A technically oriented aerial thriller which stars Holden as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force base in California. Holden's strong desire to sit in the cockpit meets with some opposition from general Nolan. Holden was a prisoner during the Korean War and cracked under the pressure of
brainwashing. Nolan now fears that Holden will again crack, but this time during the crucial test of the experimental Bell X-2 rocket plane. Nolan's position is swayed by his secretary-girl friend Leith, who was romantically involved with Holden before he was taken prisoner. Holden calms Nolan's
fears and proves himself more than capable, especially when he gets Nolan out of a tight situation. Holden has more confidence in the air, however, than on the ground and is hesitant about becoming involved again with Leith. Nolan, sensing that he is losing Leith, attempts to prove himself in the
air by making the final test on the X-2. Fearing that Nolan cannot handle the job, Holden is forced to tell him that his pride may result not only in his death but in the death of the X-2 testing operation. Nolan backs off and Holden takes the plane up, successfully surviving the rigorous testing.
Nolan decides to accept a transfer, leaving Leith behind to finish what she had started with Holden. Superbly photographed and with aerobatics by the USAF Thunderbirds, TOWARD THE UNKNOWN has a real air of authenticity, fully capturing the dangerous and victorious atmosphere of Edwards Air Force
Base during its most exciting period. Following the pattern of many Hollywood stars (Alan Ladd, John Wayne, Burt Lancaster), Holden formed his own independent company, Toluca, for the production of this film. Holden, however, was not as business-minded as some of his peers and dissolved the
company after TOWARD THE UNKNOWN was completed.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A technically oriented aerial thriller which stars Holden as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force base in California. Holden's strong desire to sit in the cockpit meets with some opposition from general Nolan. Holden was a prisoner during the Korean War and c… (more)