Bailout at 43,000 (1957)

78-79 mins | Drama | 1 May 1957

Director:

Francis D. Lyon

Writer:

Paul Monash

Cinematographer:

Lionel Lindon

Editor:

George Gittens

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos

Production Company:

P.T.S. Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

An opening title card states: "The producers express grateful appreciation to the United States Air Force Air Research and Development Command for technical assistance and cooperation in making this picture." As noted in the Var review, Bailout at 43,000 was "the 87th--and last--film to be made under the Pine-Thomas banner." The the vast majority of the films were produced for Paramount by William C. Thomas and the William H. Pine. Following Pine's death, his son, Howard B. Pine, produced an additional three films under the P.T.S. Productions, Inc. banner. Bailout at 43,000 was also the film film that Thomas produced.
       The film was derived from a segment of the CBS Climax anthology television series. The program, which was also entitled "Bailout at 43,000," was written by Paul Monash and directed by John Frankenheimer, was broadcast live from Hollywood on 29 Dec 1955 and starred Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Nancy Davis and Lee Marvin.
       A HR production chart of 28 Sep 1956 lists Richard Boone in the cast after John Payne, but according to a 1 Oct 1956 HR news item, Boone had to "bow out" of the film due to another commitment. A 12 Oct 1956 HR news item includes Darlene Fields in the cast, but her appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Actress Karen Steele was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., to whom she was under personal contract, for the production. The character portrayed by actor Gregory Gay is named "Reinach" in the film's pressbook and in the Var review, but in the ... More Less

An opening title card states: "The producers express grateful appreciation to the United States Air Force Air Research and Development Command for technical assistance and cooperation in making this picture." As noted in the Var review, Bailout at 43,000 was "the 87th--and last--film to be made under the Pine-Thomas banner." The the vast majority of the films were produced for Paramount by William C. Thomas and the William H. Pine. Following Pine's death, his son, Howard B. Pine, produced an additional three films under the P.T.S. Productions, Inc. banner. Bailout at 43,000 was also the film film that Thomas produced.
       The film was derived from a segment of the CBS Climax anthology television series. The program, which was also entitled "Bailout at 43,000," was written by Paul Monash and directed by John Frankenheimer, was broadcast live from Hollywood on 29 Dec 1955 and starred Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Nancy Davis and Lee Marvin.
       A HR production chart of 28 Sep 1956 lists Richard Boone in the cast after John Payne, but according to a 1 Oct 1956 HR news item, Boone had to "bow out" of the film due to another commitment. A 12 Oct 1956 HR news item includes Darlene Fields in the cast, but her appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Actress Karen Steele was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., to whom she was under personal contract, for the production. The character portrayed by actor Gregory Gay is named "Reinach" in the film's pressbook and in the Var review, but in the film he is called "Gruner."
       The film's pressbook states that the film was shot at the U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station at El Centro, CA, and on the grounds of the Beria Corp., a government-subsidized industrial complex engaged in atomic energy tests at Salton Sea, CA. Bailout at 43,000 was actor Paul Kelly's last film. He died at age 53 of a heart attack shortly after finishing this role. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 May 1957.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 May 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 56
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 1956
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 1956
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 1956
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 57
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 May 57
p. 362.
New York Times
8 Jun 57
p. 13.
Variety
15 May 57
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Pine-Thomas-Shane Production
A Pine-Thomas-Shane Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
Ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Dial supv
Prod mgr
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the teleplay "Bailout at 43,000 Feet" by Paul Monash on Climax (CBS, 29 Dec 1955).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 May 1957
Production Date:
began 1 October 1956 at Samuel Goldwyn Studios
Copyright Claimant:
P.T.S. Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 May 1957
Copyright Number:
LP8461
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78-79
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18337
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Maj. Paul Peterson is called back into active service by his former commanding officer, Col. William Hughes, he joins a team conducting tests on a downward ejection seat for the B-47 bomber. Although tests have been made utilizing articulated dummies, the time has come to place humans in the seat. The volunteer will freefall through space for thirty-three thousand feet before an automatic timer opens a parachute to return him safely to earth. Paul, married with a young son, is understandably nervous about this assignment and later learns that he has not been chosen for the first test. Instead, a playboy bachelor, Capt. Mike Cavallero, is selected to be the first to go. The night before the test, Mike goes nightclubbing with two women and meets an old friend, Capt. Jack Nolan, and his wife Frances. Jack, who flew with Mike in Korea, tells him that he has been assigned to assist the project. Later that night, Mike goes to the airfield to look at the seat being installed in the plane and admits to Paul, who has stopped by, that he is more than a little scared. The next day, the test experiences trouble when the parachute snaps open too early and there is no sign of life from Mike as the seat falls into the ocean. Later in the hospital, project doctor Maj. Irving Goldman informs Paul and a civilian engineer, Dr. Franz Gruner, that although Mike has a broken neck, he may eventually recover. Hughes decides that the tests will continue and that Lt. Edward Simmons will go next, to be followed by Paul. Meanwhile, Frances visits Paul, his wife Carol and their son Kit ... +


When Maj. Paul Peterson is called back into active service by his former commanding officer, Col. William Hughes, he joins a team conducting tests on a downward ejection seat for the B-47 bomber. Although tests have been made utilizing articulated dummies, the time has come to place humans in the seat. The volunteer will freefall through space for thirty-three thousand feet before an automatic timer opens a parachute to return him safely to earth. Paul, married with a young son, is understandably nervous about this assignment and later learns that he has not been chosen for the first test. Instead, a playboy bachelor, Capt. Mike Cavallero, is selected to be the first to go. The night before the test, Mike goes nightclubbing with two women and meets an old friend, Capt. Jack Nolan, and his wife Frances. Jack, who flew with Mike in Korea, tells him that he has been assigned to assist the project. Later that night, Mike goes to the airfield to look at the seat being installed in the plane and admits to Paul, who has stopped by, that he is more than a little scared. The next day, the test experiences trouble when the parachute snaps open too early and there is no sign of life from Mike as the seat falls into the ocean. Later in the hospital, project doctor Maj. Irving Goldman informs Paul and a civilian engineer, Dr. Franz Gruner, that although Mike has a broken neck, he may eventually recover. Hughes decides that the tests will continue and that Lt. Edward Simmons will go next, to be followed by Paul. Meanwhile, Frances visits Paul, his wife Carol and their son Kit and after the two women discuss the problems of being married to pilots, they leave for an evening at the officers' club. Simmons, distrustful of German engineer Gruner, packs his own parachute before the test. During a bingo game at the club, word circulates that Jack has been killed in a B-47 crash. After Paul and Carol attempt to comfort Frances, they return home to find Hughes waiting with the news that Simmons is in the hospital, being operated on for appendicitis. Paul believes that the project is jinxed and is ambivalent about doing the test. However, he is also concerned that Hughes thinks he has gone soft and has lost respect for him. That night while Paul has nightmares, Carol slips out to beg Hughes not to use him for the test, but Hughes is unresponsive. The next day, partly motivated by the fact that Jack was killed because he could not bail out, Paul shows up to find Hughes suiting up to perform the test himself. Paul pleads with Hughes to let him go up as he now feels that he must go through with the test. When Paul ejects, all goes as planned except that he does not spread-eagle his legs as a signal that he is safe and this causes much tension on board the rescue launch. However, after Paul is examined and found to be fine, he states that he simply forgot to make the signal. Back at the base, Paul is greeted by Carol and Kit and, with their blessing, decides to continue in the project. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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