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Strategic Air Command

James Stewart , June Allyson , Anthony Mann    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Demonstrations of classic military tactical procedures and excellent footage of vintage aircraft (like the rare B-36), combine here to give viewers a cold war primer on the Air Force's defense capabilities, circa 1955. Former World War II pilot James Stewart is called out of retirement to assist in the strengthening of the Strategic Air Command, the new bomber forces that are America's first line of defense against the Russian nuclear threat. Wife June Allyson sits at home and frets over her husband's devotion to duty, while Harry Morgan lends a hand on the aircraft. Through Stewart, director Anthony Mann takes us on an ersatz tour of the elite Air Force operations that safeguarded America at the time. Unless you're interested in the aircraft of the day or stateside propaganda techniques during the cold war, Strategic Air Command tends to be a bit of a yawner. --Mark Savary

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPECTACULAR! GREATEST AIR THRILLER! Dec 11 2003
Format:VHS Tape
STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND is the greatest air thriller of alltime! A PICTURE WITH A FORCE SECOND TO NONE!!!! A powerful, stirring music score by VICTOR YOUNG accompaines this classic! The story of air superiority in the western world, and the prepardness of the Strategic Air Command, gives new meaning to the majestic skies above! Starring with my favorite plane of alltime, the grand Convair B-36 Peacemakers, and the graceful Boeing B-47 Stratojets that take to the skies in an effort to keep peace in the world! This was the only motion picture ever filmed with grand B-36s!!!! Especially exciting was the low executed flyover of a B-36, at Al Lang Field, Tampa, Florida at the opening scenes of STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND! Then came the spectacular majestic aerial scenery of the B-36 (#5734), as it flew from Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, Texas (the home of the B-36s) to Alaska and back. The aerial scenes took my breath away! The music played for this sequence was SKY SYMPHONY, which really opened your eyes, not only to this powerful Convair B-36 Peacemaker in flight, but the role that Strategic Air Command played in global security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The story was inspired by the Ted Williams recall to the marines!
JAMES STEWART plays former Col. Roert Dutch Holland, a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals who at the height of his career (signing a $70,000 a year contract), is suddenly recalled back to active duty with the U.S. Air Force and assigned to the Strategic Air Command for 21 months of active duty. His job is to help SAC to be combat ready, in peacetime activity, before war comes again! His wife JUNE ALLYSON (Sally Holland) doesn't fare much as a air force wife, but she yet to find out that she also pregnant. Under the command of FRANK LOVEJOY (General Ennis H.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is a great, classic movie. Forget June Allyson and Jimmy Stewart -- the real star of this is the rare and awesome ten-engined B-36 bomber featured in the first hour of the movie. From the ground-shaking flyover (with real sound!) to an (admittedly dubbed) takeoff, cruise, and landing, it's fantastic footage not found anywhere else. Seeing the giant rare B-36(which flies no more, unfortunately) gives me goose bumps, especially with the lush, dramatic musical background. Just seeing the ground crew during startup as they are absolutely dwarfed by the huge three-bladed propeller is amazing. What an incredible machine. Even the early jet bombers featured in the last half of the movie are interesting to see. If you are of the "old school" when it comes to video entertainment or are a classic airplane lover, join me in grabbing this video and hoping that it also makes it to DVD sometime!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historically Accurate; watch it for the aircraft May 21 2003
Format:VHS Tape
For many of us, the cold war now seems impossibly far away. However, for those of us whose fathers were in the military during the peak of the war, the concern was always that we could be attacked at any time by the Soviet Union.
Our first line of defense, before our missiles became more accurate, was huge bombers. When these huge aircraft flew, their power and size seemed awe-inspiring. Looking back at this movie, the B-36 now seems ungainly and incredibly complex. The B-47 seems less ungainly, but technology has clearly superceded both these aircraft.
This movie comes across as a recruiting film for the Air Force, and to a certain extent a patriotic film justifying our strategic air forces. The plot is relatively simple, and trying to spice it up with a sub-story regarding Jimmy Stewart's career as a baseball player and his relationship with his wife becomes a distraction. The focus of this movie is flying big bombers.
What gloriously complex aircraft these were. The scenes showing the takeoff of the B-36 were incredible. For airplane enthusiasts, the portion of the film focusing on the reading of the checklist is unusual (because for most people it would seem boring) and unique. Watching how the plane is powered up is nearly worth the exercise of watching the film.
Later we get to watch as the B-47 is transitioned into the active military. We watch as the B-47 is flown in poor weather conditions, and watch the fatigue and boredom set in as the crews flew incredibly lengthy missions.
Some of the most interesting and now somewhat anachronistic parts of the movies are those portions dealing with the functioning of Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE WAY WE WERE April 12 2003
By PMK
Format:VHS Tape
I know this film very well and it brings back memories of being a Royal Canadian Air Force Brat with my Dad and Mom on exchange at Craig (ALA) & McChord (Wash) Airbases in the early sixties. Although the film is set at about 1955, it captures the era perfectly. A rather interesting time when we had all to play for; there was still real value in giving more of yourself to your country and having a serios sense of duty. Way before poltical correctness and quotas and such; the movie is a nostalgic look at a very real threat to our way of life at the time. Thank goodness we had those WW2 guys still around flying through the 50s and 60s.
The shots of the B36 ("6 Turning and 4 Burning")and B47 (the immediate precurser to the B52)are excellent. Two vary rare aircraft and we are lucky to still have them captured on film in all their majesty. Truly startling and proud images.
If you want a bit of nostalgia - Go out and buy the film.
All the best to all the 'VooDoo One O' Wonders' who served in 416 (AW) Fighter Squadron RCAF/CAF. Per Ardua Ad Astra!
PMK
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Aerial Photography since the Resurrection
Strategic Air Command represents the greatest aerial photography and symphonic music since the Resurrection. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2007 by SAC
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Giants
I am waiting until this is released on DVD, it will be real feast for the eyes.
This was a fascinating time of revolutionary aircraft design, and the beginning of the cold... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2003 by stargazer44
3.0 out of 5 stars Based on a true story
It would be crazy to say anyone enjoyed the Second World War but James Stewart found his work as a bomber pilot and wing executive far more rewarding than anything he had done in... Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars SPECTACULAR AIR ADVENTURE: BREATHTAKING! December 18, 2002
"STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND" is by far my favorite alltime movie! The performances of JAMES STEWART,as Col. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2002 by PETER E. ROSATI
4.0 out of 5 stars The Way We Were
Almost fifty years after this movie's release date (1955), I am still haunted by the magnificent aerial photography. This movie must be seen for that reason alone! Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2002 by Robert States
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Excellent!
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE ISSUE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND ON DVD? This movie sure has excellent shots of the B36 and B47 in flight. A great sample of 1950's America!
Published on July 30 2002 by Eric Renth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of '50s miltary aviation
My thoughts on this film are taken from watching it in it's original Vista Vision widescreen presentation of 1.75 on a laserdisc version released in 1998. Read more
Published on July 27 2002 by St Ives
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Footage
This film is probably the only remaining medium in which to view the magnificent B-36 in action, and it's well worth seeing for that. Read more
Published on July 24 2002 by J. Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND
GREAT FILM ABOUT THE EARLY 1950s I WAS IN ALBANY GA. RECENTLY AND THE HAD AN OLD SAC BASE THERE WHERE NOW STANDS A MILLER BREWERY. Read more
Published on July 11 2002 by GERARD G RESCH
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