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Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,932 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 37 critic

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Twelve O'Clock High (1949) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Robert Arthur ...
...
John Kellogg ...
Robert Patten ...
Lt. Bishop (as Bob Patten)
Lee MacGregor ...
...
Roger Anderson ...
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Storyline

In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Nazi Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a "hard luck" bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bomber | general | combat | pilot | bombing | See All (56) »

Taglines:

A story of twelve men as their women never knew them...

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 1950 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Almas en la hoguera  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 7, 1950 with Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Millard Mitchell and John Kellogg reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

In the film, a large white triangle with a black "A" inside it is painted on the vertical stabilizers (tail fins) of the 918th Bomb Group's B-17 airplanes. At the point in World War II depicted in the film, 8th Air Force B-17's did not yet bear these markings, carrying only the plane's serial number on the tail. The white triangle with a black "A" was the identifying insignia for the real-life 91st Bomb Group later in the war. The aircraft used in the movie were marked to match wartime combat camera footage, some of which featured 91st Bomb Group planes. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Gen. Ben Pritchard: I believe that to a certain degree, a man makes his own luck.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gregory Peck: His Own Man (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
(uncredited)
Music by Sam H. Stept
Lyrics by Charles Tobias and Lew Brown
Sung at the officers' club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'classic' an inadequate term for this one
6 June 2000 | by See all my reviews

Without any question, indisputably the greatest WWII film ever (except, perhaps for "Bridge on the River Kwai"; but that's a WWII story only in the same sense that "Moby Dick" is a book about a whale). There are no weaknesses in this movie. The screenplay is perfect, rooted as it is in the historical reality of the U.S.'s attempt to prove the superiority of Daylight Precision Bombing over the Brits favored strategy of night bombing. The terrible human pressures it placed on young American pilots AND their leaders has never been so well-portrayed on film. Dramatic tension is perfectly manipulated, and the characters are well-drawn, sympathetic and fully developed. Every member of this superb cast gives this great material the great acting it deserves. The usage of actual WWII bombing footage adds to the sense of reality. The psychological drama - what "maximum effort" does to people - is at the core of the story and supercedes the mere military aspect. And the device of the framing scenes - Harvey Stovall (Dean Jagger) recollecting the story while standing in the abandoned airstrip - is brilliant. It gives the tale an overwhelmingly bittersweet feeling of "long-ago" nostalgia. It is so powerful that Spielberg must have consciously had 12 O'clock High in mind when he used the same device in Saving Private Ryan to make that whole film a flashback, just as this one is. To hell with the flashy flamboyance of Citizen Kane; I would have to give 12 O'clock High a better shot at being "the best movie ever made". Film buffs &/or devotees of WWII history who haven't seen this one are living a deprived existence.


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