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The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)

Documentary about the 25th and last bombing mission of a B17, the "Memphis Belle". The "Memphis Belle" took part in a great bombing raid on sub-pens in Wilhelmshafen, Germany. On their way ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Wray ...
Himself - Group Commander (as Colonel Stanley Wray)
Robert Morgan ...
Himself - Pilot (as Captain Robert Morgan)
...
Himself - Co-Pilot (as Captain Jim Verinis)
Robert J. Hanson ...
Himself - Radio Operator (as Sergeant Bob Hanson)
Charles B. Leighton ...
Himself - Navigator (as Captain Chuck Leighton)
Harold P. Loch ...
Himself - Engineer and Top Turret Gunner (as Sergeant Harold Loch)
John P. Quinlan ...
Himself - Tail Gunner (as Sergeant John Quinlan)
Cecil H. Scott ...
Himself - Turret Gunner (as Sergeant Cecil Scott)
Vince Evans ...
Himself - Bombardier (as Captain Vincent Evans)
Clarence E. Winchell ...
Himself - Waist Gunner (as Sergeant Bill Winchell)
Casimer A. Nastal ...
Himself - Waist Gunner (as Sergeant Tony Nastal)
Haywood Hansell ...
Himself - USAAF (as Brigadier General Hansell)
King George VI ...
Himself - Congratulates Crew of Memphis Belle
...
Herself - Congratulates Crew of Memphis Belle
Ira C. Eaker ...
Himself - Commander: 8th Air Force (as General Eaker)
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Storyline

Documentary about the 25th and last bombing mission of a B17, the "Memphis Belle". The "Memphis Belle" took part in a great bombing raid on sub-pens in Wilhelmshafen, Germany. On their way they encounterd heavy AA fire and interceptors. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fly and Fight with the Crew on an Actual Bombing Mission Over Germany!


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Release Date:

13 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Memphis Belle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Memphis Belle" seen in this film, a Boeing B-17F (serial no.41-24485), was moved to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio in October, 2005 to undergo a multi-year restoration process. As of October 2015, it is still undergoing that process which is scheduled to last another three years, after which the aircraft will be placed on display for the public. See more »

Crazy Credits

All aerial combat film was exposed during air battles over enemy territory See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Forget the 1990 movie, this is the real thing
3 February 2014 | by (Tappan, New York) – See all my reviews

This Memphis Belle is the real thing, and will be remembered long after the 1990 movie version has been forgotten. It is a documentary filmed during the height of World War II on a USAAF air base in Britain, and also on board the Memphis Belle, a typical B-17 Flying Fortress of the U.S. Army's 8th Air Force.

No blue screens were used in the production of this movie, no Hollywood special effects or computer-generated imaging. William Wyler and his cameramen accompanied the bomber crew on a actual combat missions over Germany. No actors or stunt men were used, either. The men shown flying in the Memphis Belle were the actual crew of the Memphis Belle. In addition, the wounded airmen seen being removed from returning planes were not extras, they really were wounded.

Another aspect of this film that was not faked was the severe battle damage seen on some of the returning B-17s. The fact that some of those planes even managed to get back at all is almost incredible, and the images in this movie stand as a testament both to the skill of the pilots and to the structural integrity of the legendary "Flying Fortress".

The combat footage used in this movie was so good that, for decades, it was used in any movie or television program concerning the air war over Europe, in preference to anything that the Hollywood special effects departments could manufacture. You will see clips from The Memphis Belle in such well-known Hollywood films as "12 O'Clock High" and "Command Decision".

The Memphis Belle is a must-see, both as a tribute to the courageous airmen memorialized in it, and to the intrepid cameramen who literally risked their lives to film it.


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