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Command Decision (1948)

Passed  |   |  War, Drama  |  February 1949 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,444 users  
Reviews: 30 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:
...
...
...
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 Hollywood Reporter" on 17 February 1949 announced that this movie's premiere in Washington D.C. was attended by the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson; the Air Force Chief of Staff; various officials and dignitaries as well as Vice President Alben Barkley. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Make a "Command Decision" and watch this movie!
21 August 2001 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Command Decision" is based on a stage play, so scenes of aerial combat are not to be found in the movie. This is a major difference between it and "Twelve O'clock High," released a year later in 1949, and which presented a more engaging, gritty, realistic motion picture of aerial combat and the toll it takes on the airmen and their support teams and commanders on the ground.

"Command Decision" tells a story of WWII air warfare from the point of view generals, politicians and the press, and the process of making a military decision in light of political consequences and public opinion. Clark Gable gives a great performance as General Casey, the officer who acts out of military necessity in choosing his targets, and in doing so, knows he puts the lives of his men and his friends on the line. Walter Pidgeon is General Kane, Gable's superior, who has lost some of his ability to look at his duty in purely military terms. Instead he perceives his mission is to fight the politicos and the press and to get the best spin on the actions of his command and commanders. Brian Donleavy is General Garnet, a relative newcomer to all of this. He is eager for his first command, but once on the scene at a combat headquarters, he begins to have doubts of his own about the mission, the politics and his own ability to send young men to their deaths.

The command decision in this fine, taut film is not one climatic decision, but is the story of a number of command decisions made by the three general officers, and how each effects and feeds off of the other men's command decisions throughout the film.

Good performances by all, a little melodramatic at times, but overall, one of the best war movies (especially about air warfare) you'll come across.


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