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Command Decision (1948)

Passed  |   |  War, Drama  |  February 1949 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,452 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 11 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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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Edit

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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clark Gable enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces after his wife Carole Lombard died in a plane crash on a war bonds selling trip assisting the war effort. Gable went to Officers Canidate School graduating as a second lieutenant, and was eventually promoted to major. He was trained as an aerial gunner and combat cameraman and was awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for at least five aerial bombing missions over Germany from England with the 351st Bomb Group (Heavy). Adolf Hitler personally offered a reward to the pilot or anti-aircraft gun crew who shot down Gable's plane. 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

Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis: There's no room in this job for a personal slant, Cliff.
Brig. Gen. Clifton I. Garnet: He told me he was going to be married.
Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis: Yes, I know. You can only hope you don't have to kill him before he does. It's your baby, Cliff. I found out long ago to let the chaplain handle those. He's our laison with the headquarters that decides that.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

People who fought WWII without hearing gunfire
16 June 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Just saw this on TCM. The story of generals fighting generals, press officers, politicians, etc. There's a few cliches, like the pilot who get news his wife has had a son gets killed during a mission. Don't expect Gable to give an over-the-top performance. It was originally a stage play -- so there are lots of one-on-one confrontations -- they are all done well.

There are no special effects, no women, no air battles. There's spliced in newsreel footage of a plane that lands and explodes. 1948 audiences couldn't really appreciate the abstraction of "air supremacy" that is the heart of the fight here. In our post-Gulf War post-Afghan War -- we now can appreciate the vision of men who took these risks -- so I'd say there's a special historical importance to this film. Check around the web for info on Gable's WW II service record -- he enlisted at age 41 into the Army Air Corps.


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