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Wing and a Prayer (1944)

 -  Action | Drama | War  -  14 March 1945 (Sweden)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,012 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 10 critic

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), 2 more credits »
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Title: Wing and a Prayer (1944)

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Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1945 (Sweden)  »

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The air craft carrier seen in this movie was the USS Yorktown II. This flat top also featured in another of Twentieth Century-Fox production, the documentary, The Fighting Lady (1944). See more »

Goofs

An SB2C Helldiver (which was actually a post-Midway era aircraft) coded B-31 is shown preparing for launch, but when it goes into the water ahead of the carrier in a failed take-off it is B-27. See more »

Connections

Features The Battle of Midway (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

I Know Why (and So Do You)
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the scene where Moulton asks Brainard to play acey-deucey
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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