6.6/10
4,726
54 user 12 critic

Hellfighters (1968)

The story of macho oil well firefighters and their wives.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen

Writer:

Clair Huffaker (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Chance Buckman
Katharine Ross ... Tish Buckman
Jim Hutton ... Greg Parker
Vera Miles ... Madelyn Buckman
Jay C. Flippen ... Jack Lomax
Bruce Cabot ... Joe Horn
Edward Faulkner ... George Harris
Barbara Stuart ... Irene Foster
Edmund Hashim ... Colonel Valdez
Valentin de Vargas ... Amal Bokru (as Valentin De Vargas)
Frances Fong Frances Fong ... Madame Loo
Alberto Morin ... General Lopez
Alan Caillou ... Harry York
Laraine Stephens ... Helen Meadows
John Alderson John Alderson ... Jim Hatch
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Storyline

The telling of Chance Buckman an oil rig fire fighter who becomes hospitalized and has to come to grips with how his job interfered with his marriage, after being laid up in a hospital bed after an accident with a news man running in front of a bulldozer causing it to swirve into Chance, and forcing him to allow veteran oil fire fighter Greg, a cocky but knowledgeable Greg becoming his son in law and he has to learn tolerance for not being able to control his daughter wanting to visit oil fires and learn how to rekindle the spark that went out with his ex of more than 25 years and the fear of losing her daughter as well as her husband to the oil fighting. Written by Jared Johnson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nitro was their weapon against fire blazing oil infernos and a guerrilla army set to blow them sky high...but they had to stay alive for two smoldering women who made all the danger worthwhile! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 November 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hellfighters See more »

Filming Locations:

Conroe, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 70 mm 6-Track (Australia)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Tish Buckman and Greg Parker look at the house they plan to move into after they wed, it's the same house used as the Douglas home in My Three Sons (1960). It was later used as one of the houses on "Wysteria Lane" in Desperate Housewives (2004). See more »

Goofs

During the office scenes, looking through the office window, obvious toy cars were used to simulate the highway (that could be seen from outside when the helicopter first landed). See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Tish Buckman: I think we oughta get her a tin hat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast list in the opening titles lists six actors not found in the closing credits, but not Louie, Bebe, who is found in the end list. See more »

Connections

Featured in Parenthood: A Potpourri of Freaks (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thrilling and dangerous experiences of Texas oil fire fighters who undertake their feats all over the world
16 September 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

It deals with red suited firefighters who attempt to quell large scale oil and gas blazes around the world. Enterprise Buckman and Co. whose owner results to be John Wayne , takes up with his younger colleague, Jim Hutton, and subsequently takes place a romantic subplot in Armageddon film style, being entirely suspicious , as young guy falls for the chief's daughter .It is based on the real career of Red Adair. Acceptable and passable film, though the moving screenplay turns out to be uneven, sexist, windy and dull, remarking a strong machism. Buckman/Adair and his group of brave hell fighters are the authentic protagonists . In fact, real life of oil well fire fighter Adair was used as main axis in script and he served as technical advisor to this. And Wayne role is clearly based on him. What passes for a script involves Wayne's stranged daughter, Katharine Ross coming down off The Graduate , and who falls for the second in command, Jim Hutton. As they extinguish massive fires in oil fields all around the world. As they go aboard their airplane to Canada, Malaysia,and South America : Venezuela where the valiant bunch is attacked by a violent guerrilla.

This exciting film packs emotion, ordinary fights, thrills and spectacular scenes . Apart from the main subject, this is a typical Wayne vehicle, screen-written by Western expert Clair Huffaker, and ,being accompanied by a peculiar team , as well as developing troubles between themselves and their wives . Fragmentary but enjoyable, the movie is full of saloon brawls , action , battles, blunt staccato dialog and silly love stories . But is a shame Adair or other writers didn't fire up the screenplay . The picture benefits itself immensely from the breathtaking conflagrations and impressive production design by Alexander Golitzen. Here Wayne was generally deemed to be too old for this role. Wayne gives his habitual acting thanks to McLagen, in fact he directed him in several Westerns as Cahill United States Marshal, The undefeated, Chisum, McLintock , Big Jake . Along with a fine cast as his redundant love interest, Vera Miles, and their daughter Katharina Ross , though Vera was only 10 years older than Ross. Support cast is pretty good , such as : J C Flippen, Bruce Cabot, Laraine Stephens, Edward Faulkner, Valentin Vargas , among others.

It contains a rousing and attractive musical score by Leonard Rosenman. Colorful and evocative cinematography in Technicolor and color de Luxe by William H Clothier, John Ford's regular . This stirring tale of macho oil well firefighters and their wives was professionally directed by Andrew McLagen. He was the son of Ford's stock company stalwart, Victor McLagen. He was a prolific craftsman who made all kinds of genres , such as : Wartime : Dirty dozen next mission, Sea wolves, Breakthrough, Wild geese, The Devil's brigade . Action adventure genre : Sahara , Ffolkes , Mitchell, On wings of eagles . And Western : Shenandoah, The way west , The rare breed, Bandolero, The last hard men , The Blue and the Gray and The shadow riders again with JKatharine Ross. The flick will appeal to John Wayne fans. Well worth watching.


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