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 <email@example.com>
The B-29 was the only WW2 bomber that was capable of flying at 30,000 feet. It was also the first plane with a fully pressurized and heated passenger compartment (like a modern day jet) which allowed the crew to function without oxygen masks and heavy flight suits The pressurization caused many early problems such as the windows popping out as shown in the movie. See more »
The real mission took off in darkness about 2am local time, not daylight as shown in the film. See more »
The actual development of the atomic bomb was documented in films like The Beginning or the End and in Fat Man and Little Boy. Above and Beyond concentrates on the pilot of the B-29 that actually did the deed.
Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker play Colonel and Mrs. Paul Tibbetts who's marriage was put under an incredible strain due to the security surrounding his assignment. Taylor was between his marriages to Barbara Stanwyck and Ursula Thiess and was involved with Parker at the time Above and Beyond was being filmed. Probably that helped a lot during the romantic interludes in the film.
Because this film sticks to the personal story of the Tibbetts marriage and avoids all the debate about the use of the atomic bomb, it still holds up well for today's audience.
In the supporting cast I would have to single out James Whitmore who plays the security head at Wendover field where Tibbetts is training the potential crew for the mission as the most outstanding. He's virtually the only one Taylor can bare his stoic soul to with the assignment he has.
Even with the debate over Hiroshima still raging I would still recommend viewing this film.
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