Air Force Colonel Shannon is assigned to escort defecting Soviet pilot Anna. He falls in love with her, but she is scheming to lure him back to the USSR. But Shannon has a scheme of his own. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The last two flights of the first Bell X-1, Glamorous Glennis, were filmed for inclusion in Jet Pilot. It played the part of a Soviet "parasite fighter". The movie shows it being launched from Boeing EB-50A Superfortress, serial 46-0007. The X-1 was repainted for its role. The vertical stabilizer, fairings on the top and bottom of the fuselage, and the left wing and horizontal stabilizer were painted white. It continued to wear the movie makeup while displayed at the National Air and Space Museum until it was restored for installation in the Milestones of Flight Gallery in 1976. See more »
When the fighter breaks off after the radar intercept, the markings on the plane are backwards (flipped film). See more »
Gruff US pilot assists female Russian pilot to defect.
Howard Hughes produced this ahead-of-its-time film in the late 1940's, but couldn't get it released until US Air Force clearance was approved in 1957. It sat on a shelf in storage for 8 years until its release. John Wayne is his usual macho self, an American flyer, ladies man, infatuated with a Russian pilot who treats him like a spy. A very young Janet Leigh is the pilot who falls in love with tough-guy Wayne and agrees to defect to the US as his wife.
The special effects in this film are quite convincing in spite of its age. Of course, the US Air Force helped everywhere needed to make the picture seem real. Thought that the idea of a female Russian pilot was interesting since the movie was made long before women's lib.
John Wayne and Janet Leigh are especially good together as are the usual cast of colorful characters who help pad out the storyline. This is one of my favorite John Wayne pictures. He is surprisingly natural in his performance with a light touch of good humor thrown in for good measure. Most any John Wayne fan would enjoy this film heartily.
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