An Air Force major feels a volatile mixture of relief and anger when he is excused from performing a dangerous test in a new aircraft.



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Cast overview:
Major Paul Peterson
Carol Peterson
Colonel Hughes
Kit Peterson
Mrs. Frances Nolan
Captain Mike Cavallero
Adam Kennedy ...
Lieutenant Ed Simmons
Dr. Franz Gruener
Steven Ritch ...
Major Irv Goldman
Captain Jack Nolan


An Air Force major feels a volatile mixture of relief and anger when he is excused from performing a dangerous test in a new aircraft.

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Release Date:

May 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Steig aus bei 43000  »

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?


Final film of Paul Kelly. See more »


When waiting on the boat to pick up Major Peterson (John Payne) several shots show that Colonel Hughes (Paul Kelly) has several large wet spots on his shirt without any explanation of how they got there. A few seconds later, when they pull Peterson out of the ocean, he gets splashed showing that there had been a previous take. See more »

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User Reviews

So why was everyone concerned about Payne?
21 January 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Bailout At 43000 is a reasonably well made and competent film about the Air Force that stars John Payne, Karen Steele, and Paul Kelly in what turned out to be his farewell performance. It's all about the testing of a new type of ejector at the high altitudes and speeds that jets were making in those Fifties years. The film follows in the tradition of such Air Force films as Strategic Air Command, The McConnell Story, and most of all the William Holden starring film Toward The Unknown which came out the year earlier.

For reasons that are never explained Payne who has been recalled to active duty for this project has folks worried about whether he won't crack up. In the Holden film, Holden had been a prisoner of war in Korea and was tortured so the apprehensions were understandable. But in this film, it's never developed why people are so concerned about Payne. Their fears lead Payne to be concerned about himself and of course his spouse Karen Steele plays right into it.

That's the reason I don't rate Bailout At 43000 higher than I do, an incoherent plot. Otherwise the film is a fine B feature with some great scenes of Air Force life. As I've written in other film reviews, the Air Force was only in existence for a decade at this time and films like this and others I've mentioned were great recruiting tools for the new service.

Let's say that Payne proved he had the right stuff and let it go at that. Bailout At 43000 is a decent film that could have been rated higher with a better script.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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