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Bombers B-52 (1957) Poster

(1957)

Trivia

This was apparently the first film in which the US Air Force's new B-52 Stratofortress bomber was featured. It appeared in a number of films afterward, notably A Gathering of Eagles (1963), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and By Dawn's Early Light (1990).
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This movie is a Warner Brothers official studio tribute to the B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft and the United States Air Force.
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This movie was designed to showcase the US Air Force's brand-new B-52 Stratofortress bomber, and as such the studio received complete cooperation from the Air Force.
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Although Natalie Wood received star billing with her name above the title, she actually only had a minor part.
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The B-52 Stratofortress bombers weighed 500,000 pounds and could fly at a speed of 650+ miles per hour and travel 17,000 miles without having to land (they could refuel in mid-air).
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The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker first used in June 1957 was developed to refuel jet aircraft like the B-52s. The KC-135 replaced the KC-97s seen in the film. The B-52s had to fly dangerously slow in order to be refueled by the KC-97s. The KC-135s could refuel the B-52s at a safer speed and higher altitude.
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The B-52 is projected to stay in the USAF inventory until 2040s.
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The TV set in the home of Chuck's private-sector buddy is a 1956 Zenith console, possibly a "Gotham." Another 1956 Zenith, a "Plaza" or a "Cloister," is mounted in the wall of a diner.
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The KC-97 was an aerial refueling tanker based on the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.
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Chuck's family car is a 1941 Buick Special.
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An announcement in the December 1957 issue of "The Hollywood Reporter" stated that James Garner would star in this film, but he ended up with only a minor supporting role.
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Although the opening credits state "And presenting Efrem Zimbalist Jr.," he had in fact been a working actor in both films and television for more than ten years.
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During shooting, Natalie Wood was named "Miss Stratosphere of 1957" by the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command and "Sweetheart of Castle Air Force Base", the Merced County (CA) base where this film was shot.
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Herlihy drives a 1956 Ford Thunderbird. The car given to Lois as a gift from her dad is a 1956 Ford convertible. The staff cars seen on the base are all 1956 Chevrolets.
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A July 20, 2015, newspaper article was about two B-52s--at the time 58 years old--flying as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre, a 44-hour, non-stop, show-of-force, round-trip simulated bombing mission from Barksdale AFB in Louisiana to the NT Outback Australia. The purpose of the mission was to assure allies and deter foes.
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Initial delivery of the type B-52B was to the 93rd Bomb Wing (H) at Castle AFB, CA, in the summer of 1955 and included the conveyance model 464-201-3, serial number 53-373 as depicted in this film.
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Castle AFB is actually located in Atwater, CA . SAC is gone and Castle was closed, but is now a civilian regional airport and Air Force-related museum.
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This movie's dedication shown at the end of the film states: "With grateful appreciation for the cooperation of the United States Air Force we proudly dedicate this picture to the crew chiefs and ground personnel - - the indispensable men who contribute so much to our airpower."
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The B-52--an aircraft designed 63 years ago, that first flew April 15, 1952, went into service in February of 1955 and was last produced in 1962--is still in active USAF service as of 2015.
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The KC-97s were retired in 1978 after 37 years of service.
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