Bombers B-52


BOMBERS B-52   comes in as another Warner’s tribute to the Armed Forces; this time a budget of $1,800,000 zeroes in on the 500,000-pound implement that was for a long spell the world’s most lethal aircraft.  Those not immediately turned off by the thought of that will be mildly surprised to find a reasonably interesting drama, scripted by Irving Wallace and directed with no fuss by journeyman Gordon Douglas.


Karl Malden, fine as always, plays a veteran Air Force ground crew chief.  He’s tempted to leave the service for better civilian pay, something cute daughter Natalie Wood would feel more socially cool with.  Enter the cocky personage of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (“presenting” even though he’d been in the biz for eleven years) as Malden’s superior.  He woos Natalie.* Pops doesn’t dig the hot shot playboy with the rank. Some pat situations, gung firmly in ho, but actually it’s not all quite as cringe-worthy as one may assume from the title and outline.


Film buffs with a discerning ear may detect the disembodied voice of James Garner, as a pilot during one of the airborne sequences. From 1957, cruising 106 minutes, with Marsha Hunt, Nelson Leigh, Robert Nichols, Stuart Whitman, Russ Conway, John Doucette, Bing Russell and Will Hutchins.  Don’t relax: those mighty B-52s are still ready to rock Russia, and our neocons are Strangelove enough to go for it. Enjoy every sunset.

. * The red-white &-blue blooded men at the Strategic Air Command named 19-year-old Natalie “Miss Stratosphere of 1957”.


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