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Beyond the Line of Duty (1942)

Approved | | Short, Biography, War | 7 November 1942 (USA)
Narrated by Ronald Reagan, this Warner Brothers short in support of the war effort focuses on the exploits of Army Air Corps Captain Hewett T. Wheless and his exploits just after the U.S. ... See full summary »




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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Hewitt T. Wheless ...
Himself (as Captain Hewett T. Wheless)
Narrator (voice)
Himself (voice) (archive footage) (as Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
Hubert R. Harmon ...
Himself (as Major General H.K. Harmon)


Narrated by Ronald Reagan, this Warner Brothers short in support of the war effort focuses on the exploits of Army Air Corps Captain Hewett T. Wheless and his exploits just after the U.S. entry into World War II. He was a ranch hand before enlisting and the film recreates his training with Wheless eventually commanding a bomber. On a mission, his aircraft encountered 18 Japanese Zeros but he managed to safely return to base, despite the severe damage to his aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Biography | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Air Force Film 119  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's (AMPAS) on-line database, as well as its set of looseleaf pages listing all nominees and winners, this wartime dramatic short is incorrectly identified as an entry in Warner Bros.' "Broadway Brevities" series, which comprises musical two-reelers. See more »


Narrator, Ronald Reagan: That uniform works miracles for a new cadet's confidence. Oh, but just in case we forgot to mention it, it takes plenty of work to be worthy of those uniforms.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Narrator Ronald Reagan identifies the credited actors listed below his name. See more »


Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »


You're In The Army Now
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Lyrics by Tell Taylor and Ole Olsen
Performed by the studio orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent example of the use of short subjects during WWII to drum up support from civilians at home

This short, winner of an Oscar, recreates the heroic actions of an Army Air Corp crew, focusing on the pilot, Hewitt T. "Shorty" Wheliss. This was used as a pitch for war bonds and stamps. It's very well done and deservedly won. Contemporary viewers will be interested in the narrator, one Ronald Reagan. A side note: playing a cowboy is an actor named Glenn Strange, who is best known to many as Sam the bartender of the Longbranch Saloon on "Gunsmoke" and also did a turn as Frankenstein's creation, one of many to follow Boris Karloff. Turner Classic Movies runs this as filler now and again and invariably runs it in March as part of its "31 Days of Oscar" setup. Recommended.

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