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Pilot No. 5

Pilot No. 5

Pilot No. 5

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In Java during the darkest days of World War II, an American pilot takes off in his squad's only air-worthy plane. His mission: drop the 500-pound bomb strapped to his plane's fuselage on a Japanese aircraft carrier. As he wings toward certain death, the airmen left behind share their comrade's life story - a stirring tale of love, ambition, political corruption and personal redemption. Part of Hollywood's war effort, this memorable programmer captures America's can-do spirit during the fight against worldwide fascism. Franchot Tone starts as the heroic pilot, and Gene Kelly makes his dramatic debut as one of the men left behind, a brash hothead who knew the doomed pilot best. Van Johnson, Kelly's pal since they worked together in Broadway's Pal Joey, has a featured role. The crisp, muscular direction is compliments of George Sidney, who would go on to direct Kelly in Thousands Cheer, Anchors Aweigh and The Three Musketeers.

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