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Command Decision (1948)

Passed | | War, Drama | February 1949 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Technical Sergeant Immanuel T. Evans
...
Brigadier General Clifton I. Garnet
...
Elmer Brockhurst
...
Colonel Edward Rayton Martin
...
...
Captain George Washington Bellpepper Lee
...
Major George Rockton
...
Lieutenant Ansel Goldberg
...
Major Homer V. Prescott
...
Major Desmond Lansing
...
Colonel Earnest Haley
...
Major Belding Davis
...
Congressman Stone
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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! See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sublime decisión  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

[Standing next to a B-17 starting up]
Col. Edward Rayton Martin: Well... see you later.
[Col. Martin runs to get aboard the bomber]
Col. Edward Rayton Martin: Keep your temper with the big wheels!
Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis: What?
Col. Edward Rayton Martin: I said; keep your temper with the big wheels! I don't want to get back and find you with a Legion of Merit and a ticket home!
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.


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