Pilot No. 5 is an oddly liberal-minded film to come from conservative old MGM. Franchot Tone plays an army pilot stationed in Java who volunteers for a suicide mission. He is chosen from five possible Allied candidates, hence the title. We learn via flashback just why Tone holds his life at so low a price; among his less pleasant reminiscences are his brief association with a demagogic Southern governor, blatantly based on Huey Long. Pilot No. 5 served to introduce Gene Kelly in a supporting role--as a nasty, pugnacious young jerk.
by Hal Erickson synopsis