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Reconnaissance Pilot (1943)

| Documentary, Short
Documentary/training film depicting the duties of a pilot in the Pacific Theatre of the Second World War as he flies reconnaissance missions over enemy-held islands.


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Uncredited cast:
Walter Baldwin ... George Newton (uncredited)
Ralph Byrd ... Colonel (uncredited)
William Forrest ... Colonel Henry (uncredited)
William Holden ... Lt. Packard A. Cummings (uncredited)
Kim Hunter ... Catherine Cummings (uncredited)
Selmer Jackson ... Lt. General (uncredited)
Arthur Kennedy ... Decoration Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
George O'Hanlon ... Jocular Officer (uncredited)
Dorothy Peterson ... Mrs. Cummings (uncredited)
Don Porter ... Camera Instructor (uncredited)


Lt. Packard Cummings, son of a famous fighter pilot, dreams of becoming one himself, especially after his father is shot down by the Japanese in World War II. But when the young officer completes his training, he is assigned instead to duty as a reconnaissance pilot, charged with photographing enemy facilities. Bitter at not being able to fight the enemy in a way he considers meaningful, Cummings runs afoul of his commanding officer. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Documentary | Short







Also Known As:

Special Film Project 125 See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first opening credit] Security Classification On This Subject Has Been Removed See more »


I've Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)
Written by Duke Ellington and Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Dinah Shore (uncredited)
Played on phonograph during officers club scene
See more »

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User Reviews

He wants to kill...and they want him to take photographs.
24 June 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Political Correctness alert!! This film was made for pilots to see during WWII and it is very colorful in its derogatory language about the enemy, the Japanese. This was the way of things and the US was at war...do if you cannot hear this without becoming enraged, watch something else.

The film begins showing Lt. Cummings (William Holden) returning home from the war. Then the picture digresses, showing him in flight school. During this time, he learns that his father was killed in action and this gives him a strong incentive to be the best in his class. He says "I wanna kill Japs...that's what my father would want me to do"...and is upset when he learns that he was TOO good in his class. Instead of being assigned to a fighter squadron, he's being assigned to fly a hot P-38 fighter....on photo reconnaissance missions. This means he'll be flying high, flying fast AND without guns!!

Overall, this is a well made educational film. However, I am not going to rate it, as it's not intended for consumption by the general public and I also have nothing conventional to which to compare it. Worth seeing for airplane and history buffs....or someone wanting to see all of William Holden's films.

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