STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND REVIEWED
“Strategic Air Command” finds an ex-pilot turned baseball player being called up to help the Cold War effort. He’s being tasked with flying a bomber to scare the Commies away from the Land of Liberty. The film is incredibly loosely based on Ted Williams’ life. But, it works. So much of these early 50s films play like an attempt to make wholesome propaganda. However, this is an aviator gearhead’s movie.
The vintage bombers, massive post WWII machines and other aircraft are the co-stars for Stewart in this film. That being said, the film is rather schizo. Never knowing whether to be a domestic drama, a half-baked biopic or an attempt at glorifying the military…the film stumbles a little. Still, it’s a testament to Jimmy Stewart’s ability to mine gold from anything that keeps this movie in the air. While the film received an Oscar nomination for its special FX, there’s a reason why the rest of the film has seemingly been forgotten.
The answer for that is nothing matters. While Stewart turns in a terrific performance, the film feels like an extended pilot for a TV series that never happened. Do with that what you will.
- 1.66:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD mono
RELEASE DATE: 10/18/16
- Video - 92%92%
- Audio - 90%90%
- Supplemental Material - 0%0%
- Film Score - 87%87%
The Plot Thus Far
James Stewart (Vertigo) and June Allyson (The Glenn Miller Story) star in director Anthony Mann’s (El Cid) Cold War aviation drama Strategic Air Command. Robert “Dutch” Holland (Stewart), a successful player for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, finds his inactive duty status with the U.S. Air Force suddenly active. When Holland, originally tasked with a staff job, is promoted to commanding a B-36 bomber crew, his attempts to balance domestic life with Sally (Allyson as his devoted wife) and service to God and country will test not only his marriage, but also his sense of self.
Shot in VistaVision and Technicolor by the great William Daniels (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, How the West Was Won), Strategic Air Command features an amazing color palette and stunning aerial photography complimented by a rousing score courtesy of Victor Young (Around the World in Eighty Days, For Whom the Bell Tolls).
Equally impressive is the supporting cast that includes Frank Lovejoy (Try and Get Me), Barry Sullivan (The Bad and the Beautiful), Henry Morgan (High Noon), Jay C. Flippen (The Killing), James Bell (Holiday Inn) and Rosemary DeCamp (Yankee Doodle Dandy).