The Flying Missile

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Flying Missile
original film poster
Directed by Henry Levin
Produced by Jerry Bresler
Written by Harvey S. Haislip (story)
N. Richard Nash (story)
James Gunn (screenplay)
Richard English (screenplay)
Starring Glenn Ford
Viveca Lindfors
Kenneth Tobey
Music by George Duning
Cinematography William E. Snyder
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Release dates
  • December 1950 (1950-12) (U.S.)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Flying Missile is a 1950 black-and-white Cold War era Columbia Pictures film starring Glenn Ford and Viveca Lindfors. Made with the cooperation of the US Navy[1] it tells a fictionalised story of the then recently revealed story of the US Navy's first mounting and firing submarine-launched cruise missiles such as the Loon off the deck of submarines.[2]


Decorated submarine commander Commander William Talbot's (Glenn Ford) boat the USS Bluefin (actually the USS Cusk[3]) is on manoeuvers with the goal of simulating sinking the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41). The Midway is carrying some politicians to view the test firing of a JB-2 missile from its flight deck. Sighting the carrier, the Bluefin attempts a simulated torpedo attack but is detected and "sunk" by a depth charge attack from a destroyer.

After viewing the successful launching of the JB-2 from the surface, Talbot attempts to convince his commanding officer that if his submarine would have had a guided missile his attack on the carrier would have been successful. His commander relays the information that the Navy has been thinking of the same idea and sends the Bluefin to the Pacific Missile Test Center at Naval Air Station Point Mugu for a short period of training and familiarisation. On the way to the base the Bluefin ruins the fishing nets of Lars Hansen 's (John Qualen) fleet who fish the area when the Navy is not testing their missiles.

The crew of the Bluefin are impatient with the training course they must do and attempt to speed things up and gather their own equipment through "midnight supply" (theft) but run foul of the tight security on the base. Talbot meets and unsuccessfully attempts to seduce the base commander's secretary Karin Hansen, a Danish emigre who is the daughter of the still furious Captain Lars. Talbot does obtain information from Karin on the location of needed missile parts at an army base and obtains them for his boat.

The unorthodox procedures used so well in wartime cause tragedy to the couple; Karin losing her job as the Admiral's secretary for revealing information and Talbot's haste in launching a missile from his boat's deck causing him serious injury and the death of his friend Quartermaster "Fuss" Payne (Joe Sawyer). Talbot's depression leads him to not desiring to walk without braces and is within a hairs breadth of being medically discharged from the Navy.

Karin snaps Talbot out of his whining self-pity to take command of his boat during manoeuvers for a submarine flotilla to attack a surface fleet. Talbot gets the idea for the missile carrying submarines to launch their missiles but then have them successfully guided to the surface fleet by the nearer submarines originally earmarked for a torpedo attack.


  1. ^ Ford, Peter (2011). Glenn Ford a life. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 111. ISBN 0299281531. 
  2. ^ Boys' Life. Boy Scouts of America, Inc. p. 58. ISSN 0006-8608. Retrieved 2015-07-24. 
  3. ^ "1950". Retrieved 2015-07-24. 

External links[edit]