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Air Force (1943)

Passed  -  Action | Drama | History  -  20 March 1943 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,859 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 16 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.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Ridgely ...
Pilot
...
Co-Pilot
...
Bombardier
Charles Drake ...
Navigator
...
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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The name of their love was Mary Ann. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 March 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In die japanische Sonne  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only members of "Maryann" killed during the film were both kissed good-bye at the beginning of the movie: John Ridgely ("The Pilot") by his wife and Ray Montgomery ("Assistant Radio Operator) by his mother. Also, these are the only crew members to have someone "see them off" at the beginning of their mission. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Colonel Blake - Commanding Officer at Manila: Say, what kind of lunatics have we got in this Air Corps anyhow? Don't you know what's impossible?
Pursuit Pilot Tex Rader: Thank you, sir!
Marine Sergeant J.J. Callahan: Hey, excuse me, colonel...
Colonel Blake - Commanding Officer at Manila: What?
Marine Sergeant J.J. Callahan: Can't I lend a hand too?
Colonel Blake - Commanding Officer at Manila: [Walking away] Tou can go straight to...
Marine Sergeant J.J. Callahan: Help, sir? Thank you, sir!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(circa 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Played during the foreword quotng Abraham Lincoln
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Standard WWII Morale Booster
12 January 2005 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Howard Hawk's "Air Force" is another in a long list of patriotic films about America's fighting men during World War II that were made to raise the spirits of audiences back home. Stereotypes abound, clichés come hard and fast, and the hokum flies faster than the planes as a flying fortress on a routine reconnaissance flight from California in early December 1941 is enmeshed in the Japanese attacks on U.S. Pacific bases. However, despite the requisite sentiment that includes cloying death bed scenes, teary-eyed mothers, and even a stowaway dog, "Air Force" stays on course under Hawk's steady direction and is fairly entertaining fare. The strong cast, which includes John Garfield, Gig Young, and Arthur Kennedy, is excellent and delivers the uninspired dialog with credibility. Although the considerable talents of these actors are not taxed, Garfield plays to type as the cynic who rises to handle the unfolding events, and a mustached Young provides solid support as the co-pilot. In addition to the cast, James Wong Howe's dramatic black and white cinematography is another major asset, and viewers have much time to admire his work with light and shadow during the talky episodes that take place within the claustrophobic plane. While there are too many stretches of dialog during the early part of the movie, a climactic air/sea battle brings the film to an exciting conclusion. A fine cast, outstanding photography, and a few good action sequences outweigh the overused plot devices and deliver an entertaining film that will quickly become blurred in memory with dozens of other similar war films made during the mid-1940's.


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