1950s Bombers B-52 (1957)

Published on September 13th, 2010 | by Chris

1

Bombers B-52 (1957)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 13, 2010
Last modified:October 5, 2012

Summary:

Cheesy? Yeah. Full of airplanes? Hell, yeah. What else is there to say?

Bombers B-52 (1957)Take a story that likely resonated with a lot of people circa 1957, add in a dash of romance with an attractive leading lady, an overprotective father figure, and top it off with lots of cold war paranoia... oh, and I almost forgot. AIRPLANES. Lots of them. Big ones. Like the B-52. Yeah, now you're getting somewhere.

Bombers B-52 starts off with a story that a lot of guys could probably relate to in 1957. A good portion of them either went to Korea, or at the very least made it back from Europe or the Pacific. A significant fraction of them likely "stayed in" after the war. Much like Master Sgt. and Line Chief Chuck Brennan (Karl Malden). He's now on the front lines of the Cold War, "keeping them flying" so-to-speak as the maintenance man for the Air Force's superweapons.... And his daughter, Lois (Natalie Wood) who wants so much more for dear-old-dad, that he should "get out" and join the private sector.

Ah, but along comes Col. Herlihy (Efram Zimbalist Jr.) to take over base operations. Did I mention that the last time Herlihy and Brennan met, was in Korea? As Herlihy's orders to put his plane back into the air so he could get to Tokyo for leave got several of Brennan's men killed? Ouch. Wouldn't you know it, Lois happens to catch Herlihy's eye. And you know where that is going.

But forget that. Forget all of that. The real stars of this picture are the aircraft. The brand spanking new B-52 Stratofortress. The biggest (still!) bomber ever flown (still!) by the US. There's a non-zero probability that some of the aircraft in this picture may still be flying today! Now that is awesome. Anyway.

OK, so you could say that "Bombers" is probably a Cold War "propaganda" film, pure and simple. Justification for the ungodly amount of money spent on new aircraft (and there were a lot of them in those days.) For the paranoia, for experts like Brennan to get back into (or stay) in uniform and keep those pesky Reds off our backs. And you'd likely be right.

Oh, and the rest of the story isn't that bad, either. The romance angle is well-played and funny, and the "getting out" vs. "staying in" story also. It is kind of funny, in an unintended way, to see the beginnings of our American suburbun culture's roots here.

Cheesy? Yeah. Full of airplanes? Hell, yeah. What else is there to say? High ratings just because.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050204/
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Description

U.S. Air Force pilot Jim Herlihy (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) is in love with Lois Brennan (Natalie Wood), much to the disapproval of her sergeant father (Karl Malden). There is romance and action in this flight film set against the backdrop of riveting aerial footage of jet plane maneuvers.

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio:
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: Movies Unlimited
Original Release Date:
Actors:

Features

  • Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • BONUS FEATURES:
  • Classic Cartoon: Boyhood Dayz
  • Theatrical trailer

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bombers B-52 (1957) [DVD], March 7, 2015
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This review is from: Bombers B-52 (DVD)
When I was a boy of 10 years, I stood on the flight line where my Father was stationed in Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Griffiss AFB, in Rome, New York and watched the B-47 Jet Bomber take off, fly and land, and in a brief time, replaced by the gargantuan 200-ton B-52 stratofortress bombers. I went on to be come an officer in the USAF, and still, can recall the deafening roar of those 8 Pratt & Whitney engines on a B-52.
This DVD movie is not about propaganda for the USAF, because this production is about a war readiness in an uncertain peace during the Cold War Era in which the B-52 aircraft was one of the primary weapon systems on the center stage to deterrence. Of course there is drama, but it accentuates teamwork that overruled professional and domestic conflicts. Some of the Actors such as Karl Malden, Natalie Wood and Efrem Zimbaslist, Jr. are no longer with us. There are a host of actors is this Classic Film which reminds all of us, the price for peace is not only... Read more
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Warner Brothers 1950s film linking big screen with TV!, September 27, 2013
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This review is from: Bombers B-52 (DVD)
Again a movie I was brought up on, but this one is in a vivid color to bring the masses to the theater and away from the new invention the TV. Natalie Wood the heart throb of that time is lead in this film but Karl Malden gives a great performance as a very believable Master Sargent, Line Chief at Castle AFB, CA. On the other hand Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as an USAF flyer is like John Travolta masquerading as a B 2 pilot in Broken Arrow! He does not make it and he does not fit the story! He does not have the look of Air Force never mind pilot. Additionally, for a pilot at that time to move from Tactical Air Command (TAC) to Strategic Air Command (SAC) would be sacrilegious and rare. This reveals problems understanding the USAF culture for the screen writer. Finally, the hair cut may be fine for a lawyer in “77 Sunset Strip” but not as an USAF Colonel. It would have been much better having the unaccredited Stewart Whitman who was flying co-pilot as the aircraft commanded... Read more
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bombers B-52, February 15, 2006
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This review is from: Bombers B-52 [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Bombers B-52 fits in the sequence of features with Twelve O'Clock High (1949), Strategic Air Command (1955), and A Gathering of Eagles (1963), as the 1957 period piece when the Air Force's Strategic Air Command was bringing in the B-52 Stratofortress. The story is about a dedicated Air Force sergeant, Master Sergeant Chuck Brennan portrayed by Karl Malden, who resents his new commander, Colonel Jim Herlihy portrayed by Efrem Zimbalist Jr., for an incident that killed one of Sergeant Brennan's airmen during the Korean War. Despite his distaste for Colonel Herlihy, Sergeant Brennan begrudgingly continues to serve in the squadron in order to field the new B-52s. Matters become more difficult for Sergeant Brennan when his wife and daughter begin to pressure him to leave the Air Force for a more lucrative civilian career. The movie's positive aspects are Karl Malden and Natalie Wood, and the nostalgic scenery of B-47s, B-52s, cars, and late '50s fashion. Its script, however, is... Read more
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Natalie Wood Collection (Splendor in the Grass / Sex and the Single Girl / Inside Daisy Clover / Gypsy / Bombers B-52 / Cash McCall)
Natalie Wood Collection (Splendor in the Grass / Sex and the Single Girl / Inside Daisy Clover / Gypsy / Bombers B-52 / Cash McCall)
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Bombers B-52 (1957) [DVD] by Warner Home Video
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Bombers B-52 (1957) Chris

Summary: Cheesy? Yeah. Full of airplanes? Hell, yeah. What else is there to say?

3.75


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Bombers B-52 (1957)

  1. Chris says:

    omg, i didn’t know this had a release. Its an awesome film and Natalie Wood is just gorgeous!

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