View Full Version : British 50s B&W film about metal fatigue?

The Civil Civillian
15th Mar 2010, 14:15
does anyone remember a 50s type B&W film, with a story line that aped that of the Comet?

In that after a series of mysterious crashes on a passenger jet, the authorities test a airframe to destruction to find the cause... with the tail falling off due to metal fatigue as the climax of the film?

It wasn't 'No highway in the sky' or 'Cone of silence'.

I'm literally :ugh: with fustration.


15th Mar 2010, 14:33
Wasn't that the one about an aircraft called the Reindeer and starred James Stewart?

Or is that No Highway I'm thinking of.

15th Mar 2010, 15:35
Part filmed at Blackbushe I believe; the Reindeer was a wierd looking mock up with two sets of elevators/horizontal stabilisers one above the other.

15th Mar 2010, 15:46
which I think was Neville Shute (Norway)'s "No Highway". I recall seeing the film as quite a youngster

15th Mar 2010, 16:14
No Highway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Highway)

Of course there might have been two novels/films about tails falling off aircraft due to metal fatigue

Upyer RRR
15th Mar 2010, 17:10
It could be you're thinking of 'No Highway'. Apparently at the inquiry into the Comet crashes, one of the legal people quoted the book by Neville Shute, written some years previously, where he 'prophesied' metal fatigue causing aircraft accidents. Neville Shute Norway was a very far-seeing man; some of his other books prophesied events which have gone close to the way he wrote of them. But to talk of that is going off the thread!

15th Mar 2010, 17:21
I'm sure it must have been 'No Highway In The Sky'

One of my favourite scenes is where Stewart is telling the stewardess (Glynis Johns) about 'pulling the lever' when he retracted the undercarriage and sat it on its belly. Must get the DVD out and watch it again.

Oh and if there is another film, please tell us what it is, I want it :)

15th Mar 2010, 19:01
If you Google "No Highway" it will confirm that this is the film - "No Highway in the Sky" in the US release I think

15th Mar 2010, 19:17
All the details are here
No Highway (1951) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043859/)

Double Zero
15th Mar 2010, 21:09
I agree with ' No Highway ', surely must be that book & film ?

Nevil Shute Norway wasn't just a gifted writer, he was a proper aircraft engineer / designer draughtsman, his autobiography ' Slide Rule ' is fascinating, he joined the design team of the R100 airship, observing the rival R101 with dismay; of course he and others proved correct, tragically.

N.S.W.'s books often seem wierdly phrophetic, and there was indeed a book written by someone else ( in the 1970's I think ) ' The Airmen Who Would Not Die ' about the R101 from the mystical side, if you're into that sort of thing it's well worth reading.

Nevil Shute Norway went on in the 1930's & 40's to found Airspeed Ltd at the now built over Portsmouth Airfield, so put his money where his mouth was to say the least !

His books ' Round The Bend ', The Rainbow & The Rose' & ' Beyond The Black Stump ' have a vision of both what we would all dream of in pioneer aviation, and a future few could have imagined at the time of writing.

He also foresaw the Blitz in ' What Happened to The Corbetts ', though my favourite for sheer story is ' Requiem For a Wren ' - I won't give anything away about the ending !

My friend's father was Bob Milne ( a tribute to whom is on the ' Tartan Terror's ' site, he test flew over 2,000 Oxfords among a lot of others ! ), a Test Pilot for him before, during & after WWII, and their ' let's build & fly it ' attitude makes one wish for a time machine to go with them; N.S.W. Foresaw the material failings of airships and pressurised metal aircraft, and deserves a lot more credit in the aviation world.

Noah Zark.
16th Mar 2010, 01:12

The Civil Civillian
16th Mar 2010, 05:37
I want to thank you lads but you are ALL WRONG! :-)

I distinctly remember a early 50s film. And it'll be the usual story... mysterious airliner crashes and the struggle to find the cause. But the 11th hour scene, the finale, is there is a big plane on a big vibrating test rig and it's shaking the plane. Then just as they're about to give it up, the tail falls off, this proving the heros thesis was right.

The plot was something along those lines... it was the type of film you'd find Bernard lee or Geoffrey keen in. :-)

But there was deinite a test rig and the whole tailplane falls off. NHITS, while that double tailplane of the Reindeer strikes a chord, it doesn't seem like it. I may be wrong, do they test the Reindeer on a test-rig with the tail breaking off?

Cheers, I'll carry on with my :ugh: :-)

16th Mar 2010, 06:02
"I want to thank you lads but you are ALL WRONG! :-)"

Aviate thinks...
That they were all correct......... :rolleyes:

YouTube - "Rutland Reindeer"-1951 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaSRRQVmy7A)

1:55 just near the end of the clip. A Reindeer tail.

YouTube - No Highway In The Sky ~ 6 of 6 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SapS91sCPbI&feature=related)

Sound only but you can hear the tailplane collapse!

16th Mar 2010, 07:56
I may be wrong, do they test the Reindeer on a test-rig with the tail breaking off?

That was the whole basis of the story in the book; Mr Honey has a theory that the tailplane has a fatigue problem and is testing a tailplane; they then discover that one has crashed in Canada and at very close to the number of hours that he has calculated - so he is sent out to investigate.

I've never seen the film, apart form the Rutland Reindeer model, is it any good?

16th Mar 2010, 08:02
Good film but as is often the case, even better book.

Neville Shute is definitely one of the most under-rated writers of our times.

Apart from No Highway, his best known works are On the Beach and A Town Like Alice, but he wrote about a dozen other novels.

16th Mar 2010, 08:13
Slight thread drift, but 4 or 5 years ago saw a dramatic production of Requiem for a Wren at Exbury (nr Lymington) where Shute was stationed in the RN during the war, and where he wrote the book. Many of the themes in the book are based on actual happenings. Various scenes were acted around the estate, and ended on Lepe Beach (this was the evening of 5 June) in the rain watching a representation of the D-Day outload - hairs on the back of my neck vertical. Great writer.

16th Mar 2010, 08:18
I think part of the charm of his books is that the characters are generally fairly modest individuals.

I read most of them when I was about 14, and have recently acquired several - re-reading On The Beach 30 odd years later was an oddly unsettling experience, particularly if one considers the context of when it was written.

16th Mar 2010, 08:26
Some pics


16th Mar 2010, 08:27
But the 11th hour scene, the finale, is there is a big plane on a big vibrating test rig and it's shaking the plane. Then just as they're about to give it up, the tail falls off, this proving the heros thesis was right.

Yes, thats exactly what happens in No Highway, watched it again yesterday. Thanks for the reminder :ok:

16th Mar 2010, 09:07
I knew I was right!

Now where can I get a copy?

16th Mar 2010, 09:10
I remember watching a RAF instructional film at around 1967. The opening scene was a twin engined aircraft, Hudson or similar, diving out of cloud. It was overstressed on the pull out and the port wing broke off. One roll before the pilot stopped it, presumably with the starboard airleron, and it continued its sixty degree dive with ninety degrees of bank on until it disappeared behind a hanger and crashed. Undoubtably all on board were killed but we young pilots all cheered.

Double Zero
16th Mar 2010, 11:15
I'd think ' No Highway ' should be available, either 2nd hand or if lucky new, as people are doing DVD re-releases of classic films, I got a DVD of ' Yangtse Incident ' that way recently, through the place named after a large river.

It's a while since I read it ( think I have All N.S.'s books ) but wasn't the plot that the air engineer has his theory, then finds the aircraft of the same type he's a passenger on is quickly approaching the hours of the previous doomed ones !

Can't help thinking memories of the Comet documentaries are getting mixed in...

16th Mar 2010, 11:20
That biplane tail is bizarre. No wonder it fell off.

The Civil Civillian
16th Mar 2010, 12:47
Ok... I accept the kicks to the pants. :ouch: It is NHITS!

:-) Thank you all who took the trouble to try to input data but encounted my thick skull.

I'm downloading it at the mo... free.. as a torrent.

The reason why I didn't think it was NHITS was:
A, it has US stars in it...


B, the bits about exploring Canada looking in lakes!

It seemed the completely wrong film!!!

But allow me to acknowlege the power of the 'spotters gallery'! May your binoculars be ever bigger, but lighter! ;)

16th Mar 2010, 13:49
I know what you mean, you wouldn't really expect the stars of 'Destry Rides Again' to turn up in a movie set in Hants :ok:

16th Mar 2010, 18:34
I know most of you are interested in the aircraft but I was thrilled to see that one of my boyhood dreams was almost starring in this film, the beautiful Janette Scott.
She used to go with Mum and Dad to the Church Socials in the Morecambe/ Lancaster area and was admired from afar by most of us.
Did you say there was an aeroplane in the movie?

Chris Scott
18th Mar 2010, 00:31
I had pretty much the same experience as treadigraph, reading all of NSN's books in Africa in my teens. All, that is, except On the Beach, having seen the film: one's own pictures always seem better, but fail to materialise if you've seen others first. (Like the Hollywood Reindeer - isn't it hideous?)

Considering it was a Hollywood movie of a quintissentially British book, the film of No Highway was remarkably good. For a big star, James Stewart's portrayal of Mr (Dr?) Honey is understated and convincing - they don't come like him any more.

Although I was already nuts on aviation, Nevil Shute (Norway)'s books - not least his autobiography, Slide Rule - helped convince me to pursue a career in it. The other writer that springs to mind was David Beaty (BOAC pilot), who wrote Heart of the Storm (loosely based on the BSAA debacle) and (I think) the abovementioned Cone of Silence.

18th Mar 2010, 22:50
You're not related to Janette are you?

Chris Scott
19th Mar 2010, 00:25
Assuming she was the blonde stewardess, one look at me would provide the answer! BTW, isn't it "Jeanette"?

Been trying to remember who played the part of the American film star, who - like the stewardess - befriended Honey on the flight.

While No Highway concerned metal fatigue and pre-dated the Comet 1 cabin failures, Cone of Silence - if memory serves - referred obliquely to another Achilles heel of the Comet 1: its vulnerability to being stalled on the ground by premature (and over) rotation. The hero has previously been censured for allegedly doing something similar, in contravention of the FCOM. In the story, though, he had followed the "book" precisely, unlike all the other pilots who HADN'T crashed. Emotive stuff... I wonder if David Beaty was still working for BOAC when he wrote it.

In real life, didn't the captain of a piston-engined aeroplane - demoted after a Comet take-off accident involving ground-stall - fly over the Bay of Naples searching for wreckage of the first missing Comet (G-ALYP)?

Also been trying to remember the name and plot of a different film in which Jack Hawkins played the part of a test pilot on an aircraft that was effectively a Bristol Freightener (170). Can anyone remember?

Saab Dastard
19th Mar 2010, 00:31
Man in the Sky?


19th Mar 2010, 09:40
I think the blonde stewardess was Glynis Johns.
BTW It was Thora Janette Scott daughter of Thora Hird and Jimmy Scott professionally Janette Scott aged about 12-13 when the film was made.
Once you've sung hymns with a girl you don't get her name wrong.

19th Mar 2010, 09:51
Been trying to remember who played the part of the American film star, who - like the stewardess - befriended Honey on the flight

Marlene Dietrich:ok:

Chris Scott
19th Mar 2010, 11:13
You are right of course, Saab Dastard.
YouTube - The Man in the Sky ... Jack Hawkins (1957) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKlG_lrCVX4)

Janette Scott
"Once you've sung hymns with a girl you don't get her name wrong."
Thanks for setting me straight on that, ColinB ! Now I get it: she played Honey's daughter, not the stewardess. Ah, Glynis Johns, what a nice lady.

Thanks, NutherA2. Miss Dietrich wasn't always as understanding.

Been doing some belated Googling, and see that David Beaty's name only has one "t". (The fact that my gaffe is already accessible via the search engine is making me paranoid.)
Evidently he had left BOAC, to pursue writing, some time before his Cone of Silence (novel) was published.

Notwithstanding AF447 (and, perhaps, BA038?), there are fewer mysteries in civil aviation these days than in the 'Fifties. And the fastest aeroplanes are scarcely any faster.

19th Mar 2010, 20:37
Clicked on that You Tube link and watched the clip from "The man in the sky." Not a film I'm familiar with, but it looks like a classic British fifties movie-one I'll have to look out for on TV.

I am no pilot and not knowing the plot of the film, I don't know what was wrong with the Biffo in it, but I'm sure I've read that the B170 couldn't maintain height if one engine failed. Is that right? Because it seems to be maintaining height here, with one engine failed.

I visited Pendeford airfield in October 1975, at the tail end of my planespotting days. I remember I travelled for miles on buses from Edgbaston, finally arrived there and found that it had been disused for some years and seemed to have become home to hundreds of tons of assorted industrial junk. From looking at modern maps, it looks like it was later built over as a housing estate-the fate of so many airfields. I packed in planespotting a few months after this.

Whilst on the subject of Biffos, here is a link to a photo I took at the Reynolds Museum in Wetaskawin, Canada, in September 2005, showing one of the few survivors-Hawkair's machine. First time I'd seen a short-nosed B170 since the unforgettable night in 1971/2 when Aer Turas's EI-APC clattered (and believe me it did "clatter"-I'll never forget it) out from M/C over my parents' house.

Also saw another B170 on that trip, at Yellowknife, where it had been mounted on a pole since 1968-1st wheeled a/c to land at the North Pole, according to a plaque by it, in 1967.

JetPhotos.Net Photo » C-GYQS (CN: 13060) Private Bristol 170 Freighter Mk.31M by Michael Blank (http://tinyurl.com/yg5xqwr)

And here's the one at Yellowknife-photo not taken by me.

JetPhotos.Net Photo » CF-TFX (CN: 13137) Wardair Canada Bristol 170 Freighter C.1A by Peter Unmuth-AirTeamImages (http://tinyurl.com/yhrg9lg)

What a characterful aircraft the Bristol 170 was, even tho I only ever saw one in the air and G-APAU and G-APAV at Coventry in 1972 or 1973, before my encounters with two more in Canada in 2005. I don't think it was such a nice aircraft to be a passenger in tho, again from what I've read, or to fly?

The Civil Civillian
20th Mar 2010, 01:32
Well... I watched it. Thought it an acceptable way to while away a few hours. :-)

Struck by the number of crew: 5 flight deck, 1 mechanic in a white boilersuit and 2 cabincrew. Sheesh!!!!

The 5 flightdeck are, AFAICT:
2 pilots,
Ft Engineer
and bomb-aimer! :ooh:

Nah.. I joke... what did the 5th man do? Radio? :confused:

22nd Mar 2010, 11:15
Still talking of films, don't forget 'Cone of Silence' based on the book mentioned earlier in this thread. British B&W movie starring Michael Craig, Bernard Lee, etc. Worth a watch, if not obviously so detailed as the excellent book.
It's available on DVD from the usual online sources.

22nd Mar 2010, 11:47
Glynis Johns, what a nice lady
Steve Sondheim also thought so much of her that he famously wrote the link just for her and tailored it to her limited voice.
YouTube - Glynis Johns Send in the Clowns (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAl-EawVobY)

23rd Mar 2010, 09:27
I agree that Nevil Shute is a terrific storyteller - I have the complete set of his published works and have read all of them more than once. "No Highway" is a great tale, with a supernatural element (the ouija board used to find the crash site) which Shute introduced into many of his books

some of his other books prophesied events which have gone close to the way he wrote of them.

However in "In the Wet" Shute got it almost completely wrong. Britain in the 80's is strongly socialist (we had Maggie!), the population had collapsed to 30 million because of mass emigration (he totally failed to foresee immigration), you could buy a house for £5 (!) and a right wing Australia (they had a Labor government) is strongly royalist to the extent that the Queen goes to live there. Still, future tellers in literature rarely get it right, and it's a great tale, with aviation at its centre as is often the case with Shute's novels.

23rd Mar 2010, 20:45
However in "In the Wet" Shute got it almost completely wrong

maybe, or maybe not - who knows what 2080 might look like? :}

23rd Mar 2010, 22:14
I can't begin to imagine - I reckon if I had a try I'd make a worse job of it than Shute did on the 1980's!

Noah Zark.
23rd Mar 2010, 22:28
Just as an aside, with regards to the late, great, Jimmy Stewart. Even given a huge amount of artistic licence, I wonder what he thought, given his not inconsiderable military flying career, when he saw the "Reindeer"?
He surely must have had a private giggle at it somewhere out of sight of everyone!

Chris Scott
24th Mar 2010, 00:45

Was assuming a Bristol "Freightner" pilot - maybe one of my flying school contemporaries - would answer your post. (I went on the Heron and Dak instead.)

In case that's not going to happen, think I can say (from what I heard) that it is more of a handful than the smaller Dakota, particularly in a crosswind (not that any tail-dragger is a cinch). The flight controls, operated aerodynamically by pure servo-tabs, presumably don't start to do anything until you've got some sort of IAS. The aeroplane also has a very large keel area - particularly the Mark 32 with the extended nose, that our British United Air Ferries used in the 1960s (did they come with Silver City?).

The single-engine performance of any twin varies enormously with weight, pressure altitude, and temperature (WAT). You can also add the factor of how knackered the individual airframe/engine combination is. I suspect that, speaking generally, the 170 was below average for a 1950s piston design, probably a bit worse than the (1940s) C47-Dakota. But the worse-case scenario is partly in the hands of the airworthiness authorities, who regulate the MTOW that is applied to the CofA in their country. Most twin pistons fly quite well on one when empty, as in the film. On the other hand, one of our Daks used to struggle to climb on both at MTOW at sea-level on a hot summer's day.

As for those "clatter"ing engines: there's an excellent contemporary thread about radials going on in "Tech Log", but I haven't seen mention of the (2000 HP) Bristol Hercules yet - does it have noisy sleeve valves? Big radials are a handful to operate, and have to be treated with enormous respect.

27th Mar 2010, 11:59
Thanks for that Chris and looking at your calling the aircraft, the "Freightner," I think I also read that it got that name/the "Frightener," because of the need for a member of the ground crew, after both engines had been started, to crawl under the fuselage, between the two engines, to unplug the APU? cable from its socket there.

Chris Scott
28th Mar 2010, 11:26

"Ground crew"? What was that you said? Are they the chaps that scuttle out from underneath as we lurch off the apron?

Quite possibly, but think the pilots also used the term, because of the handling characteristics. Spelling never standardised, as far as I know, so was being slightly creative.

Was wrong about it being a 'Fifties design, having just seen spec and silhouette in the 1989 reprint of Janes 1946/7, which also mentions the all-passenger Wayfarer version. Don't know when it first flew.

Also forgot to mention that its performance (thinking particularly of the single-engine case) would be influenced by the fixed landing gear - unlike the Dak.

Reidar Viking
28th Mar 2010, 11:29
Arthur Whitlock in his book "Behind the cockpit door" also called it "The Frightener" and described a nightmare flight Luton/Manchester (diversion)in BKS G-AMLJ on losing an engine en route to Belfast (with 3 cars aboard) and barely holding it before getting into Manchester.He also wrote of other scares and off runway excursions with the Biffo. Handful ?

28th Mar 2010, 11:55
I know what you mean, you wouldn't really expect the stars of 'Destry Rides Again' to turn up in a movie set in Hants
One reason Hollywood made movies in the UK with major US stars (remember Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton Ronnie Reagan, Patricia Neal, John Wayne etc?) was that they couldn't get their profits out of the country because of Exchange Control regulations

28th Mar 2010, 20:25
My favourite Nevil Shute books were Pastoral and Landfall. Both took place during the 2nd world war. One centred on a Wellington bomber station, the other was Coastal Command.

The plot, tension, anguish and romance were gripping. Shame they never made a film of either book. I really wish some film director, instead of looking for a remake would consider making a film of one or both of these wonderful books . It would be worth it even if they did have to use model planes or computer graphics.

Double Zero
28th Mar 2010, 23:25

we're going slightly off-thread here, but I'd guess the nearest one gets to a film of ' Pastoral ' would be ' The Way To The Stars ' ?

My personal choice would be Requiem For A Wren.

I completely agree film-makers would be better off trying to film untried classics, instead of re-makes where they can only lose !

It would take a very gifted team of Director, Producer & Actors ( not to mention effects people ) to capture the spirit of N.S.'s writing, don't even know if it's possible...

ivor toolbox
29th Mar 2010, 13:40
My favourite Nevil Shute books were Pastoral and Landfall. Both took place during the 2nd world war. One centred on a Wellington bomber station, the other was Coastal Command.

The plot, tension, anguish and romance were gripping. Shame they never made a film of either book. I really wish some film director, instead of looking for a remake would consider making a film of one or both of these wonderful books . It would be worth it even if they did have to use model planes or computer graphics.

Oh yes they did....Landfall anyway!!

Plot Summary for
Landfall (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041576/) (1949 (http://www.imdb.com/year/1949/))

Rick (Michael Denison) is a costal command pilot patrolling the English Channel for U-Boats. He sinks what he believes is a German submarine, but which later proves to be British. He is charged with neglect and volunteers for a perilous mission. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Mona (Patricia Plunkett), through some odd information she has picked up, is trying to prove that Rick is innocent of the charges and actually did sink a German U-Boat.


29th Mar 2010, 14:24
Bloody loving this thread! Watched Cone of Silence and Man In The Sky this morning on DVD (the restoration of the latter is absolutely superb!) and Landfall is due for release in June so my order has been placed.

So far in my collection of classic aviation themed DVD's I have;
Dawn Patrol
First of the Few
Way To The Stars
No Highway
The Sound Barrier
A Matter of Life and Death
Cone of Silence
Man In The Sky
Angels One Five
Reach For The Sky
633 Squadron
Mosquito Squadron
Battle of Britiain

Plus the TV shows Piece of Cake, Wings and Pathfinders.

Can anyone recommend any movies I am missing? (R2 please)

PS, Yes, I know they weren't all made in the fifties, lol

29th Mar 2010, 16:51
Ivor toolbox

Thanks for that, you've made my day and given me a film to really look forward to. I will order a DVD of Landfall and hope they have done it justice.

I just need someone to make a film of Pastoral now and agree "Requiem For a Wren" would be great too.

Harmonious dragmaster. I recently saw remake of the Flight of the Phoenix. It was absolute shite! Don't buy it.

29th Mar 2010, 18:39
"Can anyone recommend any movies I am missing? (R2 please)"

"Out of the clouds." Set in and around LHR in 1955-loads of propliners.

29th Mar 2010, 21:32
"Can anyone recommend any movies I am missing? (R2 please)"

Strategic Air Command. 1955 starring James Stewart and June Allyson.


Superb air-to-air photography, mainly of B-36's.





29th Mar 2010, 21:52
Thanks guys, all suggestions welcome (must get the original Flight of the Phoenix too) And I simply love June Allyson! Always have, nearly as much as Glynis Johns.

Wasn't there a John Wayne film where he flew Sabres and defected to Russia or somesuch unlikely event? I also remember James Cagney ferrying a bomber to Scotland but I don't know what movie. I think I have stumbled onto a new hobby :)

Chris Scott
29th Mar 2010, 22:50
S'pose one should mention Fate is the Hunter...

But not necessarily to recommend it. Ernest Gann (who wrote the eponymous book, on part of which the film was based) didn't like it, apparently. From what I remember, he had a point.

Love the pics. Guess I must have seen S.A.C. before any of the others (Dambusters was released 1956?), and it probably benefited from being in colour. B-36 was a remarkable aeroplane, and the B-47 also appeared.
Jimmy Stewart might have found his role in No Highway a bit tame after that, but more challenging to act?

Saab Dastard
29th Mar 2010, 23:26
HarmoniousDragmaster - are you thinking of The Hunters - Korean war film with the Roberts Mitchum and Wagner? Lots of F86 flying sequences.

Catch-22 - I just love the B-25!

Memphis Belle deserves a place.

The Right Stuff had a good bit of aerial work, IIRC.

I enjoyed The Aviator, despite the CGI, and Air America was a hoot.

BTW, there's an entire list on Wikipedia devoted to Aviation films - it's a list, not by any means a review or recommendation - probably only 10-20% are worth watching!


30th Mar 2010, 06:42
I'd add "The Great Waldo Pepper" to the list - I got my copy off Ebay and was mildly alarmed when it turned up with a French inlay card, but the DVD was fine.

Also "Aces High" and "The Blue Max".

Haven't been able to get Strategic Air Command on DVD so far - I have a copy transferred from VHS but the quality is lacking. The noise when one overflies the baseball field...

Catch 22 - one of my favourite films and not just beacuse of the B-25s...

30th Mar 2010, 08:07
Spirit of St Louis

30th Mar 2010, 08:58
Chris Scott

and the B-47 also appeared



As above


..."and this dial captain tells me when the coffee's ready"

30th Mar 2010, 13:09
Just ordered my copy from Amazon, based on reviews here and link to section of the film that someone posted on this thread. But it will be some time before I actually get round to watching it-as is the case with rather a lot of DVDs I buy.

30th Mar 2010, 13:53
Ordered a region free Spirit of St Louis after posting last night (why can't all DVD's be like that? - greedy feckers)

The Hunters doesn't ring a bell, but it was definitely a John Wayne movie I'm thinking of. I think the Cagney film I referred to was 'Captains of the Clouds' but I cannot find this or SAC on region 2 or region free, alas.

I do have The Aviator but forgot to put it on the list, at a stretch you could also include Catch Me If You Can, which I enjoyed too.

Catch 22 is a must buy, thanks for jogging my memory on that. I also have 12 o clock high, but haven't watched it yet.

30th Mar 2010, 15:36
Harmonious Dragmaster

I think you are looking for "Jet Pilot", John Wayne as a USAF (F86?) Squadron Commander and Janet Leigh as a Russian fighter pilot:ok:

30th Mar 2010, 16:23
The War Lover with Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner and Shirley Ann Field. C**p movie but great flying sequences.

30th Mar 2010, 16:40
Speaking of "The War Lover", well worth seeking out a copy of "Everything but the Flak" by Martin Caidin about how they got the B-17s used in the film across the pond...

30th Mar 2010, 17:27
Add "The Bridges at Toko-Ri"

Noah Zark.
30th Mar 2010, 18:57
Two more early/mid fifties fillums worth a mention -
Conflict of Wings - All rather corny and twee looking back at it. John Gregson & and lovely Muriel 'Dahling' Pavlow, nice to see some Vampires howling about the place, and-
Angels One Five -WW2 Drama - John Gregson again, and Jack Hawkins at his very snarling best -on the phone, giving someone a B:mad: "Hello Bonzo, Tiger here" etc. etc. Excellent stuff!

31st Mar 2010, 10:01
Did any of you chaps mention that splendid Bomber film, Appointment in London? THE FILM APPOINTMENT IN LONDON (http://www.rafupwood.co.uk/film.html)

I remember being taken by my dad to see Man in the Sky at the flicks when it came out.

31st Mar 2010, 10:36
I always thought that the above 1949 movie was the best of all the aircraft based films. It rightfully won Academy and other awards and led to a three season TV series. I still watch it every so often and after all these years I am surprised by the crackling dialogue and plot development. You can see the first five minutes, the whole movie or download it all for free at the attached link.

Twelve o'Clock High | Free Entertainment Videos - Watch Entertainment Videos Online | Veoh (http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/entertainment/watch/v1360630wfT4HmGM)

Some years ago I was in the Officers Club at Fort Snelling and was introduced to a gentleman who had served in 8AAF in the wartime UK. He told me that the author Beirne Lay had been a CO at an operational station in 1943/44. It was widely thought by the veterans that some of the senior characters were based on Ira C. Eaker and his staff and the Bomb Group the Bloody 100th. He also told me that Walter Matthau was a gunner, John Ehrlichman a navigator, Paul Tibbits did a tour and Curtis Lemay led a bomb group.
The film is terrific

31st Mar 2010, 12:32
I remember being taken to a Biggin Hill display, I think in 1958. Ray Milland made a personal appearance to promote "High Flight". My mum got quite excited but I hadn't the faintest who he was.

31st Mar 2010, 13:17
"Can anyone recommend any movies I am missing?

A very thin aviation link, but there is a film about an aircraft designer who also runs a traction engine in his spare time. He ends up in a traction engine rally with an airline owner who he is trying to sell his aircraft design to.

No idea what it's called.

31st Mar 2010, 18:20
No idea what it's called.

The Iron Maiden...Michael Craig, Cecil Parker & Alan Hale Jnr:ok:

31st Mar 2010, 22:17
Thanks again everyone, Keep em coming. I'll watch 12 o clock high on my next day off, I've had it about a year and never played it!!

Regarding Iron Maiden, I remember watching this one afternoon on TV and it stuck in my memory, I remember the HP Victor acting as an airliner. I periodically search for a DVD release of it but it isn't out yet.

This thread is going to help me compile my 'to do' list :ok:

1st Apr 2010, 13:39
I recall two Korean War films:
'The Bridges at Toko Ri' with William Holden as a US Navy pilot flying Grumman F9 Cougars and Mickey Rooney flying an S-51 rescue helicopter.
Another film with Robert Mitchum which had loads of shots of F-80s doing ground attack runs mostly with napalm - it was called '60 Seconds to Zero' (or similar)

1st Apr 2010, 18:07
Many years ago I saw The Flare Path by Terence Rattigan in a theatre in Bath. I was most impressed by it and I long remembered the wail of the violin in the Pit Orchestra.
I was unaware that it had been adapted into Way to the Stars in a 1945 film. I suppose I was too young to have seen it and in those days so many films were made that there were few re-runs. Many years later I fleetingly saw the movie whose storyline was vaguely familiar, possibly on TV.
It was not until I saw the film in its entirety that I realised what a fine movie it was and I particularly remember its theme music by Nick Brodsky and Charles Williams and realised where I had first heard John Pudney’s famous poem Johnny in the Clouds

Do not despair.........For Johnny-head-in-air;
He sleeps as sound.....As Johnny underground.
Fetch out no shroud....For Johnny-in-the-cloud;
And keep your tears....For him in after years.
Better by far..........For Johnny-the-bright-star,
To keep your head......And see his children fed.

It is an outstanding film which has not dated. I recommend it strongly

2nd Apr 2010, 09:12
FWIW - Films to See

The Spirit of St Louis with James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh is on the box on Easter Monday - Channel Five at 2.45pm.

2nd Apr 2010, 21:43
As the thread has drifted a bit, thought I might throw in a reference to an RAF recruitment film made in the 1930's which is absolutely brilliant for early aircraft flying sequences. I have recorded it to DVD off air.

The actual film goes from Appies at Halton learning to fix these quite massive radial piston engines, to Cranwell - officer training, all the way through to flying sequences over various deserts using biplanes hand -dropping bombs over the side of the cockpit onto unruly tribesmen.

It's a must have if aviation history is an interest.


longer ron
2nd Apr 2010, 22:16
as mentioned previously - Landfall by N Shute is quite a nice film...it is released on DVD this summer !!
Some nice shots of early Anson and also Wellington with turret..
Filmed at Thorney Island and Lee on Solent ????
Anybody confirm the locations ??

11th Apr 2010, 10:50
Watched this on DVD on Friday night: a very good aviation/propliner film, tho not much of a story, but who cares with all that footage of a Freighter.