6.6/10
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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:

THE SCREEN HAS NEVER SHOWN WHAT YOU'LL SEE IN TOWARD THE UNKNOWN (original print ad - all caps) 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 »
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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 farewell fly-by honoring Lloyd Nolan's character was led by "Pete" Everest (Frank Everest), accompanied by Iven Kincheloe, Lou Schalk, Stu Childs and Robert M. White. All were famous Edwards AFB test pilots. See more »

Goofs

Although it was done for a comic relief, General Banner's (Lloyd Nolan) aide 2nd Lt Sweeney (L. Q. Jones) is too nervous/excitable to be an aide. Also, "Second Looies" are not usually general's aides; they would have at most a year-and-a-half in the service and not know much about the Air Force. Generals usually pick young officers who "know the ropes" to be their aides. See more »

Quotes

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

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

 
Great Flying Sequences
1 May 2003 | by mshields18See all my reviews

This movie is seldom shown, but it's one of William Holden's most underrated pictures. The flying sequences are excellent, and well integrated into the overall story (much more so than many other movies about flying/test pilots). Holden gives a fine performance as a former test pilot who cracked under torture as a North Korean prisoner, and is searching for redemption from his peers and from himself. Highly recommended if you like this sort of film.


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