Thunder Birds is another wartime aeronautical adventure is directed by former pilot William Wellman. This outing focuses on the pilots’ training and features Foster as a veteran of WWI who must content himself with training young pilots for action overseas in WWII. Much of the story centers on a romantic triangle between Preston Foster, local girl Gene Tierney, and his most difficult student, John Sutton. Watch for a photo of Wellman as a young flier to come out of Foster’s wallet at a crucial point in the story.
William Wellman, who directed the movie had flown with the Lafayette Flying Corps during World War I and was credited with destroying three German planes before his own plane was downed.
Cast: Gene Tierney, Preston Foster, John Sutton, Jack Holt, Dame May Whitty, George Barbier, Richard Haydn, Reginald Denny, Ted North, Janis Carter, C. Montague Shaw, Viola Moore, Nana Bryant, Joyce Compton, Bess Flowers, Selmer Jackson, Charles Tannen, Harry Strang, Walter Tetley, Walter Tetley, Peter Lawford
Director: William A. Wellman
Producer: Lamar Trotti
Screenwriter: Lamar Trotti
Original Story: Darryl F. Zanuck
Director of Photography: Ernest Palmer
Production Designers: James Basevi, Richard Day
Production Companies: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release Date: 19 October 1942
Running Time: 78 minutes
Genres: Drama, Romance, War
Country: United States of America
Tagline: For two pilots, one woman became a conflict of interest.