6.9/10
1,078
21 user 10 critic

Wing and a Prayer (1944)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 11 January 1945 (Argentina)
An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton
...
Ens. Hallam 'Oscar' Scott
...
...
Admiral (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Kevin O'Shea ...
Ens. Charles 'Cookie' Cunningham
...
Beezy Bessemer
...
Ens. Malcolm Brainard (as Henry Morgan)
...
Ens. Gus Chisholm
Glenn Langan ...
Executive Officer
Renny McEvoy ...
Ens. Cliff Hale
Robert Bailey ...
Ens. Paducah Holloway
...
Cmdr. O'Donnell
...
Dooley
B.S. Pully ...
Flat Top
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Storyline

An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their individual worries and concerns, but become increasingly frustrated at their avoidance of combat, for reasons unknown to them. But in the end, all get their chance to fight. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST DANGEROUS MISSION IN THE WAR! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1945 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Queen of the Flat Tops  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was originally conceived to be a historically factual account of the Battle of Midway as well as being a biographical treatment of Torpedo Squadron 8 and Ensign George Gay. See more »

Goofs

Many of the US fighter planes shown in the movie are Grumman F6F "Hellcats." This plane was not used against the Japanese until September 1943. In the battle of Midway, the fighters would mostly have been Grumman F4F "Wildcats." See more »

Quotes

Capt. Waddell: The trap has been sprung. Believing us scattered all over the ocean, the main Jap fleet is headed for Midway. They're going in for the kill and so are we. We're through pulling punches. We're through running away. Our mission is accomplished and from here on in, we fight!
See more »

Connections

Features Tin Pan Alley (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

You Say the Sweetest Things (Baby)
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the showing of and taken from the film Tin Pan Alley (1940)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Cinematography

The best characteristic of this film is the fine quality of the film in terms of cinematic depth-of-field and clarity. There is excellent camera work, especially in the complicated action scenes. Each scene is balanced and seemingly well-edited. The theme of the movie is somewhat weak relative to the fight/no fight stance of the U.S. Navy, and it is overpowered by the many action scenes which resemble a "Victory at Sea" format. The facts of the battle at Midway Island as presented in this movie are somewhat questionable. The superior forces of the Japanese Imperial Navy could best any navy in early June of 1942. That good fortune played a role in the American fleet's victory is not in question, that poor planning and accident forced the Japanese Imperial Navy's tactics is also accepted. Beyond these general facts it is difficult to accept the overstatement that the position of the U.S. Navy was that "This is the battle we've been praying for." There is also some question in the film as to the accuracy of the reports concerning the U.S. torpedo planes' success. In essence, the Battle of Midway was decisive, and very lucky for the Americans. To present the battle and victory as well planned and well coordinated is misleading. A word on acting: Don Ameche as Commander Bingo Harper is outstanding. His performance is solid in terms of the classic dramatic hero. As commander, he never wavers from his responsibility, he does what must be done, and he understands both how much victory means and what price must be paid.


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