Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thunder Birds (1942)
Thunder Birds (1942) This film was made to boost civilian morale at the time when World War II was still much in doubt. Directed by William A. Wellman, who was himself a member of the U.S. Air Service and a World War one fighter pilot. Gene Tierney (Kay), who is absolutely beautiful, added playfulness and maturity to the role she played. This is a "war movie" that never sees a battlefield but centers on the training of enlisted men. British John Sutton is sent to America to be trained to fly for the RAF but he has to try and over come his acrophobia. His instructor Steve is supportive and proves to be a great friend when others want him out. Their friendship becomes shaky when Sutton falls for the local girl Kay that Steve has long been dating. The film love triangle is so effective that you do not notice the real message of the film. My favorite scene in the movie is when Steve buzzes an old elevated water tank in the desert in which Kay Saunders is swimming. His plane causes her robe to blow away. Showing off, Steve flies inverted over the tank and drops her his flying coveralls then lands on a nearby dirt road. She seems miffed at him for reasons in their romantic past as much as his fly by...but responds to his passionate kiss.
Cast: Gene Tierney, Preston Foster, John Sutton.