Action / Adventure / Drama / Romance


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April 16, 2016 at 12:56 AM


John Wayne as Chance Buckman
Katharine Ross as Tish Buckman
Vera Miles as Madelyn Buckman
Bruce Cabot as Joe Horn
720p 1080p
877.76 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 0 / 4
1.83 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by muvphreek 9 / 10

Great realism for it's day.

Loosely based on the exploits of Red Adair, Hellfighters is a perfect vehicle for John Wayne. The characterizations are a bit overstated, but this was standard for the era, so I allow for that. And who could have picked a more appropriate love interest for the Duke than Vera Miles as a San Francisco Department Store heiress.

I thought Jim Hutton and Katherine Ross made a good offsetting couple to JW & VM and Bruce Cabot, a long-time associate of Wayne's, an excellent comic element.

I think the thing that sold it for me was the reality of the fire scenes which I just marveled at until I saw that Red Adair was a technical adviser on the film. That and the knowledge that Wayne was all for reality as much as possible really made me a watch it anytime fan of this picture.

If one takes into account the decade in which the picture was made, it can be and is, for me at least, a very enjoyable film. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

Why Not the Real Red Adair Story?

Sandwiched in between the critical beating John Wayne took for The Green Berets and a bunch of westerns culminating in his Oscar performance for True Grit is this little known film he did about a group of men fighting oil fires, a truly dangerous profession. The Hellfighters has the look and feel of a Wayne family effort with it being produced by Batjac and having in its cast Wayne regulars like Edward Faulkner and Bruce Cabot. I wonder where son Patrick was.

A little over 20 years after Hellfighters came out, the person that Wayne's character was based on, Red Adair came into prominence when he took on the Herculean task of putting out all those oil fires that Saddam Hussein started in Kuwait when he fled that country. Turns out the biggest assignment Adair had was way in his future in 1968.

I'm sure Red Adair must have been flattered all to heck when the biggest box office draw in cinema history was portraying a facsimile of him on the screen. Who knows though maybe Red Adair's real story and real name on the screen might be good entertainment. Might be a great subject for a film now, what with all the new computer generated special effects that could be used.

Though the film is based on Adair's exploits, it is first and foremost a John Wayne film. He's not Red Adair on the screen, it's the Duke that all of us have come to know. Wayne and his cast put together a nice action filled film with a minor subplot about his family life. Vera Miles plays his estranged wife, Katharine Ross his daughter, and Jim Hutton a protégé Wayne is grooming to take over his company.

This was Wayne's third film with Vera Miles and twice before he didn't wind up with her, either in The Searchers or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Third time the charm.

Hellfighters also is an example of Wayne's well known generosity to his fellow players. When he liked you he was the best friend you could have. Jay C. Flippen who plays an oil executive lost a leg to diabetes a year or two before. Wayne gave him that extra pay day by casting him in Hellfighters in a wheelchair. I could cite a lot of other examples of him helping people by doing that in other films.

Hellfighters is an enjoyable two hours of Wayne in modern dress, battling the elements like he did in The High and the Mighty and Island in the Sky instead of bad guys. There is one sequence where he and his crew were battling an oil fire in Venezuela with some rebels shooting at them. Since it's the Duke, you kind of expect him to pick up a rifle and blow them all away.

Though Hellfighters is a good, not a great film, I'd still like to see the real Red Adair story on screen.

Reviewed by nealmassey 9 / 10

Wayne plays Chance Buckman in the mold or spirit of Red Adair

This is a very entertaining film ... co-staring Jim Hutton, Katherine Ross & Vera Miles. Some of the acting of Hutton & Ross may have been less than one would expect. But the film should be seen keeping mind that this was years before the disaster films of the early seventies like The Poseidon Adventure & The Towering Inferno. It is a fun watch as Buckman's crew travels the world putting out oil well fires while kindling a few fires of their own in the local women. It is fun to watch many of the fire-fighting scenes today and wonder how they pulled this off thirty years ago. It is very John Wayne as can be seen as some of his regulars turn up here, such as Bruce Cabot, Edward Faulkner who were part of his stable. Watch it and enjoy.

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