6.4/10
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28 user 3 critic

A Gathering of Eagles (1963)

During the Cold War, Air Force Colonel Jim Caldwell shapes up his Strategic Air Command B-52 wing to pass a nuclear war readiness test.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Col. Jim Caldwell
...
Col. Hollis Farr
Mary Peach ...
Victoria Caldwell
...
Col. Bill Fowler
...
Gen. 'Happy Jack' Kirby
...
Col. Joe Garcia
Leora Dana ...
Mrs. Evelyn Fowler
...
Sgt. Banning
...
Col. Ralph Josten
Richard LePore ...
Sgt. Kemler
...
Lt. Col. Gales
...
Col. Morse
...
Gen. Aymes
Russ Bender ...
Col. Torrance
John McKee ...
Maj. Travis
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Storyline

Rock Hudson plays an Air Force Colonel who has just been re-assigned as a cold war B-52 commander who must shape up his men to pass a grueling inspection that the previous commander had failed, and had been fired for. He is also recently married, and as a tough commanding officer doing whatever he has to do to shape his men up, his wife sees a side to him that she hadn't seen before. Written by Roger Dearnaley <roger@paperart.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Red Phone... His Mistress... Her Rival... Hurling Him to the Edge of Space... Freezing Her Love on the Edge of Time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aguilas al acecho  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,346,500 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastman Color by Pathé)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Louise Fletcher's first film role (Mrs. Keller) See more »

Goofs

During an inflight emergency when his B-52 experiences a fuel leak while refueling from a KC-135 tanker, Col Caldwell correctly orders his crew to don oxygen masks so as not to breathe the gas fumes. The crew puts on their masks, but the remaining scenes depicting the emergency show the crew with their masks off again, even though fuel is still leaking and fumes are still present. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Banning: Well, sir, I used to be a pretty slow "walker" myself. I mean, you really had to build a fire under my tail to get me to move. Then one day, General Hewett dropped in to have a little talk with us. And he built one hell of a fire. Only this one wasn't under my tail - he built a fire inside of me.
Col. Jim Caldwell: Sergeant, if I'm reading you right, you think I'm building the wrong kind of fires around here.
Sgt. Banning: Sir, I'm sure you can judge that better than I can.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Columbo: The Most Crucial Game (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sac Song
Words and Music by Tom Lehrer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thrilling as well as sentimental drama about B-52 with breathtaking and colorful aerial scenes
23 May 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Well-directed and well-played movie about a tough commander becomes too involved with the pilots in his command . Enjoyable as well as tedious film at times , though . Being designed to showcase the US Air Force's brand-new B-52 Stratofortress bomber, including actual footage of jet plane and as such the studio received complete cooperation from the Air Force . Set during the Cold War and with novelty of peacetime takes place this interesting melodrama . Concerning USA Colonel of a Strategic Aerospace Wing (Rock Hudson) has to shape up his underlings (Robert Lansing , Richard Anderson , Barry Sullivan , Henry Silva , among others) to pass a grueling inspection that the former General had failed, and had been fired for . He is also recently married to beautiful Victoria Caldwell (Mary Peach) , she struggles to adjust to being a good military wife , but Victoria then sees a side to him that she hadn't seen . Meanwhile , there occurs a confrontation between less than likable Col. Jim Caldwell and his friend Col. Hollis Farr (Rod Taylor) . As there crop out gossips surrounding his relationship to Victory Caldwell and things go wrong . As the picture contains a silly and boring family drama with a triangular love story . At the end , it takes place a hard inspection carried out by Gen. 'Happy Jack' Kirby (Kevin McCarthy) .

Intimate as well as spectacular WWI airplane movie with an agreeable cast , impressive aerial scenes and thought-provoking themes , being one of the first Hollywood films to deal with the B-52 . This is a family as well as crisp drama about relationship between husband and wife along with the hard-working carried out by Rock Hudson as a tough commanding officer determined to improve efficiency , interwoven with nice aerial footage of B-52 maneuvers . The aviation footage gives the picture a sense of life , as writer Sy Barlett and filmmaker were both previous fliers themselves . This film is an Universal Pictures official studio tribute to the B-52 Stratofortress bomber air craft and the United States Air Force . Interesting script by Robert Pirosh based on a story by Sy Barlett who also wrote in similar style ¨Twelve O'Clock High¨ that was adapted to cinema in a much superior movie by Henry King with Gregory Peck . This was apparently one of the first films in which the US Air Force's new B-52 Stratofortress bomber was featured . It appeared in a number of films afterward, notably Bombers B-52 (1957) , Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and By Dawn's Early Light (1990). This movie's dedication shown at the start of the film states : The film is dedicated to personnel and pilots of Strategic Aerospace Wing . Rock Hudson plays decently an Air Force Colonel who has just been re-assigned as a cold war B-52 commander determined to improve the alertness and doing whatever he has to do to shape his men up . Fine plethora of secondaries , many of them uncredited , such as Barry Sullivan , Kevin McCarthy , Henry Silva , Nelson Leigh , Robert Lansing ,Richard Anderson , Brandon De Wilde and brief appearance of an unknown Louise Fletcher as patient's spouse .

Brilliant cinematography in Cinemascope and Technicolor by Russell Harlan . Thrilling as well as rousing musical score by Jerry Goldsmith . Jerry Goldsmith's opening fanfare was licensed by Cinema International Corporation (CIC) for its vanity plate fanfare ; CIC was an international film distribution company, part owned by Universal . The motion picture was well directed by Delbert Mann who was one of the best-known graduates of "The Golden Age of Television," when live original drama was a staple of network TV , but he also directed classic movies such as ¨Separate tables¨, ¨Desire under the Elms¨ and ¨Marty¨ . And directed Rock Hudson in three successive films as ¨That Touch of Mink¨ , ¨Lover Come Back¨ and ¨A Gathering of Eagles¨ .


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