The Hunters (1958)
In 1952, as the Korean War rages on, American officers land in Kyoto. Among them are Major Ceve Saville, assigned to a fighter squadron, and Lieutenant Carl Abbott. The latter neglects his charming wife Kristina, who is sinking into bitterness. In Korea, Saville meets again Colonel Dutch Imil, a former brother in arms as well as other friends. Back in Japan Saville falls in love with forsaken Kristina, which arouses Abbott's jealousy. The two men turn into implacable rivals. But during a mission against Chinese Migs, Abbott is hurt and Saville decides to rescue him...
In 1952, during the Korean War, two American pilots become bitter enemies over the same woman but must shelf their personal feud when confronted by deadly Chinese MIG fighter jets in battle.
- During the Korean War, a World War II veteran fighter pilot (Robert Mitchum) joins an F-86 squadron in South Korea. Major Saville's indoctrination training is quite short, and he is soon leading elements of F-86s into combat against North Korean MIGs. In addition to the confident protagonist, Saville, the squadron is composed of a motley group of pilots, including a young hotshot "top-gun," Lieutenant Pell (Robert Wagner), and an alcoholic, Lieutenant Abbott (Lee Philips). The lead antagonist in the air is Casey Jones (Leon Lontoc), a North Korean ace who is shooting down many of the U.S. F-86s.
On the ground between aerial missions, Major Saville meets Kristina (May Britt), the wife of the troubled Lieutenant Abbott, and the two find their mutual attraction nearly irresistable.
The flying was filmed over the southwest United States, much of it in the vicinity of towering cumulus clouds, thereby adding to the sensation of speed. Real jet planes were used almost exclusively, with very limited employment of models. A great film if you enjoy watching high-speed aircraft.