The story of jet pilots flying over Korea by day, from their Itazuke Air Base in Japan, and of their wives, on station with them, who have dinner ready when they return. Jane Carter (Coleen...
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A reworking of the movie Three Blind Mice (1938) based on the play of the same name, which in turn led to another remake Moon Over Miami (1941). This remake is set during the turn of the ... See full summary »
H. Bruce Humberstone,
The story of jet pilots flying over Korea by day, from their Itazuke Air Base in Japan, and of their wives, on station with them, who have dinner ready when they return. Jane Carter (Coleen Gray), a reporter for a large newspaper syndicate arrives... she's also the estranged wife of the assistant squadron commander, Colonel Gil Manton (Robert Stack.) At first, she goes at her assignment of getting a story on the pilots wives with the same ruthlessness and persistence that broke up her marriage - but a mirror isn't needed to peek around the corner to where this one is headed.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
When I first saw this movie at the Oklahoman Theatre as a 7 year old with my friend, Ronny Brown, we thought this movie was awesome! Well, not exactly. Upon viewing 50 years later and currently, SABRE JET leaves a lot to be desired. A whole lot! It was in Cinecolor when released in 1953...a sort of poor man's technicolor. Fighter pilot, Colonel Gil Manton's (Robert Stack) estranged wife, Jane Carter (Coleen Gray) arrives at Itazuke Air Force Base in Japan during the Korean War, as a reporter to write a story about "women who kiss their husbands goodbye in the morning and wait for them to come home at night." Only these husbands return from aerial combat against MiG-15s or facing AAA fire in interdiction work in North Korea. The last person Manton wanted to see was Jane. Robert Stack, normally a favorite of mine, plays the part like someone going through the motions to collect a paycheck, with the facial expressions of a guy with a cork stuck up his rear. It's no wonder that Coleen Gray appears nervous throughout, with a lack of chemistry between the two actors. Much better acting jobs were done by Richard Arlen (the Academy Award winning WINGS from 1927) as base commander General Robert E.Hale and Julie Bishop as Marge Hale, the General's wife. Much has been said about WWII stock footage shown throughout the movie, showing aircraft that never appeared in Korea, so I'll skip that. Korean War F-86 aces Bill Wescott and "Boots" Blesse, as technical advisors from the USAF, apparently had little to say about the implausible plot of having Sabres flying from Itazuke Air Base in southern Japan to MiG Alley in northwest Korea. Way too far! However, the film's focus on the wives demanded that they return to Japan. Wives certainly were not to be found at the South Korean Sabre bases at Kimpo and Suwon during wartime. It is 470 miles from Itazuke to MiG Alley, or a round trip of 940 miles. Round trip from Kimpo air base to the Yalu River (northern boundary of MiG Alley) was 460 miles. After a 20 minute patrol and/or dogfights in MiG Alley, it was a stretch for Sabres to return to their South Korean base with much fuel left. Sabre pilots were instructed to head home on "bingo" (low fuel gauges). Another goof was the Stack character's desire to fly an F- 86 fighter interceptor one day, then jump into an F-80 Shooting Star fighter bomber the next day to do air-to-ground work. Also, the General Hale character flies into MiG infested areas on a reconnaissance mission alone, which would have never happened. Of course, no MiG 15s were available to play themselves, so Sabres were painted light blue with red noses and red stars to double as MiGs. A Korean War F-86 veteran stationed at Nellis AFB in Nevada during the filming of SABRE JET told me that pilots would watch the painted up "MiGs" taxi by for take off, and they would give those guys the "one finger" salute! The most memorable scene in the movie from the theatre as a kid was when a 50 cal. round from Col. Manton's Sabre hits a MiG pilot, who pulls off his oxygen mask with copious amounts of blood coming out of his mouth. In edited versions of SABRE JET on late night B&W TV a few years later, that scene was far less dramatic.The Fox brothers, neighbor buddies (in the 50's) and I took turns wearing my leather jacket, a homemade MiG pilot helmet and oxygen mask, filling our mouths with ketchup, then recreating that scene and taking photos of each other when the blood (ketchup) ran down my jacket. Lots of fun until my mother saw my ketchup stained jacket! If the "Sabre Jet" name was to be used as the title of a feature film, I wish that this honorable, legendary jet fighter could have been memorialized in a better movie. For a much better Sabre vs MiG movie, get a DVD of THE HUNTERS.
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