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Command Decision (1948)

Passed  -  War | Drama  -  February 1949 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,399 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 10 critic

Army generals struggle with the decision to prioritize bombing the German factories producing new jet fighters over the extremely high casualties the mission will cost.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Command Decision (1948)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis
...
Maj. Gen. Roland Goodlow Kane
...
Tech. Sgt. Immanuel T. Evans
...
Brig. Gen. Clifton I. Garnet
...
Elmer Brockhurst
John Hodiak ...
Col. Edward Rayton Martin
...
...
Capt. George Washington Bellpepper Lee
Richard Quine ...
Maj. George Rockton
...
Lt. Ansel Goldberg
Clinton Sundberg ...
Maj. Homer V. Prescott
...
Maj. Desmond Lansing
Warner Anderson ...
Col. Earnest Haley
...
Maj. Belding Davis
Moroni Olsen ...
Congressman Stone
Edit

Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Heroes, cowards, fighters, braggarts, liars...and what goes on in their hearts!

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De flög i gryningen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The New York Times" in May 1947 reported details of the deal between source novelist William Wister Haines and MGM. The studio paid Haines US $100,000 upfront for the filming rights to the novel. However, if this novel was produced as a play by the end of October 1947, Haines would be paid 15% of the play's weekly gross on the stage. This would amount to US $300,000. Indeed, a play of the novel did open on Broadway on 1 October 1947. See more »

Goofs

After the plane General Dennis tried to talk in to a landing crashes, the next scene is an inside shot with the generals discussing allowing staff photographers into a debrief. On the brick wall in the background, the shadow of a boom mic is clearly seen moving in and out of scene for the entire duration. See more »

Quotes

James Carwood: What's the answer, Brockie, all guts and no brain?
Elmer Brockhurst: No. That's putting it too simply. Dennis is one of those boys whose brain is fascinated by guts. He loves this lousy war.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

An actor's movie...
31 July 2004 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

"Command Decision" is a wonderful film filled with several great performances. It's Gable's movie, but he's very capably supported by Walter Pigeon, Brian Donlevy and John Hodiak, who nearly equals his "Lifeboat" performance.

Pigeon is especially good in the roll of a senior commander who is more concerned with the political considerations of the war effort than the tactical and strategic goals. (Not without reason - The film correctly details the perilous and tenuous position that the 8th Air Force found itself in during the worst combat period of 1943.)

One of the best scenes in the film is a very long speech given by Pigeon, wherein he explains his reasons for fighting the good fight to keep American air power strong. The scene is a good 6 or 7 minutes long, one camera shot, entirely done without cuts. It must have been rehearsed extensively as it requires about 10 actors to interact with Pigeon at several times, all the while he is moving about the room. Seamless, and very well done! This remarkable scene is followed up with one almost as long, given by Gable.

The drama is occasionally broken up with comic moments provided by Van Johnson, as a savvy sergeant, and Clinton Sunberg as a fastidious aide to Pigeon's General Kane.

If you like to watch actors banging away with words instead of guns, this is the war movie for you.


37 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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