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>
This film utilized original black-and-white archive footage from World War II. However, no actual combat footage is seen except for the opening sequence set around the opening credits. Predominantly, the archival footage used was of air base mission planning and aerial landings and take-offs. See more »
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 »
There must be at least one whole generation of viewers who don't even know this film exists! Yet it remains one of the very best WWII films ever made. I first saw as a child, when it was quite new, and have seen it several times since. It has never lost its hold and that, I suppose, principally because of Clark Gable's superb performance (although the other parts are all very strongly done). It really must be one of his finest screen roles and that alone, one might think, would ensure that it is never long absent from television screens. Sadly it has been shown in Britain but once that I know of, and is not available here on a PAL-system video, although "Twelve O'Clock High" is available and often screened. In many ways the two films complement each other, each not wholly to be appreciated without seeing the other. "Twelve O'Clock High" has an almost exclusively military focus while "Command Decision" brings in the effect of political factors on military decisions. The latter film, however, has an edge: Gable on top form and that was always something very special.
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