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Bailout at 43,000 (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama | May 1957 (USA)
An Air Force major feels a volatile mixture of relief and anger when he is excused from performing a dangerous test in a new aircraft.





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Cast overview:
... Major Paul Peterson
... Carol Peterson
... Colonel Hughes
... Kit Peterson
... Mrs. Frances Nolan
... Captain Mike Cavallero
Adam Kennedy ... Lieutenant Ed Simmons
... Dr. Franz Gruener
Steven Ritch ... Major Irv Goldman
... Captain Jack Nolan


An Air Force major feels a volatile mixture of relief and anger when he is excused from performing a dangerous test in a new aircraft.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

number in title | See All (1) »


They live fast...fly fast...and fall fast! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Steig aus bei 43000  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?


Final film of Paul Kelly. See more »


In the briefing Gregory Gaye Dr. Franz Gruener says the pilot will free fall 33,000 ft before his parachute is opened by an automatic timer, should be Aneroid barometric parachute release. See more »

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User Reviews

Better Than Expected
18 November 2015 | by See all my reviews

Plot-- A married, reservist Air Force officer is called back to duty to help test a new bailout system for a high-flying bomber. It's hazardous duty, causing his wife consternation and himself doubts about his courage.

Pine-Thomas was a well-established production company, so it's not surprising that this is a well-made little feature. The acting is quite good, especially from Payne and Kelly, whose relationship of commander and subordinate is a complicated one. And that's along with utility actor Eddie Firestone, who may not look the part but manages real grit. Also, it looks like filming was done on location with no cheesy studio effects. Thus we get a look (I think) at the Naval Air Station's Parachute Unit shared by the Air Force in California's Imperial Valley. At least, IMDb lists the Valley as location site.

Though made at the height of the Cold War, the narrative's emphasis is on professionalism of the individual rather than patriotism of the flag. Can Maj. Peterson (Payne) still measure up to the confidence Col. Hughes (Kelly) has in him. After all, he now has a wife and son to be concerned about. So which duty has priority. My only gripe is with actress Steele as the Major's Marilyn Monroe wife. She performs well enough, but they've glamorized her to a phony Hollywood degree that she even cooks in high heels! Then too, the bingo game for officer's wives looks like an assembly of fashion models. I guess the producers felt there was an important public image to project.

Anyway, the movie exceeded expectations, given the title. And though dated in many respects, facing up to challenge is a trans-generational theme, as relevant now as it was then.

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