In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
Life becomes so harried after Ensign Pulver's prank, he and the Captain are swept off deck during a storm, ending up on a tropical island, a group of ship wrecked nurses, dancing natives and 1 very big case of appendicitis.
Robert Walker Jr.,
An American tanker is sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend eleven days at sea on a raft. They're next assigned to the liberty ship "Sea Witch" bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked North Atlantic.
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On the day of his retirement, Rear Admiral Jonathan L. Scott reflects on his role in introducing aircraft carriers to the U.S. Navy. After World War I, there was a general downsizing of the military. There were only limited opportunities to create a carrier-bound air capability. The aircraft were not designed specifically for landing on a flat top and several death occur during training. Over the years however, Scott is one of several men who pursue their dream of aircraft carriers and aircraft specifically designed for that purpose. Their worth is proved in World War II at the Battle of Midway and throughout the war. Written by
Wayne Morris who portrayed Lt.McKinney was the only actor in the cast who had actual combat experience as a carrier pilot in WWII . As a fighter pilot, Morris shot down seven enemy planes and contributed to the sinking of five enemy ships. He was awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Air Medals. He was the only combat "ace" of all the Hollywood actors who went to war. See more »
What has been described as not being possible, the USS Franklin, which was damaged in the Pacific, was in fact brought back to New York to have major repairs done in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Emergency repairs were done in Hawaii before the transit to New York. She had to steam to the east coast of the United States for repairs in New York because all of the repair shipyards on the U.S. west coast were heavily overloaded with American warships that had been damaged by Japanese kamikazes. See more »
Task Force was the first of two films Gary Cooper made regarding the development of aviation. Here he plays the fictional Jonathan Scott who looks back on his life after retiring from the Navy. The second is the Court Martial of Billy Mitchell where he plays the real life Army Aviation pioneer.
For today's fans if one wants to see where Tom Cruise and the gang from Top Gun all got their start, take a look at Task Force. The idea of a floating flattop ship from where airplanes could take off and land was one that was scoffed at post World War I. Pilots didn't have the skills yet for that. What Task Force shows is Gary Cooper and a whole bunch of other people who believed in an idea living and dying to prove that idea.
Task Force was memorable in the career of Gary Cooper for two other reasons. It was the first film he did after leaving his original studio, Paramount, at Warner Brothers where he worked for about five years. It was also the last film he did with good friend Walter Brennan. They made eight joint film appearances, including some memorable ones in The Westerner and Sergeant York where they got Oscars, Brennan for The Westerner and Cooper for Sergeant York.
Jane Wyatt is Cooper's leading lady, playing the part of the faithful wife where if this had been made at MGM, June Allyson would have had the part. She's the widow of one of Cooper's early Navy flier friends who is killed trying to land on a new aircraft carrier.
Director Delmar Daves made good use of actual combat footage both black and white and in the last 15 minutes color. Lent a real air of authenticity to what we were viewing. Look for some good supporting performances from Brennan, Wayne Morris, Bruce Bennett and the best being an obtuse United States Senator played by Stanley Ridges.
The final shot of the film shows Cooper now in civilian attire with jets passing overhead. That was a whole new skill that had to be learned by the next generation of Top Guns. Very graphically demonstrated in The Bridges at Toko-Ri.
I'd like to think that Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast of Top Gun saw those two films and realized the great heritage they were now going to portray.
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