The Hunters

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"Mightiest thrill-shocked adventure spectacle of the super-sonic age !"
  • Approved
  • 1958
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 6.4  (1,622)

The Hunters is a 1958 war drama film directed by Dick Powell and starring Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, and Richard Egan. The movie is based on the novel by James Salter, and depicts the life of United States Air Force pilots during the Korean War. The story follows Major Cleve Saville (played by Robert Mitchum), a veteran pilot who has been assigned to train new pilots at an Air Force base in Japan. He is a skilled and experienced pilot, but he is also troubled by his memories of the war and his complicated relationships with women. Cleve's main duty is to instruct Lieutenant "Pack" Winston (played by Robert Wagner), a brash and arrogant pilot who has impressed the Air Force with his flying skills but lacks discipline and respect for authority.

As Pack learns from Cleve, their relationship becomes strained due to Pack's lack of respect for protocol and Cleve's unyielding strictness. Additionally, both men are competing for the affections of a beautiful Navy nurse named Kristina (played by May Britt), who is torn between her attraction to Cleve's maturity and Pack's youthful charm.

Meanwhile, the pilots' missions become increasingly dangerous, and tensions between the United States and China escalate. In one intense scene, the pilots are tasked with bombing a key Communist rail line, but they face heavy opposition from Chinese fighter planes.

Throughout the film, The Hunters explores themes of masculinity, courage, brotherhood, and the toll war takes on soldiers' lives. The film features stunning aerial footage of fighter planes in combat that was groundbreaking for its time, and the direction by Dick Powell gives the film a gritty, realistic feel.

The performances by the lead actors are excellent, particularly Robert Mitchum who portrays Major Cleve Saville with a stoic yet vulnerable stoicism. Wagner's portrayal of Pack Winston is also convincing, highlighting the character's impetuousness and naivete. Additionally, Richard Egan delivers a strong supporting performance as Major Stoddard, Cleve's commanding officer.

The Hunters received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics deriding the film's lack of a clear message or emotional depth. However, the movie was well-received by audiences, and its depiction of military life and aerial combat helped pave the way for future war films, such as Top Gun.

In conclusion, The Hunters is a gripping war drama that offers a nuanced portrayal of the experiences of United States Air Force pilots during the Korean War. With its stunning aerial footage and strong performances by its lead actors, the film is a timeless classic that continues to be celebrated for its realism and intensity.

The Hunters is a 1958 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

The Hunters
Where to Watch The Hunters
The Hunters is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Hunters for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (1,622)