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Chain Lightning (1950)

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Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot.... See full summary »

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(story "These Many Years"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Millionaire Turner, on his deathbed, leaves a million to Jane Barker. A movie addict who believes life is like the movies, marries Donn without telling him about the bequest. Turner gets ... See full summary »

Director: Frederick De Cordova
Stars: Robert Hutton, Joyce Reynolds, Cecil Kellaway
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan
... Joan "Jo" Holloway
... Leland Willis
... Carl Troxell
... Maj. Hinkle
... Maj. Gen. Hewitt
... Ed Bostwick
... Mrs. Willis
Fred Sherman ... Jeb Farley
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Storyline

Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot. Carl Troxell, wants to sell an escape cockpit to the Air Force. He wants Matt to stall the presentation of JA-3 the prototype that doesn't include the ejection seat, to give him more time for the experimental JA-4. But Matt doesn't believe it is yet safe enough to try. Written by vlady@worldnet.att.net

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WITH THAT SPECIAL BRAND OF BOGART ROMANCE (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 May 1950 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Des Teufels Pilot  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the plane in the film resembles the Bell X-1, a realistic full-scale JA-3/JA-4 model created by Paul Mantz, the aerial sequence director, was built for $15,000. The jet was constructed on the frame of a highly-modified Bell P-39 Airacobra. The Warner Bros contract called for completion of a realistic fighter able to taxi, eject exhaust and deploy parachutes. See more »

Goofs

Matt Brennan makes reference to the German guns on their fighters as 20 "em - em". They were actually called "20 millimeter." "MM" is the abbreviation for "Millimeter" so this is not an error. See more »

Quotes

[Matt Brennan is doing test trials in the air]
Leland Willis: Brennan, do you hear? Bring that plane down or you'll never fly again.
Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan: How do you want it Willis, the easy way or the hard way?
Leland Willis: I don't want any more tests. Understand Brennan? No more tests.
Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan: OK Willis, the hard way.
[Matt pulls the microphone plug out and puts the jet into a climb]
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Connections

Featured in The F.B.I.: The Architect (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Baby
Music by Egbert Van Alstyne and Tony Jackson
Played when Brennan pats the picture of the girl on the plane
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User Reviews

 
routine drama -- and Lt. Rip Masters!
9 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

From 1950, "Chain Lightning" stars Humphrey Bogart, Eleanor Parker, Raymond Massey, Richard Whorf, and James Brown. Brown played Lt. Rip Masters on Rin Tin Tin and I believe was my first crush.

This is one of those films Bogart probably made to fulfill his contract obligations with Warners, the other one being "The Two Mrs. Carrolls," a scream of a film in which he's really terrible. He's so rarely bad, and he's certainly not bad in this.

Bogart plays Matt Brennan, a pilot, and in the beginning, he's testing a plane. His girlfriend Joan (Eleanor Parker) rushes up and begs her boss (Raymond Massey) to order him down, as she's afraid for him.

The story then goes into flashback, with Matt and Joan during World War II. He was a bomber pilot, in love with Joan. He flew hazardous missions from England to Germany, while Joan is a nurse. He leaves for the states first - they want to get married, but he is unable to find anyone who can give him permission.

Once back in the states, after bouncing around for a bit, Matt is hired as a test pilot by Leland Willis (Raymond Massey) an aircraft manufacturer.

There, he re-connects with Carl Troxell (Whorf) who is now dating Joan, Willis' secretary. Apparently after he left England, Matt never contacted Joan, even though he wrote letters that he never sent. He felt the life that he could offer her wasn't good enough.

Matt takes the new jet JA-4 on a hazardous flight, and that brings us back to the first scene.

This is a pretty ordinary film, with Parker looking beautiful and Bogart acting tough - kind of Rick Blaine as a pilot. I will take issue with what one person on this board said, that Massey was playing Howard Hughes and doing a bad job. If the studio had wanted someone to play Howard Hughes, they would have hired someone else and named the character Howard Hughes. Massey was playing a Howard Hughes type, and he was fine.

The aviation part of this film was ahead of its time for sure. The rest of it was not special. I've always loved Bogart's acting, and even though he's probably going through the motions here, I'd rather watch him go through the motions than almost anyone. Eleanor Parker, another favorite of mine, gives a lovely performance and is absolutely beautiful.


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