12 user 2 critic

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 »



Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

3 wins. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Thunderbolt (1947)
Documentary | Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A WW2 documentary on the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter/bomber pilots in missions (Operation Strangle) from their base in Corsica to Northern Italy in 1944, destroying railroads, bridges, trains, vehicles and hard targets.

Directors: John Sturges, William Wyler
Stars: James Stewart, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Lowery
Short | Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Japanese attack on Midway in June 1942, filmed as it happened.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, Logan Ramsey
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The film follows the WWII exploits of the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) (unidentified in the film), in its first major operations following its commissioning in 1943. ... See full summary »

Directors: Edward Steichen, William Wyler
Stars: Robert Taylor, Charles Boyer, Joseph J. Clark
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A cinematic record of US military operations on the Aleutian Island of Adak to retake Japanese occupied Kiska.

Director: John Huston
Stars: John Huston, Walter Huston, Milton Ashkin
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The official World War II US government account of Great Britain's stand against the Nazi war machine after the Dunkirk evacuation.

Directors: Frank Capra, Anthony Veiller
Stars: Douglas Bader, Arno Breker, Winston Churchill
San Pietro (1945)
Documentary | Short | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This documentary movie is about the battle of San Pietro, a small village in Italy. Over 1,100 US soldiers were killed while trying to take this location, that blocked the way for the ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Mark W. Clark, John Huston
Action | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

"Docudrama" about the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 and its results, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back the Japanese reinforcements.

Directors: John Ford, Gregg Toland
Stars: Walter Huston, Harry Davenport, Dana Andrews
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Pvt. Snafu suffers the consequences of not keeping his equipment and weapons properly maintained.

Director: Robert Clampett
Stars: Mel Blanc
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The final entry in a trilogy of films produced for the U.S. government by John Huston. This documentary film follows 75 U.S. soldiers who have sustained debilitating emotional trauma and ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Walter Huston
Spies (1943)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Private Snafu has a secret: his ship leaves for Africa at 4:30. He's determined to keep it, but bit by bit it slips out, and eventually, the details end up right on Hitler's desk and the ship is engaged.

Director: Chuck Jones
Stars: Mel Blanc
Censored (1944)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When Snafu gets his wish to have his personal mail uncensored by the military, he inadvertently reveals military secrets that lead to disaster.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Sara Berner
Gripes (1943)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Private Snafu learns the hard way about the need for military dicipline and procedures to maintain an effective army.

Director: Friz Freleng
Stars: Mel Blanc


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)


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


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


See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Memphis Belle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Memphis Bells dakota235

Contribute to This Page