6.5/10
478
32 user 5 critic

Toward the Unknown (1956)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | October 1956 (USA)
At the dawn of supersonic flight in the 1950s a group of Edwards Air Force Base experimental aircraft test pilots push themselves to the limit.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writer:

Beirne Lay Jr.
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Holden ... Maj. Lincoln Bond
Lloyd Nolan ... Brig. Gen. Bill Banner
Virginia Leith ... Connie Mitchell
Charles McGraw ... Col. 'Mickey' McKee
Murray Hamilton ... Maj. Bromo Lee
Paul Fix ... Lt. Gen. Bryan Shelby
James Garner ... Lt. Col. Joe Craven
L.Q. Jones ... 2nd Lt. Sweeney
Karen Steele ... Polly Craven
Bartlett Robinson ... Senator Black
Malcolm Atterbury ... Hank - Bell Technical Rep.
Ralph Moody ... Harvey Gilbert
Maura Murphy Maura Murphy ... Sarah McKee
Carol Kelly Carol Kelly ... Debbie
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Storyline

USAF Major Lincoln Bond is captured, tortured and released from a POW camp in Korea. After the war he returns to the US where he is re-assigned as a test pilot at the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base. The Air Force is testing the new experimental aircraft Gilbert XF-120 fighter. The acceptance of the new aircraft by the Air Force is dependent on successful tests designed to prove the aircraft's reliability and safety. However, when Major Bond flies the prototype he encounters a problem that points out a dangerous structural flaw. This could threaten the aircraft's acceptance by the Air Force and derail the whole project. Major Bond's commanding officer and some of his colleagues start to suspect that Major Bond is imagining things because of his mental condition dating back to his imprisonment and torture in the Korean POW camp. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So you're going to show the world...by flying right out of it! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Einst kommt die Stunde See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toluca Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene with William Holden losing control and tumbling in the X-2 is depicted with actual footage from test pilot Chuck Yeager's 70,000-foot freefall in the Bell X-1A in 1953. See more »

Goofs

When Lincoln Bond (William Holden) approaches Connie Mitchell (Virginia Leith) are in front of the headquarters building an airman is seen exiting the front door. In the following shot, the airman is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Brig. Gen. Bill Banner: [to Maj. Lincoln Bond] Even with torture, you're not the kind to crack.
See more »


Soundtracks

The U.S. Air Force
by Robert Crawford
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User Reviews

Somebody needs to release this movie to video or DVD!!!
1 August 2002 | by RozzSee all my reviews

As a life-long military aviation buff,this is one of my favorite movies. Other reviewers here have mentioned that it contains a few technical inaccuracies and some formulaic characters and plot devices.This is true, but it is a piece of '50s film-making and some of that is to be expected.It has also been mentioned as a great companion piece to "The Right Stuff", with which I wholly agree. In 1984, when seeing TRS for the first time, I thought "The folks who made this obviously saw "Toward the Unknown" and copied some of its style", especially in the scenes where aircraft are shown from above climbing towards the camera with the desert in the background. One reviewer refers to the "fictitious bomber" in the movie. The bomber was quite real, being the XB-51, which was tested but never adopted for service. I've always been a fan of the "X" series of rocket planes and the pilots who flew them, and the inclusion of the beautiful, dart-like Bell X-2 in this film is one of its highlights for me. About fifteen years ago I had a taped from TV copy of this movie that I got off of TBS or TNT, but it is long since bit the dust. I'd dearly love to have it on DVD.


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