It's May 1943 at a US Army Air Corps base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic captain, Dennis Dearborn - will soon start their twenty-fifth mission, having completed their previous twenty-four successfully with nary an incident, while fewer and fewer other planes are coming back from their missions at all. If they complete their next mission successfully, they will be the first Army Air Corps B-17 Crew to complete their tour of duty. Visiting communications officer Lt. Col. Bruce Derringer wants to publicize and highly tout their accomplishment, even before it happens, as a long term good news campaign at a time when there is little good news to report. Derringer's plan is against the wishes of the base commander, Col. Craig Harriman, who would prefer to treat the ten as any of his other hard working men. The previous success of the Memphis Belle is despite the disparate natures ... Written by
The ball turret gunner of the real Memphis Belle was Cecil Scott. From Altoona, PA. "From down there I could see everything." He fired at a great many German fighters and achieved one "Damaged" credit. Retired from Ford Motor Company after 30 years. See more »
After the Memphis Belle drops her bombs and Dennis pulls on the stick to leave, the bomb-bay doors are closed. Then you see Val close the bomb-bay doors. See more »
Lt.Col. Bruce Derringer:
This is the religious one. There's always a religious one. "Eugene McVey from Cleveland." There's always one from Cleveland. "Nineteen, high-strung, always coming down with something." How'd he get in this bunch?
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The movie actually was a fairly accurate account of the Belle's experiences except that the movie had everything that actually happened to the plane and crew on its 25 flights happen on the last flight. The one thing missing was that a Belle waist gunner ended up with frost bite on his hands and was replaced. The characters in the movie were fictional. I've seen some comments by people that it was unrealistic for a 21-year old (Matthew Modine's Dennis Dearborn character) to be the pilot. The real Belle pilot, Robert K. Morgan, was only 24 when they began flying missions in late 1942. Some of the movie's dialogue actually was said by crew during the Belle's missions. The government produced a 1944 documentary on the Memphis Belle directed by William Wyler and if you watch it you will recognize some of the scenes and dialogue from this movie.
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