Thundering Jets

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Thundering Jets
Thundering Jets poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Helmut Dantine
Produced byJack Leewood
Screenplay byJames Landis
Starring Rex Reason
Dick Foran
Audrey Dalton
Barry Coe
Buck Class
Robert Dix
Music by Irving Gertz
Cinematography John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Edited byFrank Baldridge
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 1958 (1958-05)
Running time
73 minutes
CountryUnited States

Thundering Jets is a 1958 American drama film directed by Helmut Dantine, written by James Landis, and starring Rex Reason, Dick Foran, Audrey Dalton, Barry Coe, and Robert Dix. [2]


Thundering Jets was released in May 1958, by 20th Century Fox. [3] [4] [5]


At the United States Edwards Air Force Base Flight Test School, instructor wartime veteran, Capt. Steve Morley (Rex Reason) resents "playing nursemaid to a bunch of glory jockeys." The new class includes Kurt Weber (Giuseppe Addobbati), who flew for Germany during World War II; Maj. Mike Geron (Buck Class); show-off Capt. Murphy (Lee Farr); Lt. Jimmy Erskine (Robert Dix) and Lt. Bob Kiley (Robert Conrad). [Note 1]

Steve meets his sweetheart, Susan Blair (Audrey Dalton), a secretary for Lt. Col. Spalding (Dick Fora). Dissatisfied with his role, his pupils continue to have problems as he tries to stress that discipline is important. Both Susan and Steve's fellow flight instructors caution him that he is too harsh. Asking again for a transfer, Steve is denied.

On a training mission the next day, Murphy flies dangerously and is expelled for his irresponsible behaviour. Fellow students, are certain that Steve is to blame. Later Steve takes Mike up, but the engine flames out and Mike passes out. Steve seizes the controls and lands the aircraft safely, saving them both and the aircraft. Finally, his students accept Steve, realizing he is just trying to help them achieve their goal of becoming test pilots.



Thundering Jets was filmed primarily at the United States Flight Test School at Edwards Air Force Base, employing the school's Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jet training aircraft. The production used mainly stock footage with one T-33 on loan to the studio and was featured in the process shots. [7]


Aviation film historian Stephen Pendo in Aviation in the Cinema, considered Thundering Jets a "... poor picture and has only routine aerial shots." [8]

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  1. Conrad was in one of his first roles. [6]


  1. "Of local origin. The New York Times, May 28, 1958.
  2. "Thundering Jets." Monthly Film Bulletin, 1958, pp. 25, 92.
  3. "Overview: Thundering Jets (1958).", September 21, 2015.
  4. "Trailer - Cast - Showtimes: Thundering-Jets." The New York Times. Retrieved: September 21, 2015.
  5. "Thundering Jets." Retrieved: September 21, 2015.
  6. Weaver, Tom. "Earth vs. the Sci-Fi Filmmakers: 20 Interviews." Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2014, p. 74.
  7. Orris 2018, p. 135.
  8. Pendo 1985, p. 262.