Although there was a "Dutch Holland" in baseball, he never served in the military. The character of "Dutch" Holland is loosely based on the life of Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams whom left his career and became a Vought F4U Corsair flight instructor and then was recalled into active duty and flew combat missions in Korea. He was the wing man of legendary astronaut and future senator, John Glenn. Ted Williams resigned his Marine Corps Commission at the conclusion of the Korean War with the rank of Captain, the equivalent of an Army Captain.
When Col.Holland is going for his first ride in the B-36, they taxi to the end of the runway. The AC calls for takeoff power and 100% power on the jets. The camera shifts to the outside of the aircraft and the pitot covers are still in place which would not happen if the aircraft is going to fly. See more »
"Strategic Air Command" is a look at the 1950's, when the needs of the Cold War caused America to begin rearming after having nearly disarmed itself following World War II.
With his trademark sincerity, James Stewart plays Lt. Col. Holland, a former Air Force officer and now ballplayer who is recalled to duty as the new Strategic Air Command expands its might. June Allyson plays Sally, his devoted wife. Together they and the other families of SAC have to cope with the strains that SAC missions put on their personal lives.
The stresses that SAC duty put on families is true enough. But as movie drama it's all written in a way that's utterly trite and predictable. You can practically guess in advance the main set-pieces: Sally is going to become pregnant and have to deal with it without her husband around, Holland is going to get into some life-threatening situations and be thinking of his wife all the while, but he'll be rescued in the end, and so on.
What nearly makes up for a trite plot, however, is the spectacular aerial photography of the two "actors" that truly steal the show: SAC's B-36 Peacemaker bomber, and its state-of-the-art (at the time!) medium jet bomber, the B-47. The B-36, a huge flying battleship with six prop engines plus four jet engines, and a crew of maybe 15, is beautifully photographed in flight, with an accompanying musical score. For today's younger generation who are used to today's ultra-modern planes, the movie is worth seeing for its loving last look at a generation of impressive aircraft that never saw combat, and hence aren't as well known as both their predecessors and successors that did serve in war.
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