the hypersonic X-15 program, but was killed in 1958 in the crash of a Lockheed F-104. Incidentally, Holden was flown in a high-performance airplane for familiarization purposes at Edwards for the film...not sure if it was a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star trainer (most likely), though there is a curious photo I have seen of him in front of the TF-86, suggesting that, possibly, he was one of the (very) few non-Sabre pilots to have flown this machine...and if he did, it is possible as well that he flew faster than Mach 1, the speed of sound, as the TF-86 could clearly do so. A great film, not to be missed.

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