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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 1,844 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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(original screenplay)
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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:

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

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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 "Mary Ann" sadly was lost in the Pacific when it returned to combat duty after the release of the movie. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie, stock film of several different versions of the B-17 is used, often depicting the same aircraft. For example, Mary Ann is a B-17B, the earliest version of the aircraft in production, but the beach crash scene at the end of the movie uses film of a later B-17, probably a B-17C or D. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Garfield (1962) 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

 
For anyone who loves airplanes, it's a must
2 April 2001 | by (Reston, VA) – See all my reviews

I gave this an enthusiastic 6, and that's not said sarcastically. If you accept it for what it is, a WWII propaganda film, it is (except for the last half hour) very well done. It was made within the constraints of being a propaganda film, the necessity to maintain dramatic flow, incomplete knowledge at the time of all the facts, and the availability of aircraft that the Army Air Corps could provide. The aircraft are clearly the best thing about the film, though Harry Carey came close to stealing the movie. The aerial battles were staged by Paul Mantz, who was THE best in the business. There were two major weaknesses. The first was the frequent references to 5th column activity. Except for one minor incident in the Kauai area, the Japanese-Americans in Hawaii were singularly loyal to the U.S. The biggest weakness was the totally fictitious battle in the last 30 minutes of the movie. It never happened. The only sea battle in that area during that time frame was the battle of the Java Sea, which was a disaster for the U.S. and Dutch forces. Rather it seemed to be an enhanced composite of the attacks on Japanese convoys in the New Guinea/Solomon Islands area, and the battles of Coral Sea and Midway. We had nothing like the forces portrayed available at that time. The fighters shown at Clark Field were Bell P-39s. They were very pretty little planes, but were such a disappointment they earned the nickname Iron Dogs (all metal and "dogs"). But they still would have been far superior to what was actually available there. Sharp-eyed viewers would see that they were also used to stand in for radial-engined Zeroes (P-39s had liquid-cooled engines), along with radial-engined American trainers in the battle scenes. Also, I am practically certain B-17s didn't have the range to fly from Hickam to Clark with only one refueling stop, but that is justified by the necessity for dramatic flow. One more note - the dramatic picture of the capsizing battleship near the end of the movie was not a model, but rather a film of the Austro-Hungarian Szent Istvan sunk in 1918 during WWI.


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