IMDb > Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
Twelve O'Clock High
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Twelve O'Clock High (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Twelve O'Clock High -- Trailer for this war time drama

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   8,676 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Sy Bartlett (screenplay) and
Beirne Lay Jr. (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Twelve O'Clock High on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 February 1950 (Brazil) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A story of twelve men as their women never knew them...
Plot:
A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
one of the finest war films ever made See more (114 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gregory Peck ... Gen. Frank Savage

Hugh Marlowe ... Lt. Col. Ben Gately

Gary Merrill ... Col. Keith Davenport

Millard Mitchell ... Gen. Pritchard

Dean Jagger ... Maj. Harvey Stovall
Robert Arthur ... Sgt. McIllhenny

Paul Stewart ... Capt. 'Doc' Kaiser
John Kellogg ... Maj. Cobb
Robert Patten ... Lt. Bishop (as Bob Patten)
Lee MacGregor ... Lt. Zimmerman

Sam Edwards ... Birdwell
Roger Anderson ... Interrogation Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Blunt ... Officer (uncredited)
William Bryant ... Radio Operator (uncredited)
Steve Clark ... Clerk in Antique Shop (uncredited)
Russ Conway ... Operations Officer (uncredited)
Campbell Copelin ... Mr. Britton (uncredited)
Leslie Denison ... RAF Officer (uncredited)
Lawrence Dobkin ... Capt. Twombley (uncredited)
George Edwards ... Officer (uncredited)
Robert Fisher ... Savage's Co-Pilot (uncredited)
Stanley Fraser ... Cab Driver (uncredited)

Bert Freed ... Officer Standing at Bar (uncredited)
Greg Gallagher ... Officer (uncredited)
Don Gaudagno ... Dwight - Hospital Patient (uncredited)
Don Giovanni ... Cobb's Co-Pilot (uncredited)

Don Gordon ... First Patient in Base Hospital (uncredited)
Don Hicks ... Lt Wilson (uncredited)
Ray Hyke ... Corporal Bartender at Officer's Club (uncredited)

Barry Jones ... Lord Haw-Haw (voice) (uncredited)
Harry Lauter ... Radio Officer (uncredited)
Joyce Mackenzie ... Nurse (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Corporal (uncredited)
John McKee ... Operations Officer (uncredited)
Peter Ortiz ... Weather Observer (uncredited)

Paul Picerni ... Bombardier (uncredited)
Nelson Scott ... Gately's Co-Pilot (uncredited)
William Short ... Lt. Pettinghill (uncredited)
John Shulick ... Navigator (uncredited)
Bob Tidwell ... Bishop's Co-Pilot (uncredited)

Kenneth Tobey ... Sgt. Keller - Guard at Gate (uncredited)
Guy Way ... Barman (uncredited)
Patrick Whyte ... Clerk (uncredited)
John Zilly ... Sgt. Ernie - Gen. Savage's Driver (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry King 
 
Writing credits
Sy Bartlett (screenplay) and
Beirne Lay Jr. (screenplay)

Beirne Lay Jr. (novel) and
Sy Bartlett (novel)

Henry King  uncredited

Produced by
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Leon Shamroy (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Barbara McLean 
 
Art Direction by
Maurice Ransford 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Bruce MacDonald  (as Bruce Macdonald)
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Roy Stork .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
William Eckhardt .... production manager (uncredited)
R.L. Hough .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
F.E. 'Johnny' Johnston .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
W.D. Flick .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Thomas T. Moulton .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
 
Stunts
Paul Mantz .... stunt pilot (uncredited)
John McKee .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Red Crawford .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Charles Graham .... grip (uncredited)
F. Bud Mautino .... camera operator (uncredited)
Leo McCreary .... key grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (as Edward Powell)
Alfred Newman .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John H. deRussy .... technical advisor: air force
Darryl F. Zanuck .... presenter
John W. Adams .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Teresa Brachetto .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
132 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (archive footage) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Brazil:L | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:S | Norway:16 | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (certificate #13818) | USA:TV-PG (tv rating) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
John Wayne turned down the leading role that later went to Gregory Peck.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: When Doc is telling General Savage about Gately at the coffee bar, a fly is clearly visible buzzing very close to his face, but the actor doesn't break character.See more »
Quotes:
General Frank Savage:[Addressing the 918th for the first time at 0800] There will be a briefing for a practice mission at 1100 this morning. That's right, practice. I've been sent here to take over what has come to be known as a hard luck group. Well, I don't believe in hard luck. So we're going to find out what the trouble is...See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into The Clock (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Bless 'em AllSee more »

FAQ

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60 out of 69 people found the following review useful.
one of the finest war films ever made, 11 December 2001
Author: whitecargo from Philadelphia PA, USA



"Twelve O'Clock High" is my favourite WWII film; perhaps my favourite 'Gregory Peck' film; and perhaps even my favourite 'male' film of all time. If you didn't know it, 'Twelve O'Clock High' was once many men's favourite war film of all time. How many people know about this now-obscure movie or realize the weight of its faded prestige, I wouldn't like to guess. The number certainly decreases with each generation. To discover it on late night television, however, is the reward for the patient seeker of 'quintessentially American' films.

'Twelve O'Clock High' is essentially the best depiction of a particular theatre of World War II--the extremely hazardous, aerial daylight bombing campaign over Germany. This film is the archetype for that entire lineage of war film. But it is memorable for its strong performances rather than well-directed battle scenes. In fact there are no battle scenes except for borrowed aerial combat footage. Yet few other films have the look of a 'big' WWII film better than this one--even though it is shot mostly indoors or in cramped cockpits.

Gregory Peck plays an Air Force commander in England in 1943. His performance here is one of Hollywood's icons. Peck is at his best-- taut, controlled, and powerful; flawless throughout every scene as a sensitive air commander forced to whip and browbeat a demoralized and resentful B-24 squadron back into peak efficiency. Peck runs roughshod over his new outfit, but he has a secret achille's heel--he fears he will grow too fond of the men he commands, the emotional link rendering him as ineffective as his predecessor (played by Gary Merrill).

There are crisp, well-directed scenes where the stiff-necked Peck rides his men with extra fury in order to steel himself against all attachments. Yet as we and Peck learn by the end of the film, it is impossible. Despite Peck's best preventive measures, the squadron continues to suffer heavy casualties, and Peck, no matter how hard he resists, is drawn into an emotional attachment with the young pilots he must order into battle each morning.

All soldiers know that comradery is the sharpest of double-edged swords during combat. You can never predict when you will lose a buddy--thus its a common practice for soldiers to keep their relationships light. This storyline has been treated loosely by a slew of later films, but never as successfully as it is done here. Every aspect of the emotional hazards of this type of wartime bond is fully dissected, and the film is filled with scenes containing extraordinary close-ups where the actor's facial expressions alone reveals the character's bitten-back response. This is especially gripping during the film's many vehement, man-to-man exchanges involving discipline, implied cowardice or dereliction of duty.

In particular there are two wonderful subplots to the film: look for the subtle interplay between Peck and Gary Merrill (the brother officer Peck is forced to replace) with regard to the "filling of someone else's shoes" and an actual pair of flyer's boots that they borrow back and forth between them. Then there is another bit of business between Peck and a recalcitrant executive officer, Hugh O'Brian.

The scenes between Peck and O'Brian, in particular, will almost make you wince, if you have ever in your life been chewed out by anyone or tried to 'measure up' to what you thought was expected of you. The relationships between Peck and the other officers exposes issues about the choices men must make about each other and about their duty in wartime; and lays bare the emotions involved when they are forced to depend on one another; as well as what happens when they are forced to fail one another. Its simply outstanding.

'Twelve O'Clock High' stands quietly in the ranks of the few really great American films, without any ego or hype. If you can still remember how important it can be to feel part of a team, even if it was only on a kickball or dodge-ball field that when you last had that feeling then you will admire this film. Dean Jagger won a Best Supporting Actor for his role as the reservist, and there are fine performances from every other actor as well. Millard Mitchell, an absolutely wonderful character actor, is without peer in a role he played often, that of a salty WWII general. And Peck, as we know, walks away with his role.

If you have ever pondered what the real meaning of over-used words like 'loyalty' and 'devotion' mean then this film is for you. The unfettered treatment of these hard-to-pin-down ideals is what makes it one of the few really great war films, for my money (yes, guys, sorry to say, its better than "The Great Escape").

When you are tired of watching the endless parade of "smart" "slick" and "funny" films, all filled with frivolous, stereotype-mocking characters, rent this one to see the real thing.

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