Flight Nurse (1954)

90 mins | Romance | 1 March 1954

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writer:

Alan LeMay

Cinematographer:

Reggie Lanning

Editor:

Fred Allen

Production Designer:

James Sullivan

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working titles of the film were Angels Take Over and Angels over Korea . The credits are followed by a written dedication to the military nurses of the "Armed Forces of Free Nations" and an acknowledgment of the assistance of the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force in the making of the picture. Voice-over narration, spoken by Joan Leslie as "Lt. Polly Davis" and Forrest Tucker as "Capt. Bill Eaton," is heard intermittently throughout the film. An undated contemporary news item reported that producer-director Allan Dwan planned to film at Hickam Field, Honolulu, and in Japan, shooting at these locations has not been confirmed. According to a May 1953 HR news item, portions of the film were shot at Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, CA. Var and DV reviews note that stock war footage was used in the ... More Less

The working titles of the film were Angels Take Over and Angels over Korea . The credits are followed by a written dedication to the military nurses of the "Armed Forces of Free Nations" and an acknowledgment of the assistance of the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force in the making of the picture. Voice-over narration, spoken by Joan Leslie as "Lt. Polly Davis" and Forrest Tucker as "Capt. Bill Eaton," is heard intermittently throughout the film. An undated contemporary news item reported that producer-director Allan Dwan planned to film at Hickam Field, Honolulu, and in Japan, shooting at these locations has not been confirmed. According to a May 1953 HR news item, portions of the film were shot at Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, CA. Var and DV reviews note that stock war footage was used in the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Nov 1953.
---
Daily Variety
4 Nov 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Nov 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 53
p. 3, 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 53
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1953
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 53
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1953
p. 11.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Nov 53
p. 2062.
New York Times
30 Jan 54
p. 9.
Variety
30 Jun 1953.
---
Variety
4 Nov 53
p. 6.
Washington Post
4 Nov 1953.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Spec photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
SOURCES
SONGS
"Gimme My Chute (Jimmy Crack Corn)," words by Allan Dwan, music traditional
"Mushi Mushi (London Bridge)," traditional
"The Nurse's Prayer," words by Edith A. Aynes.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Angels Take Over
Angels over Korea
Release Date:
1 March 1954
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Washington, D.C.: 4 November 1953
Los Angeles opening: 16 December 1953
Production Date:
14 May--mid June 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 September 1953
Copyright Number:
LP3271
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16603
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During the Korean War, Air Force nurse Lt. Polly Davis flies to Japan for her first assignment with the Medical Air Evacuation Unit, while hoping to be near her fiancé, Capt. Mike Barnes, a helicopter pilot from Rockingham, Texas. After landing, Polly is taken to the nurses' quarters in Tachikawa and meets her roommates, Lt. Ann Phillips and Lt. Kit Ramsay. When the other nurses learn about Polly's disappointment that Mike did not meet her at the airport, they warn Polly that "flight nurses never get their men." Soon Capt. Martha Ackerman, the chief nurse, sends them on their various assignments. Polly is taken to a C-47 plane, where she meets her medical technician, Sgt. Frank Swan, and the pilots, Captains Bill Eaton and Tommy Metcalf. As the crew flies to Korea, Polly is shocked by her first sight of war, but then quickly gains her composure to comfort the wounded men. Bill is impressed with her, but after hearing about Mike, philosophizes that "you can't pry a girl loose" from the daring helicopter pilots, who often become wounded or missing in action and leave their women unable to break free of their memories. However, Bill watches as Polly calmly saves a young man's life and decides to try to win her away from Mike. Back in Japan, Mike takes Polly on a date and talks about marriage, but their date is interrupted when Mike is called on a mission. Later, while evacuating the wounded, Bill learns that Mike's helicopter with wounded men is overdue from the front and waits for him as long as possible. When a report arrives announcing an imminent aerial combat, Bill decides to chance ... +


During the Korean War, Air Force nurse Lt. Polly Davis flies to Japan for her first assignment with the Medical Air Evacuation Unit, while hoping to be near her fiancé, Capt. Mike Barnes, a helicopter pilot from Rockingham, Texas. After landing, Polly is taken to the nurses' quarters in Tachikawa and meets her roommates, Lt. Ann Phillips and Lt. Kit Ramsay. When the other nurses learn about Polly's disappointment that Mike did not meet her at the airport, they warn Polly that "flight nurses never get their men." Soon Capt. Martha Ackerman, the chief nurse, sends them on their various assignments. Polly is taken to a C-47 plane, where she meets her medical technician, Sgt. Frank Swan, and the pilots, Captains Bill Eaton and Tommy Metcalf. As the crew flies to Korea, Polly is shocked by her first sight of war, but then quickly gains her composure to comfort the wounded men. Bill is impressed with her, but after hearing about Mike, philosophizes that "you can't pry a girl loose" from the daring helicopter pilots, who often become wounded or missing in action and leave their women unable to break free of their memories. However, Bill watches as Polly calmly saves a young man's life and decides to try to win her away from Mike. Back in Japan, Mike takes Polly on a date and talks about marriage, but their date is interrupted when Mike is called on a mission. Later, while evacuating the wounded, Bill learns that Mike's helicopter with wounded men is overdue from the front and waits for him as long as possible. When a report arrives announcing an imminent aerial combat, Bill decides to chance an escape, dodging both enemy and U.S. planes. During the flight, Polly learns of Mike's plight and is angry that Bill held back the information. Later, Kit warns Polly about small town life, but Polly believes that she would be happy in "Rocking Chair," Texas and worries about Mike. Several times during their missions, Bill is there to comfort Polly during bombings and saves her life when she is almost killed rescuing a wounded soldier. When the Marines and the Army land at Inchon and take Seoul, 50,000 prisoners of war are freed. Knowing he cannot compete with a dead hero, Bill hopes Mike is among the survivors. In a Seoul hospital, several released American prisoners are questioned about their experiences, and one soldier, after telling grisly tales, identifies a captured Korean as the man in charge of a murdering squad. Meanwhile, several dog tags of dead soldiers are retrieved, including Mike's. When Polly learns of this, grieving and oblivious, she is nearly killed by "Bed Check Charlie," an enemy flier who drops nightly bombs, but Bill saves her from being hit. At the urging of the secretly smitten Frank, who worries that Polly is near a breakdown, Bill talks to Ackerman, who decides to ground Polly. In sympathy, Ackerman confides to Polly that she, too, lost a pilot with whom she was in love. Later, after Kit reports that Mike was found alive near the Chosin Reservoir and is now in a hospital, Ackerman sends Polly there in Bill's plane. During the flight, a soldier who is suffering mental trauma opens the hatch. When the door flies back and hits the stabilizer, the pilots lose instrument control and must prepare for an emergency sea landing. During the jarring impact, Polly, trying to aid an unconscious soldier, is thrown and suffers a concussion. After the crew loads the passengers into lifeboats, Bill takes Polly into the crew raft with him. As they wait for rescue, Polly deliriously calls for "Rocking Chair" and Bill recognizes her unconscious desire for Mike. When they are rescued, Bill accepts that he will never see her again. For several weeks, Polly recuperates at the same hospital as Mike, who has been receiving regular care packages from his former hometown girl friend, Florence. When he is well enough to be shipped home, Mike again asks Polly to marry him. However, during her convalescence Polly has come to realize that she could not embrace a quiet life while she is needed in Korea, and suggests that Mike return to Florence. Having already guessed how Polly would answer, Mike breaks up with her amicably. Later, Polly rejoins Bill and the rescue team. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.