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|Index||11 reviews in total|
If you're a fan of Mr. Agar, you might derive some small enjoyment out of
his leading man role in this film and his character's (an all American
named Captain Tom Arnett) unlikely on-screen romance with Audrey Totter's
Russian double agent character named Tanya Nikova. Also there a few
scenes featuring Nickly Balir as Radioman Chick 'Meathead'
Aside from that, this is a very disappointing Korean war film with an unlikely premise - one in which far too many people are killed to try and save one man.
Here's yet another AIP quickie from the fast working hands of Edward L. Cahn. Someday I hope someone makes a film about him, or at least writes a book, because his prodigious output in 1958 and 1959 has never been outdone. Perhaps I'm not giving William Beaudine the credit he deserves...at any rate, this grade Z Korean war 'thriller' stars Audrey Totter as a Russian nurse in love with handsome John Agar. Ms. Totter was fine in her element---film noir---but as a Soviet double agent she just doesn't make the grade. Add in the California locations (complete with a Woody with a Soviet star painted on its side), the world's least convincing set of South Korean partisans (including what appear to be Polynesian dancing girls), and a preposterous finale involving stolen MiGs, and you have a turkey of Ed Woodian proportions.
Real life war hero John Agar stars in this ridiculous D picture from
American-International about a rescue mission during the Korean War.
For reasons I cannot fathom after watching this film, radioman Joseph
Hamilton who is captured in North Korea is one very valuable asset. In
fact the USA and the ROK forces lead an all out effort to rescue him,
topped off with a Jet Attack.
John Agar leads the rescue team that is composed of Americans and Koreans both ROK regular forces and guerrillas. Helping out is a Russian double agent played by Audrey Totter. Both Agar and Totter and the whole cast in fact have that look of anxiety throughout like their paychecks for this double gobbler might not clear.
Rescuing this radioman in Jet Attack turns out to be very costly. And in the end you won't really care why it was so important.
Jet Attack (1958)
** (out of 4)
Ultra-cheap and ultra-stupid but mildly entertaining action pic from AIP has John Agar playing a hot shot pilot who crosses enemy lines to try and determine if an important scientist was killed a week earlier when his plane was shot down. Along with the help of two of his men, Korean rebels and a Russian spy (Audrey Totter) he must try and locate the scientist without getting caught. The Medved brothers included this film in their "Fifty Worst Films of All Time) book but of course we know that they hadn't seen everything they put in the book. This film is no where near the worst ever made but it might be among the dumbest out there. There isn't a single scene in this film that contains a bit of logic as one dumb thing after another happens. We're on this important mission yet Agar and Totter have time to build their relationship up. We're on this important mission yet the enemy never seems to realize that Totter is gone. One silly sequence after another happens but this badness makes the film rather lovable if you don't mind bad "B" movies. Director Cahn is best known for films like THE GIANT CLAW but this one here doesn't reach that level of entertainment. What this one does offer is a decent "B" cast doing silly things that will make you smile. Thankfully this just runs 69-minutes so there's no too much plot or dialogue that gets in the way of it being over. Agar gives the type of performance we'd expect from him and Totter is pretty bland of the love interest. George Walcott of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE fame plays one of the soldiers here. Again, there are countless war/action pictures out there that are great and obviously this isn't one of them. Those wanting greatness should certainly look else where but those just wanting some cheap entertainment will get a few kicks out of this thing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The other reviews pretty much sum up this disaster of a Korean War epic. In spite of that, I found it entertaining enough to keep watching, if only for John Agar, who has what has to be one of the most interesting resumes in Hollywood, ranging from Grade "A" to Grade "Z", and everything in between. But there is one element that some may have missed. Take a close look at the faces of the "North Korean" fighter pilots who give chase to John Agar and his pals in their stolen F-86's -- I mean MIG 15's. They were lifted right out of the film "Rodan", the 1956 Japanese Sci-Fi epic, including the climactic scene where the two planes collide -- the "North Korean" pilot in that scene is actually the Japanese pilot who collided with Rodan. De-colorized to protect the innocent, of course. Wonder how Edward L. Cahn managed to pull that one off.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I chose to watch this film precisely because it was featured in the
book "The Fifty Worst Movies of All Time". Call me a weirdo, but I have
taken great pains to try to see all 50 and this film marks about the
40th film I have seen from the book.
By the way, this movie could easily be confused with John Wayne's JET PILOT--the second worst film Wayne ever made (after THE CONQUEROR) and a great film to watch for laughs. The titles and plots are similar but JET ATTACK stars John Agar--an almost guarantee that this will be a bad film, as he had a very long string of stinkers to his credits following an initially promising career.
A top scientist is testing out a machine that supposedly will be able to tap into the enemy's broadcasts--making it easy to know when the Reds are planning something. However, the pilot of this A-26 airplane is apparently an idiot and they wander too far over enemy territory and are shot down--which is odd, as the machine was designed to intercept enemy broadcasts--including orders given to their pilots! For some odd reason, a group of completely untrained soldiers are sent in to rescue the scientist (since he apparently did NOT write down any of his work--now THAT made sense!). You'd think they'd send in commandos or the Rangers or Rambo but instead they take well-trained fighter pilots and parachute them into enemy territory to do reconnaissance. In addition to the pilots, they send a few others who seem like morons, such as a guy who must be the brother of Maynard G. Krebs from "Dobie Gillis". These are just the sort I'd send on an ultra-important top secret mission!
Once behind enemy lines, they meet up with sexy Audrey Totter who is supposed to be a White Russian who leads a resistance group. Totter's accent and look is about as convincing as a Russian as if they'd cast Janet Leigh in such a role. Oh, wait...Ms. Leigh she played a Russian who defected in JET PILOT!! So what do Totter and her comrades do when they meet the Americans? Yep, they have a party--complete with belly dancing! If any of this makes sense to you, then I suggest that you should visit your friendly neighborhood psychiatrist.
Totter apparently works for the Russian military and she is able to infiltrate the hospital in which the scientist is being held. Her plan is to fake the scientist's death and use the Americans (dresses like orderlies) to take the egghead with them. And, thanks to help from South Korean sympathizers, this all takes place with relative ease. After all, it's only a military hospital filled with soldiers.
The rest of the film is a mad dash towards freedom. Fortunately, the Krebs-like character is left behind and this means a slow and painful death at the hands of his captors. All in all, this is my favorite part of the film but I wished they'd shown him being tortured a bit more--he WAS a really, really annoying character (sort of like a 50s version of Jar-Jar). Unfortunately, the rest of them manage to make it back--as I was rooting for the Commies! It takes some really annoying characters to get me to root for them Commies!!
So is this film bad enough to have made the inglorious list of the 50 worst? I still think that John Wayne's 2950s F-86 fighter film, JET PILOT, was worse--mostly because it starred actors that should have known better and had a much larger budget (having been made for RKO instead of American-International, like JET ATTACK). Plus the dialog and script was actually worse in JET PILOT. I really think that it didn't get included in the book for two reasons. First, THE CONQUEROR was actually worse and I assume Harry Medved didn't want to include two John Wayne flicks in his wonderful book. Second, for decades crazy ol' Howard Hughes would not allow JET PILOT to be shown after its initial release (the same for THE CONQUEROR--but Medved somehow got to see it), so he may not have even had a chance to see the film. Both airplane films, however, are brainless and seem to have been written by 6 year-olds. My final verdict--probably not quite bad enough to make the list but certainly a very bad film. Laughably bad.
By the way, the average viewer could care less about this, but all the 'Russian' airplanes in this movie and JET PILOT are American fighter planes. The F-86 looked a bit like the Russian MiG-15, so it's at least closer than the Lockheed Shooting Star that stood in for a Russian Fighter plane in JET PILOT.
I had wanted to see this movie for years, after reading about it in the
notorious book "The Fifty Worst Films Of All Time" - it sounded like it
was hilariously inept. It recently played on AMC, so I finally got to
see it. Is it as hilariously inept as I imagined it to be? It certainly
has its share of unintended laughs. There's a LOT of obvious stock
footage, the funniest being when we see the neon nightlife of Tokyo -
when the scene is taking place in Seoul, Korea! There's also a plane
that crashes into flames at high speed, and there's a survivor. The
wilderness doesn't look anything like Korea. There's comic relief that
fails so badly it becomes funny, and there are other script-written
ineptness like jet pilots recruited for a commando performance and
scientific talk that makes no sense.
Clearly, the movie has its share of unintended laughs. But is it one of the worst movies of all time? Of course not. It's not inept enough. Much of the movie is mediocre tedium, not inspired enough for laughs or to be considered a movie that's so bad it's BAD. While I guess I'm glad I finally saw it (I'm trying to watch all 50 movies from that book), I don't think other viewers will find enough to entertain them, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Poor acting from the supporting cast throughout the entire picture and footage of Tokyo at night meant to be Seoul (two quick cuts at the beginning) make it quickly apparent how this one was made on the cheap. Taped this off of AMC and thought about keeping it just for Cold War culture kitsch value, but it's so bad that I think I'm not going to even keep it for that.
This film is regarded as one of the 50 worst films of all time. Its a
quickly shot, cheaply made film with lots of stock footage and a dicey
story which makes little sense. However you cannot doubt its sincerity
or its workmanlike pretension.
A scientist who has developed a special type of radar is testing it on a plane and the plane has been shot down. Despite the crash looks fatal it seems the scientist has survived and there is a rescue mission behind enemy lines in Korea.
The reason is that the scientist did not leave detailed plans of his invention behind and therefore they need to retrieve him. Why would a scientist be allowed out on such tests near Korea when its all in his head, I have no idea.
John Agar leads a crack team to rescue the pilot after they have had a wild night partying in Seoul or from the scenes of the stock footage, Tokyo.
They must get help from a Russian double agent and Korean rebels and to escape they might have to fly some Russian MIGs.
The film is not as bad as Plan 9 from Outer Space but despite its low budget, so-so acting, dismal action sequences and nonsensical plotting it will at least keep you entertained and has a weird charm of its own.
This film has a bad rep, mostly because it was included in a well-known
book documenting the supposed '50 Worst Films Ever'. But this movie
ain't half bad.
John Agar still cannot act, Greg Walcott always could, and Audrey Totter.... well, chicks can do no wrong, so her presence is fine. There is an actually intriguing plot concerning espionage. Agar certainly doesn't help to bring any credibility to the story, but Audrey does, and if you go into this with an open mind, the results will entertain you.
Recommended for two reasons: to see what all the critical hub-bub is about, and to see a tame, but solid war film.
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