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Chain Lightning (1950)

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2:08 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Writers:

Lester Cole (story "These Many Years"), Liam O'Brien (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Lt. Col. Matthew "Matt" Brennan
Eleanor Parker ... Joan "Jo" Holloway
Raymond Massey ... Leland Willis
Richard Whorf ... Carl Troxell
James Brown ... Maj. Hinkle
Roy Roberts ... Maj. Gen. Hewitt
Morris Ankrum ... Ed Bostwick
Fay Baker ... Mrs. Willis
Fred Sherman 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:

THERE'S A NEW BOGART THRILL IN THE SKY! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 May 1950 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Des Teufels Pilot See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

After Brennan starts the JA-3's engine, Bostwick yells 'clear!' This should have been said before starting the engine, to make sure no one is standing near the exhaust. 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]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Bless 'em All
Written by Fred Godfrey (1917)
Revised lyrics by Jimmy Hughes and Frank Lake (1940)
Additional lyrics by Al Stillman (1941)
Sung by various characters at the cafe with piano accompaniment
Also sung by various characters at the party with piano accompaniment
Played occasionally in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
routine drama -- and Lt. Rip Masters!
9 August 2015 | by blanche-2See 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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