General Dennis of the US Force in England in World War II finds that he must order his planes deeper and deeper into Germany to prevent the production of military jet planes that will turn the tide of battle to the Germans. He must fight congressmen, and his own chain of command to win the political battle before he can send his planes out. His problem is complicated by a very narrow window of good weather necessary to allow his effort to be successful. Adapted from a stage play, it attempts to look at the challenges of command in the political arena. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The "Lantze-Wolf 1" referred to in the movie is actually a Messerschmitt ME-262 "Schwalbe" turbojet fighter, introduced in combat in 1944. See more »
When Casey is wondering about the weather for the third straight day of maximum effort, he tells his staff to keep him informed with weather updates. But when he does so, his lips don't move. See more »
To start with, the core story sounds utterly fantastic, but it is partly true. There was never a "Lance-Wulf 190", but there really was a Messerschmidt Me-262 in World War 2. The Me-262 wasn't quite the wonder-plane which the mythical Lance-Wulf was, but it was a swept-wing jet with a top speed of 540 mph, a blinding speed for the time. And, as fighter pilots say, "speed is life".
American bombing in August, 1943 did delay the introduction of the real Me-262. (The pre-production aircraft were wrecked on an assembly line, forcing a delay of several months.) The irony is that the German jet fighter program was really stymied by Hitler's aversion to defensive weapons and the German feeling that the war could be won with existing fighter types.
There is, however, a "message" in this film which fully applies to civilian life. You know that everything is okay just now, but this will soon come to an end. Given those facts, are you willing to take some massive losses now and solve the problem? Or do you just wait for the situation to become visible to everyone before you act?
I don't know how many times I've seen people--even bright ones--opt for the "wait and see" course of action. It never works.
Just as Betty Davis's 1938 film "Jezebel" was overshadowed by "Gone With The Wind", this film was overshadowed by "Twelve O'Clock High".
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