Air Force (1943)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  20 March 1943 (USA)
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Reviews: 50 user | 20 critic

The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.



(original screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Ridgely ...
Charles Drake ...
Crew Chief
Asst. Crew Chief
Ward Wood ...
Radio Operator
Ray Montgomery ...
Asst. Radio Operator
Aerial Gunner
Pursuit Pilot - Passenger
Stanley Ridges ...
Major Mallory
Willard Robertson ...
Colonel at Hickam Field
Moroni Olsen ...
Col. Blake
Edward Brophy ...
Marine Sgt. J.J. Callahan (as Edward S. Brophy)
Richard Lane ...
Maj. W.G. Roberts


On December 6, 1941 nine B-17 bomber set off on a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. One of the bombers, the Mary Ann, is commanded by 'Irish' Quincannon. The bombardier, Tommy McMartin, has a sister living in Hawaii and the co-pilot, Bill Williams, is sweet on her. The men are all highly professional with the exception of aerial gunner Joe Winocki, a bitter man who has every intention of leaving the army air corps. They arrive at Hickam Field on the morning of December 7, just as the Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor and other military facilities. All of the men prepare to face the enemy, including Winocki whose attitude changes quickly. The bomber and its crew will participate in many missions but not all will survive. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GIANTS OF THE SKY...blazing a trail to victory! See more »


Action | Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

20 March 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El bombardero heroico  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Because of the constant noise in the planes air crews wore "throat mics". These had two pickups that sat against the larynx (vocal cords) and picked the sound up directly from them. You will notice that whenever a crew member speaks he puts his hand up against the mic and presses it against his throat. This helped insure good sound pickup. See more »


There is liberal use in the movie of the North American AT-6 "Texan" training plane, both as an American "observation plane" and as attacking "Zeros." See more »


Assistant Crew Chief Weinberg: Funny thing, I never thought there was nothin' west of Manhattan except Jersey.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: FOREWARD "It is for us the living .... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced ..... It is ......for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ..... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln See more »


I Get a Kick Out of You
(1934) (uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Background music before the briefing in Australia
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User Reviews

Great movie for the times and even today.
30 April 2003 | by (Dallas) – See all my reviews

I've seen this on cable dozens of times and almost never turn it off when it comes on. Some of the comments about the racist terms are simply naive. Trying to judge a movie 60 years later using political correctness as a measurement is like trying to compare Slater Martin with Michael Jordan. Air Force was released in 1943 meaning it was written and produced shortly after Pearl Harbor. So, the terms "Fried Jap" are understandable considering the times. Yes, the death bed scene was sappy. But the scene where the "Mary Anne" is trying to take off just one step ahead of invading japaness troops is exciting. The special effects are good (again, considering the technology 60 years ago) and although you can point to problems here or there, I think Howard Hawks and a great cast make this a movie people will enjoy for many more decades.

47 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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