The McConnell Story

Overview

Alan Ladd plays real-life air force hero Captain Joseph McConnell Jr. in this inspirational biopic, while June Allyson does her usual as McConnell's anxious, waiting-nervously-at-home wife. Assigned to the medical corps during WWII, McConnell takes private flying lessons so that he'll qualify for pilot duty. After serving with distinction in the war, McConnell becomes a pioneer in the testing of jet aircraft. The film ends when McConnell dies while testing a new Sabre Jet. If June Allyson seems genuinely broken ...
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Overview

Alan Ladd plays real-life air force hero Captain Joseph McConnell Jr. in this inspirational biopic, while June Allyson does her usual as McConnell's anxious, waiting-nervously-at-home wife. Assigned to the medical corps during WWII, McConnell takes private flying lessons so that he'll qualify for pilot duty. After serving with distinction in the war, McConnell becomes a pioneer in the testing of jet aircraft. The film ends when McConnell dies while testing a new Sabre Jet. If June Allyson seems genuinely broken up upon learning of her screen husband's death, it may be because the real Captain Joseph McConnell died only a few weeks before filming started on The McConnell Story, necessitating a hurriedly rescripted ending.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Most Hollywood biopics play exceptionally fast and loose with the truth, but The McConnell Story does a decent job of sticking fairly close to the facts. It deserves credit for this -- but it's a shame that the screenwriters couldn't come up with more rounded characters and more flavorful dialogue as well. This flaw, which fortunately doesn't derail the picture, means that the film has stretches when it drags a bit. But those stretches are made up for by the exciting aerial sequences, of which there are plenty. Director Gordon M. Douglas and cinematographer John F. Seitz do a superb job of creating a "you are there" feeling as McConnell learns the ropes of flying and as he embarks on a number of exciting, often tense flights. As the title character, Alan Ladd is once again a master of underplaying -- for some, perhaps too much a master, as his consistent "keep it inside" manner makes the character a bit distant and remote. June Allyson, however, goes for broke with her emotional scenes, especially near the end, and does a fine job of fleshing out a character that seems to exist for no reason other than to gaze admiringly at her husband, worry extensively and have babies. There's also fine support from the likes of James Whitmore, and sound designer Charles Lang deserves recognition for his fine work in the aerial sequences.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/6/2010
  • UPC: 883316232460
  • Original Release: 1955
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,866

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Ladd Joseph C. "Mac" McConnell, Jr.
June Allyson Pearl "Butch" Brown
James Whitmore Ty Whitman
Frank Faylen Sgt. Sykes
Robert Ellis Bob
Willis B. Bouchey Newton Bass
Sarah Selby Mom
Gregory Walcott First MP
Frank Ferguson Mechanic
John M. Pickard Second MP
Perry Lopez Red
Dabbs Greer Pilot Instructor
Edward Platt Medical Corps Instructor
Vera Marshe Woman
Technical Credits
Gordon M. Douglas Director
Gordon Bau Makeup
John Beckman Art Director
Henry Blanke Producer
Chuck Hansen Asst. Director
William Kissell Asst. Director
William L. Kuehl Set Decoration/Design
Charles Lang Sound/Sound Designer
Owen Marks Editor
Sam Rolfe Screenwriter
John F. Seitz Cinematographer
Ted Sherdeman Screenwriter
Howard Shoup Costumes/Costume Designer
Max Steiner Score Composer
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