- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Gathering of Eagles - Real Life
- Paul Mihalich
I arrived at Beale AFB in December 1966 after Tech School at Lowery AFB. I was assigned to the 63 MMS and was a qualified Weapons Mechanic in January of 1967. I remember years later watching " A Gathering of Eagles" long long after I was discharged in 1970. The film scenery looked familiar and I was fascinated and curious at the same time while watching the film that was made at Beal. My wife was watching me at the time and wondering what was going on in my mind. I later told her that I went through an ORI at that base and what we actually did, that the film did not show and only alluded to. My wife understood what I and the other Airmen did but could not actually visualize it until she watched the film again and I could give her a running narrative as to what was taking place and what we were working on. In case you may be curious, we were the guys loading and arming the "Nukes" or as sometimes called "Special Weapons". We were working on the B-52G model with the 4 50cal guns in the back, once I got back from "Nam" I went to the 70th MMS at Kincheloe AFB in Michigan and worked on the H models for 2 1/2 years. We went through 2 "ORI's" 2 "Bar None's" and some "Chrome Dome" exercises at Kincheloe. The film caught some of the drama but not all of it, but I still enjoy watching it. There is nothing like watching 6 B-52s scramble off the alert pads and lift into the sky - really impressive, nothing in civilian aviation to compare to it.
A Gathering of Eagles
- Dawsey Hood
I like the movie, I saw it in 1965 at the Grand Forks AFB, ND when I was assigned to a SAC unit. I would like to get a copy of it for my collection.
A Gathering of Eagles
- Kent Brashear
This movie is the best depiction of the air force I have ever seen. I didn't know that the evening I saw it, July 15, 1963. I was 19 and enlisted in the air force that day after failing the physical portion of the army's warrant officer helicopter pilot program. I served six years as an enlisted man in security police and I've guarded some of those SAC bombers and tankers. I got out of the air force and resumed my college education and became a commissioned air force officer in 1972. After Minuteman Missile Launch Officer School I was assigned to Minot AFB, a dual wing base. This was a SAC base. First I was in the missile wing and then became the supply officer for the bomb wing. A SAC missile launch officer was like being a bomber pilot but 80 feet below the ground. In the movie actor Wild Bill Elliot played the missile commander, another colonel working for Rock Hudson's character. I've seen the air force from the bottom and the top of a wing and gone through many ORIs. A Gathering of Eagles was an inspiration for me as well as others. This movie told it like it was, and with a good story and acting. I don't know about today. I retired in the early eighties. Why won't TCM play this movie, they have it for sale in their shop? Sgt./Capt. Kent
The Gathering of Eagles
- Betty Karr USAF retired
My career was started in Sac., except for the blue name plates on their uniforms the movie was very well done. Rock Hudson played a commander under pressure. I remember my commander acting the same way when a base flunked the ORI. One of my favorite movies. I wish they would release it on DVD and blue ray. Rod Talor was more relaxed, which is rare in the real world.
WHY NO DVD RELEASE???
- L Wos
I don't know why this movie hasn't been released on DVD. It was released on VHS, so why not on DVD. For crying out loud........... Come on people, get with it.
Was in Strategic Air Command (SAC)
- J R Chambers
This movie was and still is one of my favourite was in SAC in years 1964 to 1968. Part of time at FE Warren AFB which is part of SAC command. Retired after 30 years of active duty service in Air Force and has been a mission of mine to one day get a copy of this movie so that I can show to all my grand children as well as great grandchildren. J.R.
T-Bird crew chief
- R. West
I was the real life crew chief of the T-33 that Rod Taylor supposed flew in the scene where after they land and Hudson's character is chewing out Taylor's character for leaving the base. When Taylor got out of the T-33 the first time, (without a ladder) he slid down the side of the plane, his butt hit the air intake and he damn hear busted his butt on the ground. CUT ! Do over.I was a lot of fun helping make the movie.
An Inspiration to my life and guidence.
- William Donahue
Having retired from the U.S. Air Force recently with the rank of a Lieutenant General, I owe my career and path of travel through this life to the influence of having seen A GATHERING OF EAGLES, when I was one of those rebels without a cause (sic) back in the early 1960's. I, like many others, wandered about, not knowing what they wanted to do with their lives until I saw that movie. It and the Cuban Missile Crisis made me see life in a entirely different light. I found purpose. But the depiction of reality in a motion picture is not like the reality of life. Yet when I became a member of the Air Force I was surprised at just how close that movie came to telling it like it really was on several levels. Life in the Air Force is not for everyone, but it appealed to me and I found it to be a rewarding thirty year career, married a beautiful woman, had two daughters and a son. I even got to meet one of its stars at a benefit later on, actor Rod Taylor. He's charming, got a great sense of humor and is a really nice guy. If I'd never seen that movie, none of this would have ever had happened to me. The film is the most accurate depiction of the Air Force way of life that has ever been depicted on film (as cir'ca) 1963, of the now defunct Strategic Air Command, dismissing the usual dramatics added for effect. The aerial photography is spellbinding, the acting is intense and the music by (then) upcoming maestro Jerry Goldsmith, is a fitting tribute to SAC.
- Robert Craft
Being an member of the aircraft maintenance squadron when this movie was filmed is something that at the time was an experience I did not value as something meaningful. Like others that were involved in care giving of the aircraft that were our front line defense it seemed a thankless task. For the most part when the film makers left the base it was over. We were given the opportunity to see the finished product and took great pleasure in seeing our positions portrayed by NCO s that had not launched an aircraft in years. Glory seekers. None the less it told the story of what we did day in and day out. Now at the age of 70 I still think of that time.
Brings back old memories
I was stationed at Beale from Jan 1967 to June of 1968, working at both the Alert B-52 facility and the Command Post. The hallway shot of the alert facility was right on, except for the sign over one of the lounges. The outside ramps from the building looked the same, on the north side of the building, but the alert crew trucks were backed in straight, not at an angle as in the movie. I got to watch an ORI from the Alert Facility. Big doings!!! As for the Command Post footage, the one depicted in the movie was different than the one I worked in. The big board and conference room looked the same, but the office, where I worked, and where the controllers sat looked different. If I remember correctly. we only had 8-9 bombers on alert, no tankers on alert and I believe the missiles had been taken out by the time I got there in '67. I had heard that the swimming pools, one at the Alert Facility and the other on the main base were donated by the film company as a "thank you." As I said, it brought back a ton of memories. I'd sit there every night at the Alert Facility, looking out onto the "Buffs", "cocked" and ready to go, as the crews slept downstairs. When that klaxon went off, all hell broke loose. It's one of my favorite movies.
My favorite movie, Gathering of Eagles
I was in SAC from 1971 - 1975 as a Security Police member. The ORI's were real and grueling for all the members of the Air Force. We all had to know our stuff if we were questioned by the inspection teams. I loved the authenticity of the movie, and particularly reading my Air Force brothers and sisters account of this movie and their love of this movie as well.At the time of being in the service, I must say I was not pleased to be in at that particular time. All branches of the service were not very popular with the American public. We did our jobs to keep our nation safe and strong.Looking back, I was proud to be a part of SAC, and the movie Gathering of Eagles, reminds me of why I should be proud. Although, it was peace time at the time of making the movie, the Cold war was still going on ten years later when I was a part of SAC, and the mission was to be strong and ready for anything at anytime.To echo my brothers and sisters of SAC, I wish the movie would come out on DVD, as my tape of it got quite warn out and now..it is gone forever. I just saw it on TV yesterday and my world stopped until the movie was over. It really is a great movie, especially for those of us whom served in The Strategic Air Command of the Air Force. It was tough..especially during the ORI's, but gratifying to look back on it now and to be forever proud to be a part of it.
America guarding her skies.
This film's release was in 1963, the calm just before the storm of social unrest and political upheaval. My father was a Master Sergeant in SAC, a thirty year man. As a kid, my sister and I moved around a lot and we always thought we were pretty well off. The Base Housing (at least to me) seemed pretty nice and we always had good food and clothing. We were never allowed on the flight line, but during an ORI, I did get to see a squadron of B-52G's scramble and take off at 15 Second intervals. That was really cool. Many of the Air Force wives didn't like it because of all the smoke and JP-4 fuel fumes stinking-up the air. The Farmers and surrounding townspeople didn't think too much of it either. Everybody hated an ORI! But until I saw A GATHERING OF EAGLES, I never knew exactly what was involved in those things. On the base everything was practically on (what they call now) lockdown. My dad came home after 7 day alerts and nobody in our house was too happy about that! He never talked too much about his work. I really liked the way this movie was cast and directed. It has a cast where every actor seemed like they were born to play their role. I had seen Rock Hudson and Rod Taylor, together in GIANT, back in 1956 and thought they played well off each other. I wish the movie had been originally filmed in Panavision instead of being converted to the widescreen version later. One thing that was wrong in the movie was that the Titan 2 missile silos were not on base, they were 40 miles away in the countryside. And with the climate that the fictional Carmody Air Base was located, the officers and airman would be wearing the Service Dress "Silver-Tans" Uniforms, not the Air Force Blue Shade 84 color that was in effect until 1965. Having been brought-up on television shows like STEVE CANYON, I became an expert (of sorts) on aviation films. I have waited for over 15 years for this movie to be released on DVD. I hope its released on Blue-ray too!
I am in the movie
- Wilmer Jones
I was the Pad Chief (Pad Dad) for Missile Launch # 1 at the Lincoln 4A complex with the rank of Staff Sargent. This Titan I missile was shown underground and in the above ground scene with the B-52G flying by. My friend Monty Welch (Pad Dad of #2 Titan) and I are shown running down a tunnel at the start of the ORI sequence. We spent 3 weeks helping the film crew get the footage they wanted. As a ground crew member on the B-52G before moving to the Titan I, I can honestly say this movie depicts the real thing. When an alert or ORI came, we had to have those 10 alert B-52s and 10 KC-135 tankers off the ground in 15 minutes. That launch was awesome to watch! Being a member of SAC was a very demanding job from the lowest airman to the men at the top of the chain of command. This film did a great job of showing the pressure we were under at all times to make sure we could defend our country during the cold war.
Partly filmed at Castle AFB in Atwater, CA
- Judy Cash
I was in high school when they filmed part of this movie at Castle AFB in Atwater, Calif. and the base commander's daughter had a bit part in the movie.
WE KEPT WORLD PEACE
- YGNACIO PEREZ, MSgt RET.
THIS MOVIE IS SO CLOSE TO THE REAL THING THAT IT MAKES MEREMEMBER HOW HARD WE WORKED TO SUPPORT SAC's MIS-SION. NOT MANY AMERICANS CAN IDENTIFY WITH THOSESERVICEMEN WHO SERVERED DURING THE COLD WAR. I AM HERETO SAY THAT OUR JOB WAS AS IMPORTANT AS IF WE HAD BEENAT WAR.
Ilove this movie.
- darryl calhoun
A sac kid from 1963 from carswell AFB FT WORTH TEXAS.
- Robert Davis
I was station in SAC twice. Once 90 SRW at Forbes AFB, Kansas in 1957. Second time with the 2 Bomb Wing at Hunter AFB Ga. I hope this movie is shown on TCM soon.
A GREAT WATCH FOR ANYONE EVER ASSOCIATED WITH SAC
As a former B-52 Crewmember (I sat in the back as an EWO) I became a big fan of any movie that involved the plane I spent 1500 hours in. After seeing the "completely guessed" interior of the B-58 in "FAIL SAFE" and even the made-up interior of the B-52 in "DR STRANGELOVE" (sorry folks there is no such thing as a CRM-114 discriminator), this movie stands out as very well researched with the obvious cooperation of the USAF. Once scene worthy of note is where the fuel coupling leaks during air refueling - That is indeed where the coupling is, what it looks like, even the little plexiglas sighting window is there. Also the minimum interval takeoff (MITO) was indeed 15 seconds, and the planes did indeed swing out to their "fan" headings, just as in real procedures. I love the camera placement behind the main bogies during takeoff - neat shot. And the no-flaps landing is a real, no-shit no flaps landing. I put this in the same league as "STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND" for technical accuracy
Excellent Cold War Movie!
I was a member of the 92 Air Refueling Squadron (92 ARS) at Fairchild AFB from 1957 to 1960. As a KC-135 & B-52 mechanic, this movie is a testament to those who not only served, but fondly remember.
Altus A.F.B. Okla.
- Kenneth W. Lawson
I was in SAC from 1962-1966 at Altus A.F.B. I was a crew chief on a KC-135 this movie was the most realistic air force movie i've ever seen. I would like it to be shown on TCM sometime
A "Must See" Rock Hudson/Rod Taylor Movie
As a daughter whose father served in the air force growing up, I could appreciate the story content. The acting is superb and one of Rock Hudson's better "serious" roles. Rod Taylor complemented him very well as the supporting actor. It has a well-thoughtout story line and very reflective of the air force's M.O.. I would highly recommend this film. BRING IT BACK ON DVD. . .please!!!!!!!!!
- scott D
Pretty accruate representation of SAC in the day. The most bizzare error is the ground crews working on a B--52 engine with there hats on. The hat would get sucked up in the engine. You never wear a hat on the flight line.Scott
Training for SAC
- 2Lt Lindsay
I saw this movie three time and completed Air Force ROTC prior to being assigned the the 5th Bomb Wing (heavy), SAC at Travis AFB, Cal for 4 years. Pretty real movie (too many bird colonels in Lt Col slots-but why else call it a gathering of eagles?)
I served in SAC 1958-1967
- Thomas E Brown
I served in SAC at Clinton-Sherman AFB. OK; Goose Bay, Labrador and Francis E. Warren, Wyo. When this movie came out I was home on leave from Goose Bay. I took my girlfriend with me and she was impressed--never knew that much about SAC--it is an excellent , realistic movies about the greatest,strongest military organization in the world and accurately portrays life on a SAC base at that time.
Nine Years in SAC
- Robert H. Goss
Having spent two tours in SAC (55SRW - Forbes AFB, KS, 100 BW, Pease AFB, NH, and 72 BW, Ramey AFB, PR) I found "A Gathering of Eagles" to be a fair and true representation of what life in SAC really was all about.
I was there
- Bob West
I was stationed at Beale when this movie was made. As the real life crew chief of the T-33 (s/n 993) aircraft that was used as the chase plane "flown" by Rod Taylor in the aerial fuel leak scenes I got to work with Rod. There is one glaring error that I must point out. When the B-52 lands and the fire fighters go in with hoses to "cool" the red hot brakes? That would never happen Spraying red hot brakes would cause them to explode. And the bloopers that happened during the heated exchange of words in that scene was hilarious. Working with Hollywood was fun
- Max Lieberman
I was stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base, in the 551st Strategic Missile Squadron, in 1964. The movie was by and large accurate and realistic, except I don't believe that the Titan I silos would have been located so close to the end of the runway as shown in the picture. At Lincoln, the closed Atlas F silo was at Eagle, about 45 miles (if my memory is unimpaired) away.
- Steve Hodachok
This film portrays life in SAC very accurately, except for the higher ranking NCOs with tools in their hands.The ORI (operational readiness inspection), alert exercises, alert duty, MITO (Minimum Interval Take Off) of B-52's and most things were as I remember as a long time SAC member.
Gathering of Eagles
- David Stone
In 1963 my father was a SAC bomber pilot. His entire squadron was required to attend a viewing of this movie. It is an accurate account of life of members of the Strategic Air Command and the demands on those in leadership then, at the height of the cold war. This is an excellent movie and worth watching, especially for anyone connected to the Air Force in those days.