Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  23 November 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 213 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Well-intentioned history lesson; the decision to drop the atom bomb, the secrecy surrounding the mission, and the men who flew it.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lieutenant Jacob 'Jake' Beser
Lucy Tibbets
Major Tom Ferebee
Captain Bob Lewis
Major Wiiliam 'Bud' Uanna
Sergeant Shug Crawford
Captain William 'Deke' Parsons
Field Marshall Abehata
Richard Venture ...
Alexander Sachs
Secretary of War Stimson
Stephen Roberts ...
Captain Claude Eatherly


Well-intentioned history lesson; the decision to drop the atom bomb, the secrecy surrounding the mission, and the men who flew it.

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Release Date:

23 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enola Gay  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The other pilots refer to Captain Bob Lewis as having been Tibbets' "fair-haired boy on two continents." While Lewis was an experienced test pilot, he had not yet served overseas at that point. See more »


Colonel Paul Tibbets: Improperly commandeered an airplane...
Captain Bob Lewis: I was on official business.
Colonel Paul Tibbets: Lost in the middle of a snowstorm...
Captain Bob Lewis: Do you expect me to control the weather?
Colonel Paul Tibbets: Didn't occur to you to use instruments...
Captain Bob Lewis: My compass was out, SIR.
Colonel Paul Tibbets: Set down in the middle of a corn field...
Captain Bob Lewis: It was on the approach to the airport.
Colonel Paul Tibbets: So why didn't you use the airport?
Captain Bob Lewis: Because I was out of gas! It was one gorgeous piece of flying.
See more »

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User Reviews

Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No it's a turkey
1 February 2008 | by (London) – See all my reviews

On first viewing I caught just the section of the bomb drop and was surprised at the fumbling and utter flatness of the treatment of what for the world, let alone the crew, was such a momentous event. A extraordinary miscasting was Patrick Duffy, Dallas's Bobby Ewing, as the Enola Gay's pilot - bland and soft showing no evidence of stress or emotion that even the grittiest (and gritty the pilot must have been) would have shown. In real life the recording of the plane intercom picked up the reaction of one of the crew: "My God, what have we done?"

I assumed that I'd seen an unrepresentative section so watched a repeat. In a knockabout comic scene in "the john" a security man disguised as a plumber has been caught by the aircrew listening in to their conversations. The scene exactly resembled that in those many many comic movies set the armed forces - from Operation Petticoat to Sargeant Bilko. How could such a huge, dramatic and sombre story receive such treatment? It was not simply incompetent but given the gravity of the subject matter, distasteful.

I contrasted it with the superb Emmy-awarded "Day One" with Brian Dennehy as General Groves, a military bulldozer whose responsibility it was to drive the immense project forward often in the face of the sophisticated scruples of the brilliant scientists he had no choice but to work with. Day One seemed to give absolute full and accurate measure to the characters and events - the first IMDb review on it is particularly worth reading. David Strathairn excellent as Oppenheimer. Even better was the 1980 mini series "Oppenheimer" with Sam Waterston in the title role.

Given these two superb renderings of the genuinely world shattering story I cannot imagine how "Enola Gay etc" came to be conceived let alone made. Rightly it received not a single award nomination.

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