I saw Strategic Air Command (1955) a couple
of times when I was a kid and again as recently as
the 90s. It stars Jimmy Stewart as a WWII veteran
pilot called back into service to serve with the
newly formed Strategic Air Command. Which doesn't
exactly make his wife, June "Fluffy" Allyson, very
happy. There are a few good bits about this movie,
like when Stewart crashes his B-36 in Greenland.
I missed this one somehow. A Gathering of Eagles
(1963) has Rock Hudson as an Air Force colonel sent in
to whip a poorly performing SAC base into shape. Mary
Peach (who?) plays his wife. Interesting that the
poster should say "his mistress."
I somehow missed this one too, though Bombers B-52
(1957) sounds so bad that of course I just have to see it
now. I kind of feel sorry for Natalie Wood having to be in
this one. Or Karl Malden, for that matter.
The tag line on the poster reads "A woman on the knife
edge of desire between two men of a B-52!" Seems like
it should really be "between two men on each end of a
B-52." I love the group of very phallic looking B-52s
rising into the stratosphere on the poster.
"These movies were made in a age when Hollywood movie
moguls felt that war movies had to appeal to the female
audience, so what could have been great films, are primarily
soap operas. In Strategic Air Command and A Gathering of
Eagles, the hero has recently married and his poor neglected
wife is a victim of SAC's relentless working of her man. It
threatens to break up their marriage. But in the end, the
bride comes to understand that SAC's mission is more
important than anything else and her husband is a good man
because he does his duty to serve his country. It should
be noted that this was a very real issue: SAC had the
highest divorce rate of all the military services." (Source)
Ironically, it took the dark comedy of Dr. Strangelove
(1964) to bring an end to all this Cold-War love/bomber
craziness. The movie is almost totally lacking in the
male/female relationship area except as white-noise
Since I imagine that everything that Kubrick did was
intentional, you have to wonder if he was suggesting
that war is not just linked to but a substitute for
sexual fulfillment (the Purity of Essence speech, and
"Feed me, Mandrake. Feed me!") Such a view would have
been popular among intellectuals of the early 60s
(see Herbert Marcuse).
Major Kong: "Survival kit contents check. In them you'll
find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of
ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations;
one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin
pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills;
one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible;
one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in
gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics;
three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot,
a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with
all that stuff."
— from Dr. Strangelove.