52 user 20 critic

Air Force (1943)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 20 March 1943 (USA)
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 ...
Crew Chief Sgt. White
Asst. Crew Chief
Ward Wood ...
Radio Operator
Ray Montgomery ...
Asst. Radio Operator
Aerial Gunner Joe Winocki
Pursuit Pilot - Passenger
Major Mallory
Colonel at Hickam Field
Col. Blake
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
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Did You Know?


The sabotage by Japanese-Americans in Hawaii, as shown in the movie, never actually happened. Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor there were rumors that the attack was preceded and / or followed by acts of sabotage by Japanese-Americans who were actually Japanese agents, but subsequent investigations showed that the rumors were all false,. See more »


The Marine major at Wake says that he has 400 marines. Actually, there were 450 marines assigned. 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

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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