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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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(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:

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

This film was shot at Drew Field, Tampa, Florida, USA, in August 1942. See more »

Goofs

The national insignias on the "Mary-Ann's" fuselage and wingtips (a white star in a solid blue disc) are incorrect for the period depicted in the film. At the beginning of World War II, U.S. Army Air Corps aircraft insignia was a white star in a blue disc, with a smaller red disc in the middle of the star. According to "The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces," published in May of 1944, "the red disc was removed to prevent confusion with Japanese marking(s)" effective August 18, 1942, eight months after the events in the film take place. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
(1923) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Mills and Duke Ellington
Played on the radio aboard the B-17 airplane
Partially sung by George Tobias
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another one for airplane buffs
6 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For modern viewers, this is truly a movie for airplane buffs. How many movies can you find with early B-17s flying? I have always appreciated this movie for that purpose. Those early birds without tail guns and power turrets were all gone by wars end. This movie was made during the dark days of WWII for America and the 'D' models were still fairly new and in use stateside as training aircraft. Thankfully the producers just went to real Army Air Fields and used existing equipment. That is wonderful visual documentation for history buffs! Many 'props' were real! The Air Corps thermos bottles and the Air Crew bandoleers for pistol ammunition were great to see documented.

This was a wartime movie made in a period where we had suffered lots of defeats and few victories. The young men being sent off to war had grown up being taught not to kill their fellow humans. Most of the early war 'propaganda' films went to lengths to 'dehumanize' the enemy so that a young American entering combat would not be conflicted. This happens in all wars but is more obvious to us today due to the amount of films made during WWII. Regarding the talk of 'fifth column' work at Pearl Harbor, I believe some have missed the point of the propaganda. We have become so aware of the race issue that we miss the point made in the film. It was not so much to single out the Japanese ancestry citizens of Hawaii as to make the American people think that it wasn't our military's fault that we were caught by surprise. The theme in that scene and later on Wake Island proffered that 'our boys don't lose in an even fight'. It was to establish confidence in our military and equipment. The idea was to tell the U.S. civilian population that we couldn't lose unless stabbed in the back. Actually, much of our equipment of the time was inferior to our opponents. We also had mostly 'green' troops whereas the Japanese had a lot of combat experienced pilots and troops. It was a tough fight all the way through and our veterans deserve full credit for winning.

This movie is entertaining and a great one for airplane/history buffs who know what is 'right' and what isn't correct. Politically it is dated and must be taken in context. It is still fun to watch and worth your time.


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