6.2/10
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36 user 5 critic

A Gathering of Eagles (1963)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 21 June 1963 (USA)
During the Cold War, Air Force Colonel Jim Caldwell shapes up his Strategic Air Command B-52 wing to pass a nuclear war readiness test.

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writers:

Robert Pirosh (screenplay), Sy Bartlett (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rock Hudson ... Col. Jim Caldwell
Rod Taylor ... Col. Hollis Farr
Mary Peach ... Victoria Caldwell
Barry Sullivan ... Col. Bill Fowler
Kevin McCarthy ... Gen. 'Happy Jack' Kirby
Henry Silva ... Col. Joe Garcia
Leora Dana ... Mrs. Evelyn Fowler
Robert Lansing ... Sgt. Banning
Richard Anderson ... Col. Ralph Josten
Richard LePore ... Sgt. Kemler
Robert Bray ... Lt. Col. Gales
Jim Bannon ... Col. Morse
Nelson Leigh ... Gen. Aymes
Russ Bender ... Col. Torrance
John McKee John McKee ... Maj. Travis
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Storyline

Rock Hudson plays an Air Force Colonel who has just been re-assigned as a cold war B-52 commander who must shape up his men to pass a grueling inspection that the previous commander had failed, and had been fired for. He is also recently married, and as a tough commanding officer doing whatever he has to do to shape his men up, his wife sees a side to him that she hadn't seen before. Written by Roger Dearnaley <roger@paperart.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ROCK HUDSON - HOLLYWOOD'S NO. 1 HE-MAN STAR! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the final film former MGM costume designer Irene worked on. She committed suicide the fall of 1962 prior to the release of this film. Irene provided a very simple understated wardrobe for British actress Mary Peach in this film. See more »

Goofs

During the no notice readiness inspection at the end of the film General Kirby is informed that the operation begins at 23:06 ZULU. Zulu time is Greenwich Mean Time so as the Air-Base is near San Francisco the local time for the start of the operation should be 16:06 Pacific Daylight Time and the B-52 aircraft should be taking off in daylight not darkness as seen. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Banning: Well, sir, I used to be a pretty slow "walker" myself. I mean, you really had to build a fire under my tail to get me to move. Then one day, General Hewett dropped in to have a little talk with us. And he built one hell of a fire. Only this one wasn't under my tail - he built a fire inside of me.
Col. Jim Caldwell: Sergeant, if I'm reading you right, you think I'm building the wrong kind of fires around here.
Sgt. Banning: Sir, I'm sure you can judge that better than I can.
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Connections

Edited into Columbo: The Most Crucial Game (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sac Song
Words and Music by Tom Lehrer
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User Reviews

 
Thrilling as well as sentimental drama about B-52 with breathtaking and colorful aerial scenes
23 May 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Well-directed and well-played movie about a tough commander becomes too involved with the pilots in his command . Enjoyable as well as tedious film at times , though . Being designed to showcase the US Air Force's brand-new B-52 Stratofortress bomber, including actual footage of jet plane and as such the studio received complete cooperation from the Air Force . Set during the Cold War and with novelty of peacetime takes place this interesting melodrama . Concerning USA Colonel of a Strategic Aerospace Wing (Rock Hudson) has to shape up his underlings (Robert Lansing , Richard Anderson , Barry Sullivan , Henry Silva , among others) to pass a grueling inspection that the former General had failed, and had been fired for . He is also recently married to beautiful Victoria Caldwell (Mary Peach) , she struggles to adjust to being a good military wife , but Victoria then sees a side to him that she hadn't seen . Meanwhile , there occurs a confrontation between less than likable Col. Jim Caldwell and his friend Col. Hollis Farr (Rod Taylor) . As there crop out gossips surrounding his relationship to Victory Caldwell and things go wrong . As the picture contains a silly and boring family drama with a triangular love story . At the end , it takes place a hard inspection carried out by Gen. 'Happy Jack' Kirby (Kevin McCarthy) .

Intimate as well as spectacular WWI airplane movie with an agreeable cast , impressive aerial scenes and thought-provoking themes , being one of the first Hollywood films to deal with the B-52 . This is a family as well as crisp drama about relationship between husband and wife along with the hard-working carried out by Rock Hudson as a tough commanding officer determined to improve efficiency , interwoven with nice aerial footage of B-52 maneuvers . The aviation footage gives the picture a sense of life , as writer Sy Barlett and filmmaker were both previous fliers themselves . This film is an Universal Pictures official studio tribute to the B-52 Stratofortress bomber air craft and the United States Air Force . Interesting script by Robert Pirosh based on a story by Sy Barlett who also wrote in similar style ¨Twelve O'Clock High¨ that was adapted to cinema in a much superior movie by Henry King with Gregory Peck . This was apparently one of the first films in which the US Air Force's new B-52 Stratofortress bomber was featured . It appeared in a number of films afterward, notably Bombers B-52 (1957) , Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and By Dawn's Early Light (1990). This movie's dedication shown at the start of the film states : The film is dedicated to personnel and pilots of Strategic Aerospace Wing . Rock Hudson plays decently an Air Force Colonel who has just been re-assigned as a cold war B-52 commander determined to improve the alertness and doing whatever he has to do to shape his men up . Fine plethora of secondaries , many of them uncredited , such as Barry Sullivan , Kevin McCarthy , Henry Silva , Nelson Leigh , Robert Lansing ,Richard Anderson , Brandon De Wilde and brief appearance of an unknown Louise Fletcher as patient's spouse .

Brilliant cinematography in Cinemascope and Technicolor by Russell Harlan . Thrilling as well as rousing musical score by Jerry Goldsmith . Jerry Goldsmith's opening fanfare was licensed by Cinema International Corporation (CIC) for its vanity plate fanfare ; CIC was an international film distribution company, part owned by Universal . The motion picture was well directed by Delbert Mann who was one of the best-known graduates of "The Golden Age of Television," when live original drama was a staple of network TV , but he also directed classic movies such as ¨Separate tables¨, ¨Desire under the Elms¨ and ¨Marty¨ . And directed Rock Hudson in three successive films as ¨That Touch of Mink¨ , ¨Lover Come Back¨ and ¨A Gathering of Eagles¨ .


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Gathering of Eagles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,346,500 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color by Pathé)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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