In Remembrance: Lt. Barty Ray Brooks
USAF 1929 - 1956

                        How the Film Reached Millions

The wreckage of Barty's plane had hardly cooled when movie producers just across the San Gabriel Mountains from Edwards AFB got wind of the films. The Air Force handed over the films to the movie-makers without even telling Barty's family they existed. It is a chilling thought to think that Barty's parents, now deceased, may had seen the movies without ever knowing the crash was their son's. Here are the movies and TV shows in which the Sabre Dance film appeared.

The Hunters (1958)

This was a major hit movie starring Robert Mitchum as suave and fearless Major Cleve Saville and Robert Wagner as the un-radio disciplined Lt. Corona. Saville and his wingmen sent numerous Migs plunging in various states of disassembly until one finally nailed another of Cleve's wingmen, Lt. Corona. He made it back to base but cracked up trying to land. Never mind that Corona’s F-86 magically morphed into Barty's crashing F-100. Click on the image  to see the movie trailer. Stay until the end to see the crash.

 

X-15 (1963)

X-15 never gained the popularity of The Hunters, but it used the Saber Dance footage much more in context with the actual event. In X-15 Charles Bronson, playing Lt. Col. Lee Brandon flies an F-100 in chase during an X-15 test flight. The X-15 pilot, played by David McLean, landed safely, but Maj. Brandon’s Super Saber developed a problem. Instead of ejecting he tried to save the bird. The result is the ghastly images of Barty Brooks riding his Hun into eternity.(No trailer available.)

Steve Canyon

Steve Canyon is a comicstrip, written and illustrated by Milton Caniff, that ran from 1947 to 1988. Steve is an all-American hero: an Air Force colonel who flies all types of planes and solves all types mysteries. A weekly television series by the same name ran from 1958 to 1960. Barty Brooks likely would have been a fan of Steve Canyon. In the next-to-last TV episode the footage of Barty's ride appeared. That episode was dedicated to the men and women of George AFB.  

Other appearances

Although this is unconfirmed, Barty's crash has reportedly been used in the late 1990s Pensacola Wings of Gold and in the horror movie, The Bees

Official Uses

The Sabre Dance footage is still in use today in Air Force and Navy flight schools.