Directed with crisp efficiency by Dick Powell, The Hunters is a romantic melodrama with an aviation angle. Robert Mitchum plays veteran Air Force pilot Maj. Cleve Saville, in charge of a group of young flyboys in 1952 Korea. Among the men under Saville's command are cocksure Lt. Ed Peil (Robert Wagner) and timorous Lt. Abbott (Lee Phillips). Much against his better judgment, Saville falls in love with Abbott's gorgeous wife Kris (Mai Britt). When Abbott crashes behind enemy lines, Saville and Peil are sent out to rescue the downed pilot-and Peil has an inkling of the Major's feelings towards Mrs. Abbott. During their grueling journey back to their own lines, both Peil and Abbott benefit from the military expertise of the no-nonsense Saville, who knows where and when to separate his private life from his responsibilities. Distinguished by excellent aerial sequences, The Hunters is adapted from the novel by James Salter.
by Hal Erickson synopsis