Strategic Air Command Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2010
The stars of "The Glenn Miller Story" reunited for this middling entry about ball player Dutch Holland's career in the air force. Some of the aerial photography is impressive and both stars give professional performances but the movie moves at a poky pace with little of any great import happening. Not bad but not worth seeking out either.
DrLappos
Super Reviewer
½ September 26, 2009
As an antiwar film this fails miserably but I can tell you one thing...I wouldnt fancy being up there in one of those planes for as long as they were....nasty. Good perfomances from Stewart as usual.
May 16, 2010
Visually stunning, even for those not prone to aircraft enthusiasm.

The real stars of this thinly-veiled recruiting, tribute and Cold War propaganda vehicle are the B-36 & B-47 bombers and other assorted massive military aircraft; the film is stuffed with stunning Vistavision, Technicolor visuals of these aircraft both in flight and on the tarmac.

Dozens taxied in formation for takeoff, aerial refuelings by KC-97 Stratotankers, crafty landings in the muck, gaping noses of C-124 Globemaster II cargo planes swallowing up tanker trucks whole - all will visually fascinate even those viewers with little in the way of aircraft enthusiasm.

Aside from the planes themselves, there's little else on board this film. Stewart's delivery is uninteresting; not surprising given the nearly non-existent plot, that pilot Stewart's fighting off personal aches/pains ... as well as his personal desire - and his 1950s-aproned wife's nagging - to return to professional baseball, a loose reference to BoRedSox's Ted Williams.

Stewart's being tapped for this vehicle is no accident in casting. He flew WWII bombing runs and remained an active member of the Air Force Reserve into the 1960s, ultimately achieving the rank of Brigadier General. June Alyson's delivers well the lousy supporting role she's dealt - playing the spoiled, hissy-fitting & whiny wife who's tired of worrying away the days when Stewart is aloft on classified missions to destinations unknown.

Though there's plenty of inside information/access on display, reference to SAC's 'nuclear failsafe' mission are notably absent.

Given Stewart's involvement and the full access granted by SAC, it's obvious the military (and likely Curtis LeMay) instigated the film's development, but though it's original purpose is long gone (and SAC, as of 1992), the viewer can still be thankful for the visually stunning record of these aircraft that it immortalized.

Another title for your "too-bad it's not on DVD" list.
June 16, 2009
Not one of Jimmy Stewart's best films, but not fault of his. He is terrific. June Allyson, I don't know what exactly it is I don't like about her. I feel her performances are so rehearsed and phony. She is way too sappy and understanding in this film and I feel she hurts the films overall effect. Some excellent aerial photography, good score and the entire production is top notch. It waves the flag a little excessively and the mix of personal drama and action sequences is at times a little awkward. The supporting cast is a bit bland, Harry Morgan and Rosemary de Camp stand out as the best. Good special effects. The color in the film was exceptionally crisp.
August 17, 2009
I was in Strategiic Air Command during My Carreer. I know James stewart retired as a general. I wonder if he flew the planes.
½ September 7, 2007
An OK movie..definitely not one of my favorites. I found sort of boring at times. I think there's only so many times I can watch people fly planes for half of the movie.
December 25, 2006
Of the many greats classic from Hollywood's golden age this remains one of the best. film with performances by James Stewart and June Allyson
½ June 15, 2014
IF you are an Air Force history buff, or into old planes, it is a good movie. The plot is very loosely modeled on Ted Williams, but even "modeled" might be too strong a statement.
Jimmy is his usual self, and it is made more interesting if you know he was a B-24 pilot who flew 19 combat missions over Germany during WWII. But, then if you know that, you probably like the movie already.
May 27, 2013
As a child, this was one of the favorite movies of my brothers and I. After all it had e3 of our favorite things in it: baseball, Air Force planes, and parachuting. Plus as a precocious youngster I had a crush on June Allyson. But I diverge. Judging this as a film basically misses the point. This is a sincere story made to engender empathy and support from a public still weary of war 10 years after the end of WWII for this hard to understand cold war. For essentially a piece of propaganda packaged into a mainstream movie, it is somewhat surprising to see the anti-war message that is repeated several times. The selling point from the military's point of view (how to defend massive expenditures in a time of peace) was that a massive deterrent would be the very best way to prevent WWIII. In 1955 that was a worthy point of view, that lasted until the US and Soviets reached the point of "Mutually Assured Destruction." But in the meantime, if the Soviets had any plans to start a war (more likely in Western Europe than in our country), one would have to say the strategy of the Strategic Air Command's mission worked. So what we really have here is a tiny melodrama between two great stars with onscreen chemistry, the points mentioned above, and numerous luscious scenes of grand planes (many will be too young to have ever seen the enormous and stately B-36, in many ways the most magnificent plane ever flown) floating through the skies amidst grand cloud formations lit with beautiful colors. Plus, the score is quite lovely (particularly "The World is Mine") and quite effective in its accompaniment of the film. If you view it in the context of the times and its purpose, I believe you will find it to be a very worthy film to see, and a good lesson for this new generation born after the cold war ended.
February 25, 2012
Hey, I've always liked this movie. It never was an anti - war movie as someone suggested, its more of a pro-air force propaganda piece. However, you've got to love the flying sequenses of the B-36's and B-47's and you'll be hard pressed to find them in any other movie.
½ May 27, 2011
Forget the plot. This movie is notable for its spectacular aerial photography of the B-36 Peacemaker and B-47 Stratojet aircraft in the SAC fleet. The refueling of a B-47 from a KC-97 is pure poetry.
½ February 13, 2011
Typical propaganda movie during the early years of the Cold War. What makes this movie special is the fantastic acting of June Allyson and James Stewart.

Little known facts: James Stewart was a colonel in the US Air Force Reserve, the same rank as his character, when the film was made.

James Stewart flew one combat mission over Vietnam while serving as a reservist and eventually retired as a Brigadier General.
½ May 14, 2010
Some nice flying but too American for me
March 2, 2010
68/100. Not one of Jimmy Stewart's best films, but not fault of his. He is terrific. June Allyson, I don't know what exactly it is I don't like about her. I feel her performances are so rehearsed and phony. She is way too sappy and understanding in this film and I feel she hurts the films overall effect. Some excellent aerial photography, good score and the entire production is top notch. It waves the flag a little excessively and the mix of personal drama and action sequences is at times a little awkward. The supporting cast is a bit bland, Harry Morgan and Rosemary de Camp stand out as the best. Good special effects. The color in the film was exceptionally crisp.
½ January 30, 2010
I was part of the Strategic Air Command 1950 thru 1954 and find the flying in this movie to be 95% real. I flew as electronic tech on a select crew 1714 hrs.Most of the scenes in this movie were almost realistic. The scenes from the upper deck of the B-36 were awesome at 45,000 feet. From Spokane,Wash to Alaska to North Africa. Then was transferred to a B-47 wing and flew as Bomb-Nav check out on several test hops. Most of the scenes in this movie were almost realistic.
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