GenreDrama ProducerJerry Bresler CountryUnited States
Release dateDecember 1950 (1950-12) (U.S.) WriterRichard English, James Gunn, Harvey S. Haislip (story), N. Richard Nash (story) CastGlenn Ford (William A. Talbot), Viveca Lindfors (Karin Hansen), Henry O'Neill (Thomas A. Scott), John Qualen (Lars Hansen), Carl Benton Reid (Dr. Gates), Joe Sawyer (Fuss Payne) Similar moviesRelated Henry Levin movies
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 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.
Decorated submarine commander Commander William Talbot's (Glenn Ford) boat the USS Bluefin (actually the USS Cusk) 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, which fishes in the area when the Navy is not testing their missiles.
The crew of the Bluefin are impatient with the training course they must take and attempt to speed things up and gather their own equipment through "midnight supply" (theft), but run afoul 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 from Karin 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 loses her job for revealing information and Talbot's haste in launching a missile from his boat's deck results in his serious injury and the death of his friend Quartermaster "Fuss" Payne (Joe Sawyer). Talbot's depression leaves him not desiring to walk without braces and in danger of being medically discharged from the Navy.
Karin snaps Talbot out of his whining self-pity to take command of his boat during maneuvers 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.