Air Force (1943)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  20 March 1943 (USA)
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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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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
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the top three money makers for Warner Brothers in 1943. See more »


The Jap task force the Mary Ann spots through the clouds is moving across the water in the direction of the camera's travel at an oblique angle to their wakes, revealing that they are photographically superimposed. The Jap Task force when the navigator looked down was going in one direction but when they looked out of the cockpit window they were going in a different direction. See more »


Pilot Irish Quincannon: Anything we can do for you in Manila?
Major Daniels: Well, you might send us more Japs.
Pilot Irish Quincannon: We'll try to.
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 »


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

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User Reviews

Air Force flies high
1 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK, so this is a war years propaganda, moral boosting, rah rah USA, loaded with technical inaccuracies movie. This is still a very good film. Actually far better than most of it's genre from that period. What I like about it is not that it's a war movie but that it has such a fine cast and being set in a single interior for much of the film it comes across more like a good stage play set during combat action of World War II. John Garfield, Gig Young, Harry Carey, George Tobias and Arthur Kennedy are among the stellar ensemble cast in a story about the beginning days of America's entry into World War II. A Hal Wallis production with direction by famed Director Howard Hawks. I've probably seen half of the movies directed by Hawks from his 40 year plus directorial career as has most people since he made so many well-known films but in case you may have missed Air Force you should check it out. Dudley Nichols whose screenplay's include Stagecoach, The Bells of St. Mary's, Gunga Din, The Big Sky and For Whom The Bell Tolls was nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the 1943 Academy Awards. Author William Faulkner collaborated in rewriting a scene and adding additional dialog. The film's only Academy Award went to George Amy for Best Film Editing. I think Hawks should have received a nomination for direction and the film should have also been nominated for cinematography. The large cast probably canceled each other out for any consideration in actor or supporting actor nominations but they put together a compelling performance. It's a great human drama. I would give this an 8.5 out of a possible 10 and recommend it.

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