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The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 31 December 1955 (USA)
A dramatization of the American general and his court martial for publically complaining about High Command's dismissal and neglect of the aerial fighting forces.

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(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Col. Billy Mitchell
...
Gen. Jimmy Guthrie
...
Congressman Frank R. Reid
...
Maj. Allan Guillion
...
Margaret Lansdowne
...
Col. Moreland
...
Lt. Col. Herbert White
...
Lt. Cmdr. Zachary 'Zack' Lansdowne
...
Capt. Bob Elliott
...
Capt. Russ Peters
...
Adm. Gage (as Robert Simon)
Charles Dingle ...
Sen. Fullerton
Dayton Lummis ...
Tom McKee ...
Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker
Stephen Roberts ...
Maj. Carl Spaatz (as Steve Roberts)
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Storyline

The true story of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneering crusader for the Army's fledgling air corp. In spite of an impressive performance during the First World War, the commanders of America's armed forces still think of the airplane as little more then a carnival attraction. Even after sinking an "unsinkable" captured German battleship from the air, Mitchell sees funds dry up and friends die due to poor equipment. He is court-martialed after questioning the loyalty of his superiors for allowing the air corp to deteriorate. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He defied the army and navy . . . and they gave him a Court Martial!

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Condamné au silence  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(optical prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In August 1946, Congress authorized President Harry Truman "to award posthumously in the name of Congress a Medal of Honor to William Mitchell." However, this was not THE Congressional Medal of Honor, but instead a special medal, engraved on one side with an image of Mitchell's face. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence Colonel Mitchell arrives for the test he is flying a Grumman JF "Duck". This airplane was not first flown until 1932 when the date of the scene is 1921. See more »

Quotes

Admiral William S. Sims: Just because you read a lot of books about golf, doesn't make you a good golfer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: 5 O'Clock Charlie (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Tea for Two
(uncredited)
Music by Vincent Youmans
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User Reviews

 
Excellent Production
13 September 2002 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Too add to the comments already made in this database I would like to point out that viewers seem to forget that the testimony in the film by Major Hap Arnold, Captain Eddie Rickenbaker, Major Karl Spatz and Fiorello LaGuardia substantiated Colonel Mitchell's facts.

As for whether the court-martial did what it intended to do, obviously it did not in Pearl Harbor's case, however, it may have helped development of better aircraft and aircraft carriers during the 30's, especially when one considers this was during a depression.

What could have been brought to light was the complacency of the public at the time, roaring 20's, etc.. Also the public's isolationist outlook.

At any rate, General Mitchell will always be a hero to airmen, along with General Hap Arnold and others.


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