Air Force (1943)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  20 March 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,090 users  
Reviews: 49 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


The name of their love was Mary Ann. 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The sabotage by Japanese-Americans in Hawaii shown in the movie, actually never happened. See more »


During the Wake Island scene, the dog's trainer can be heard giving the animal commands to kiss George Tobias. See more »


Major A.M. Bagley: Oh, by the way, if you see my old boss, General MacArthur, tell him no matter what the news is, we;ll be in there pitchin' till they strike us out.
See more »

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 »


Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Howard Hawks (1973) See more »


(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
In the score when a death is reported
See more »

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User Reviews

A more important film than the latté crowd may realize.
1 December 2001 | by (Sacramento, California) – See all my reviews

The "Got him!" dogfight in Star Wars was practically cut-by-cut from Air Force (just as Indiana Jones lifted the Big Round Boulder scene directly from an Uncle Scrooge comic, but that's another review). Air Force's Dying Pilot scene (check-listing his crew for takeoff, job by job, and they respond) is almost unendurable to any man who has worked in danger and loss with other men. The crew's field-modifying the pre-G-series B-17 to equip it with an effective tail gun, (and stripping hulks for usable parts!) helped prepared me as a boy of the 1950s for my young manhood up on the high banks of Talladega and Daytona, and for business and traffic today. I trust our current young soldiers have found their own examples for courage and resourcefulness as they defend us today.

32 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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