Jet Pilot, 1957 film starring John Wayne, Janet Leigh and Jay C. Flippen. This film was actually finished filming in 1950 and by the time it was released in 57 most of the aircraft involved were out dated!
Air Force Colonel Shannon (Wayne) was going about an ordinary day when a Soviet Jet was intercepted and lands at his field. Inside is Anna (Leigh), a Soviet pilot who is defecting to the United States. Or so it seems! She is actually trying to lure Colonel Shannon to the USSR. Shannon though has a plan of his own…
This film was filled with much controversy. For starters, John Wayne and Janet Leigh were not to thrilled about the film and the script, a decision that would later bug Wayne for doing it. The film was delayed in it’s release by seven years because of a few reasons. One, everyone was constantly worried about the world going to war for the third time, don’t forget, this was at the height of the cold war, spies and defections. The government of the US were also conducting witch hunts for communists within their ranks. It is also reported that Howard Hughes, who owned the production company, spent a couple of years having the film edited to his liking.
When the film finally was released seven years after completion everything looked dated, even the actors, which lead to some horrible reviews and critics having field days. The aircraft used were now obsolete and already replaced by better ones. Here is an interesting fact though, Chuck Yeager was the actual pilot used in the film among others. He was there to perform the stunts and moves needed.
The acting in the film was pretty good, by 1950’s standards that is. The two leads were phenomenal actors. The scenery was spectacular and they were able to showcase to of the best planes the US Air Force had at the time.
I enjoyed the film very much, I do like to watch some of the older, classic films. Takes us back to an age where everything was easier. Worth a watch folks, try it out.