The Hunters (1958)

Written by John Chard on April 16, 2016

Love tryst and thundering planes.

Set during the Korean War, this picture features the fine talent of Robert Mitchum as Major Cleve Saville and a young fresh faced Robert Wagner as the cocksure Lt Ed Pell. As the war rages, and the airmen deal with the pressures that come with the service, Saville starts to fall in love with the wife (a very weak May Britt) of one of his men, thus adding further pressures to a company growing weary by the day. The Hunters, based on the novel written by James Salter, is a very solid picture, perhaps bogged down by it's determination to give the picture emotional heart, it never the less thrills with its aerial sequences and is awash with glorious colour that new televisual technology can enhance, it's also a film that definitely needs to be seen in widescreen.

By not outstaying its welcome, The Hunters is the perfect film for genre fans who find themselves stuck in the house on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Though Mitchum of course oozes his usual screen presence here, he is playing second fiddle to the F-86 Sabres that are swishing about the bright blue sky, dog fighting with the Migs (well F-84 Thunders cunningly disguised as Migs) and thus giving the picture the necessary action quotient. Films set in the Korean War are few and far between, so to at least have a film like The Hunters to view when in the mood is surely a really good thing. 6/10