Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Set in 1952, at a point when the United States was bogged down in the "police action," Hell's Horizon focuses on one crew of a B-29, given the unenviable assignment of knocking out a bridge vital to the enemy over the Yalu River. To do this, and avoid violating Chinese airspace, they must make their run from a predetermined direction and, if forced down or unable to drop their bomb-load, must see to it that they don't do it over China. John Ireland is excellent as Merrill, the pilot of the plane and a born cynic, who must lead a crew that -- if truth were to be told to his C.O. -- is coming apart at the seams. First there's Trask (Hugh Beaumont), the sergeant and the non-com veteran of the group, who can't get his mind off of troubles at home; then there's Lewis (Larry Pennell), who's young enough to let his emotions get the better of him, especially where Sami (Marla English), a local Korean girl who does the unit's laundry and has been a regular companion for Merrill, is concerned; and Jockey (Chet Baker), who relaxes by playing a trumpet that drives half the other members of the crew to distraction. Add to that one new crewman, Morgan (William Schallert), an instructor who's never been in combat, and a plane that was state-of-the-art in the last war but barely able to deal with the MIGs that the North Koreans are flying now, and you've got a recipe for disaster, which nearly comes to fruition when two members of the crew fold up in different ways at two critical moments along the mission, jeopardizing the lives of the entire crew.
war, attack, barnstorming, bomb, bridge [structure], crew, danger, explosion, fighter, friendship, man, mission [quest], personal, relationship, river, survivor, tension, weather