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Above and Beyond (1952)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 727 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 4 critic

Col. Paul Tibbetts piloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in World War 2.

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Title: Above and Beyond (1952)

Above and Beyond (1952) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lucey Tibbets
...
Maj. William 'Bill' M. Uanna - Security Officer, Operation Silverplate
...
Maj. Gen. Vernon C. Brent
Larry Gates ...
Capt. William 'Deak' Parsons, USN
Marilyn Erskine ...
Marge Bratton
Stephen Dunne ...
Maj. Harry Bratton, Co-Pilot B-29 Tests
Robert Burton ...
Gen. Samuel E. Roberts (Tibbets' CO in Africa)
...
Dr. Ramsey
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Dr. Van Dyke (as Larry Dobkin)
Jack Raine ...
Dr. Fiske
Jonathan Cott ...
Capt. Dutch van Kirk (Navigator, Enola Gay)
...
Maj. Thomas Ferebee (Enola Gay Bombardier)
Dick Simmons ...
Capt. Robert A. Lewis (Co-Pilot, Enola Gay)
John McKee ...
Staff Sergeant Wyatt E. Duzenbury, Enola Gay Flight Engineer
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Storyline

The story of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Although unaware of the full potential of this new weapon, he knows that it is capable of doing tremendously more damage than any other weapon used before, and that the death toll resulting from it will be enormous. He is reluctant to be the person who will end so many lives, but if using it may bring an end to the war, then not doing so may result in even more lives being lost in continued ground assaults as the fighting goes on. At the same time, the intense secrecy surrounding this mission leaves him with no one he can express his thoughts and doubts to, not even his wife. As time goes on, the pressure upon him only increase. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"You're not the man I married. Not any more. You're ambitious...cold...and heartless!" See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 January 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eagle on His Cap  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Enola Gay turned sharply after dropping the bomb and was miles away when it went off. The directly-overhead view of the city's destruction was not visible to the crew. This was added to the film for the benefit of the audience. See more »

Goofs

Col. Tibbetts is by his plane, and the airman asks about a name, when the plane is shown with the name on it (on the right side) the letters are large, and facing downward. In the next shot, the letters are smaller and the letters are facing upward. See more »

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User Reviews

An extraordinary film, for a variety of reasons.
6 February 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Considering that "Above and Beyond" was made during the height of the hysteria now known as McCarthyism, one would have expected a jingoistic flag-waver out of Hollywood. Instead, surprisingly, the screenplay as written allows the Paul Tibbets character (Robert Taylor) the opportunity to register a variety of emotions, in a most realistic and compelling performance.

This is ironic, seeing as the real Tibbets, decades after the event (the bombing of Hiroshima), is to this day unrepentant. Not to criticize his position in any way, because that was a different time and place, and it's Tibbets' view that he had a job to do, and the morality of it all, he has stated, is best debated by others.

But the film is all the more compelling because of the ambivalence written into the Tibbets character, and Taylor's especially fine work. There are uniformly strong performances throughout the cast, notably those of Eleanor Parker (Lucy Tibbets), James Whitmore (the security officer) and Larry Keating (General Brent).

Another surprise: the team of Melvin Frank and Norman Panama (screenplay, direction) had been best known for their Bob Hope comedies, when under contract at Paramount. Their first dramatic effort was "Above and Beyond," and they acquitted themselves admirably.

Final note: the musical score by Hugo Friedhofer is immensely satisfying: stirring in an emotional sense, with just a touch of, but not too much of, militaristic flavor.

Dore Schary, a Democrat, had succeeded fervent Republican Louis B. Mayer at MGM in 1951, and had encouraged the production of "Above and Beyond." One wonders if (a) the film would have been made at all on Mayer's watch, and (b) if it had, would it have been more of a cornball, John Wayne-type flag-waver. Thankfully, those questions are moot. "Above and Beyond" is a stirring, finely-crafted film. I would stress again the unusual nature of the protaganist's ambivalence as portrayed in a film made during a very sensitive time in America's history.


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