The Mcconnell Story

  • 1955
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

A pall was cast on this film based on the experiences of a real-life American hero when its subject, Capt. Joseph McConnell, Jr., died while testing a Sabre jet just a few weeks before the picture was set to roll. McConnell had shot down 15 enemy planes during the Korean War and come back to the United States to great accolades. He'd hoped to return for...read more

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A pall was cast on this film based on the experiences of a real-life American hero when its subject, Capt. Joseph McConnell, Jr., died while testing a Sabre jet just a few weeks before the picture was set to roll. McConnell had shot down 15 enemy planes during the Korean War and come back

to the United States to great accolades. He'd hoped to return for another tour of duty but his superiors felt he was more important to the war effort Stateside and forbade his return to Korea; then fate intervened, and McConnell's plane crashed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Ladd is the

lead, a private from a small town in New England in the early days of WW II. He's assigned to medical duty, but wants to be a flier, so he takes private lessons in order to qualify. Meanwhile, he falls in love with and marries Allyson and they are sent to Texas, where she becomes pregnant. Before

they can settle in the Lone Star State, Ladd is sent to Washington for pilot training. Allyson goes back to Massachusetts to bear their daughter and Ladd becomes a bomber navigator in the war. Later, there's a new kind of fighter plane being developed, a jet-engined demon, and Whitmore, an old pal

of Ladd's, is in charge of the program and gets Ladd assigned to it. Ladd and Allyson move from base to base, have two more children, and finally settle in the Apple Valley area of California. War breaks out in Korea and Ladd, now a full-fledged jet pilot, downs several planes, then is sent home

to Apple Valley, where he discovers that his neighbors have built him the house of which he'd only dreamed. He becomes a test pilot over the tearful protests of Allyson (and could anyone cry as well as she could?), who wishes he'd ground himself but knows that she can never keep him earthbound.

Ladd takes off on his last flight, soaring into history and film lore. An unabashedly patriotic story with good performances by all, the picture also had the benefit of technical advice from some of the pilots who had actually been there, including Capt. Manuel J. Fernandez, one of the top aces in

the service at that time. Coscreenwriter Rolfe later created the TV series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." He foreshadowed his later success with some excellent bits of humor in what could have been a syrupy script. The picture has action, romance, and lots of good fun until the tragic, true

conclusion.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A pall was cast on this film based on the experiences of a real-life American hero when its subject, Capt. Joseph McConnell, Jr., died while testing a Sabre jet just a few weeks before the picture was set to roll. McConnell had shot down 15 enemy planes du… (more)

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