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Jessie Royce Landis
Air Force test pilot Pike Yarnell reluctantly attends the memorial service for long-dead Donald Beasley, his navigator during the Korean War; recalling, in flashbacks, their painful days together on a life raft. In Beasley's home town, Pike is repelled at Donald's wealthy mother's enshrinement of her dead son; bemused at his frankly amorous pursuit by Donald's younger sister Pat; and increasingly charmed by his attractive widow Christina. What will the final flashback reveal?Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Major Pike Yarnell (Jeff Chandler) is an Air Force test pilot when the film begins. He seems like a bit of a grouch and when the widow of a fellow pilot comes to ask Pike to come to a memorial service for her husband, Pike is oddly indifferent. Despite her assuming he wouldn't attend, he unexpectedly shows up for the service. And, following the service, he goes to stay with the dead man's rich family. There, you learn, slowly, about the sort of people they are...particularly the dead man's mother (Mary Astor) and grandfather (Charles Coburn)...who are rather awful. As to the dead guy (Peter Graves), you only slowly learn about who he was and how he dies through the course of the film...and Pike tries very hard to spare his family the disgraceful truth about the dead 'hero'.
Thi is a very good movie and the portions involving the dead man are showing using several flashbacks. I liked the mystery about the guy and the way the truth came out. The only portion that didn't quite work for me was the romance with the widow (June Allyson)...which seemed a bit fast and forced. Still, a good film with a few powerful scenes. Worth seeing.
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