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The Starfighters (1964)

 |  Drama  |  25 March 1964 (USA)
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A young Air Force lieutenant falls in love with fighter planes while his father, a Congressman and war hero, yearns for him to fly heavy bombers.



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Cast overview:
Robert Dornan ...
Richard Jordahl ...
Shirley Olmstead ...
Richard Masters ...
Steve Early ...
Robert Winston ...
Carl Rogers ...
Ralph Thomas ...
Joan Lougee ...


The story of young Lt. Witkowski, an Air Force F-104 Starfighter pilot, and his attempts to prove himself a worthy pilot to his father, a congressman and Air Force war hero. Aerial refueling is prominently featured in this tale of the peacetime Air Force. Written by David Conner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The blazing adventure of the men and planes who rocket to the very edge of outer space!







Release Date:

25 March 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Col. Hunt: Listen, I just got back from the Victorville Chamber of Commerce meeting, where I gave them my anti-communist speech... and I'm still fighting mad!
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Wow, What the hell is going on here?!?!?
10 September 2005 | by (Wavy Wheat, Nebraska) – See all my reviews

Bob likes to fly jet fighters. His father the general thinks that Bob should fly bombers instead. But Bob just wants to fly fighters. Meanwhile, an Iowa farm-girl sets Bob's loins aflame with her lusty descriptions of detasseling corn in the summer, and they fall in love because "you are so the only person of the opposite sex around here." Dekalb Debbie promises to wait for Bob, and he ships out to Europe. Take out all the refueling and training footage, and there you have "Starfighters".

My own particular theory about "Starfighters" is that it was a vanity production for Bob Dornan. But no one could be bothered to write an actual screenplay for this vanity production. And there was only room in the budget for 20 minutes of actual filming. So they made a little mini-feature called "Bob Dornan, Boy Fighter Pilot", which consisted of nothing but set shots of Bob and his buddies standing around jawing about how cool jet fighters are and how much they like to fly them (and of course, how great Bob is at flying fighters).

And then Bob (or someone) called in some favors, and several film editors on angel dust were forced to sit around for a couple weeks and assembled all the available stock footage about refueling and Air Force training exercises that ever existed. They then spliced in the 20 minutes of "Bob Dornan, Boy Fighter Pilot", and hoped for the best. Or at least, hoped not to be later tried as war criminals.

There could be a "real" movie in there about a young fighter pilot's coming of age and learning the tricks of the trade. In fact, there have been several ("Top Gun", anyone?). This also could have been a pretty fascinating documentary on the same subject.But "Starfighters" isn't either of those things. In fact, I can't can't even tell you what it is, aside from an exercise in tedium and padding.

In any case, "Starfighters" is horrible, but in a harmless, benign way. I suppose the best use for it would be as 'video wallpaper', the kind of movie that plays on the TV in the background of a REAL movie. Mystery Science Theater had a good go at this, and their coverage is reasonably amusing, but it's rough going even with their company. Watch "Starfighters" only if you are in a REALLY weird mood indeed. What mood would that be? You'll know when you have it....words can't describe it.

33 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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