7.0/10
1,353
27 user 14 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A disgraced merchant marine officer elects to stay aboard his sinking cargo ship in order to prove the vessel was deliberately scuttled and, as a result, vindicate his good name.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave
Angel Face (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker
In Harm's Way (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A naval officer reprimanded after Pearl Harbor is later promoted to rear admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the life and career of famed baseball player Lou Gehrig.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth
Daisy Kenyon (1947)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Commercial artist Daisy Kenyon is involved with married lawyer Dan O'Mara, and hopes someday to marry him, if he ever divorces his wife Lucille. She meets returning veteran Peter, a decent ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda
Dallas (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A former Confederate officer hunting for an outlaw who wronged him finds him in Dallas, but now as a wealthy, respectable citizen.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

It is a toss-up as to who is most displeased when Patrolman Moe Finkelstein is given the duty of guarding the German consulate run by Karl Baumer; neither Moe nor Baumer is too happy with ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Joan Bennett, Milton Berle, Otto Preminger
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jack Thornton has trouble winning enough at cards for the stake he needs to get to the Alaska gold fields. His luck changes when he pays $250 for Buck, a sled dog that is part wolf to keep ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Jack Oakie
Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Biography | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Adventurer Marco Polo travels to China, where he finds the Emperor Kublai Khan, court intrigue, danger, and unexpected love.

Directors: Archie Mayo, John Cromwell
Stars: Gary Cooper, Sigrid Gurie, Basil Rathbone
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.

Directors: King Vidor, Jack Conway, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, Walter Brennan
Edit

Cast

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

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Condamné au silence  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,000,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character played by Charles Bickford, Gen. Jimmy Guthrie, was a fabrication; such a person never existed. Instead, he was used by the filmmakers as a composite representative of two officers: Maj. Gen. Mason M. Patrick (Chief of the Air Service and Mitchell's direct superior at the time of the battleship Ostfriesland's sinking) and Maj. Gen. Robert Lee Howze, who presided over Mitchell's court-martial. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Billy Mitchell is reduced in rank and transferred to Texas for disobeying orders during the bombing tests. Actually it was due to him talking to the press without permission and happened a few years after this event. See more »

Quotes

Admiral William S. Sims: The Navy hasn't got any policy on flying, they are ignoring the aeroplane in hopes that it will just go away.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Come Josephine In My Flying Machine
(uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Those airmen in their flying machines
23 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

Otto Preminger was perhaps honing his skills as a director, because this film seems to be a dress rehearsal for his greatest achievement, "Anatomy of a Murder", which is a classic of the courtroom drama genre.

The movie is interesting in that it presents a man of honor, Billy Mitchell, who not only was an aviation pioneer, but a visionary that pointed out to the future in uncanny ways. He realized that wars were going to be fought in the air, and that soon the world would shrink thanks to faster planes than the primitive two engine jobs he was flying during WWI.

Billy Mitchell was an outcast, rejected by the same people that were too obtuse to realize the upcoming revolution in aeronautics. In trying to prove a point, Billy is found guilty and tried for disobeying orders. It's a sad story in which a highly developed mind, like Billy's has to contend with the ignorance of his peers. Testimony from other leading figures of the time, such as Eddie Rickenbacker, and others speak volumes about Mitchell's incredible insight on the new technology and how vulnerable America was from air raids by enemies.

Gary Cooper's approach to the role doesn't clarify much about the real life Mitchell. He is not quite as effective as in many of his most outstanding films. Somehow we don't get any passion out of his character, where perhaps another actor would have run away with the role. Mr. Cooper's take on Mitchell, or perhaps Otto Preminger's direction, doesn't shed much insight in the character.

The best thing in the movie is Rod Steiger as Allan Gullion, who is brought to the trial to help the main prosecution officer. He steals the picture in his short time in front of the camera. Mr Steiger brings a different concept to this officer; he stands out against all the other people around him. What a presence he had! In contrast with Mr. Cooper's stoic presence, Mr. Steiger was ready to smolder the screen if given the chance.

The rest of the cast is outstanding. Charles Bickford, Ralph Bellamy, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jack Lord, James Daly, Fred Clark, among others, enhance this movie.

The only problem with the copy I saw, is the horrible coloring that tends to give a fading images. This is a film in need of restoration.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Steven Spielberg's Most Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs

"The IMDb Show" takes a look at the new trailer for Ready Player One and breaks down director Steven Spielberg's five greatest Easter eggs of all time. Plus, we connect the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch now