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Air Force (1943)

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The crew of an Air Force bomber arrives in Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese attack and is sent on to Manila to help with the defense of the Philippines.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writer:

Dudley Nichols (original screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Ridgely ... Pilot
Gig Young ... Co-Pilot
Arthur Kennedy ... Bombardier
Charles Drake ... Navigator
Harry Carey ... Crew Chief Sgt. White
George Tobias ... Asst. Crew Chief
Ward Wood Ward Wood ... Radio Operator
Ray Montgomery ... Asst. Radio Operator
John Garfield ... Aerial Gunner Joe Winocki
James Brown ... Pursuit Pilot - Passenger
Stanley Ridges ... Major Mallory
Willard Robertson ... Colonel at Hickam Field
Moroni Olsen ... Col. Blake
Edward Brophy ... Marine Sgt. J.J. Callahan (as Edward S. Brophy)
Richard Lane ... Maj. W.G. Roberts
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Storyline

On December 6, 1941 nine B-17 bomber set off on a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. One of the bombers, the Mary Ann, is commanded by 'Irish' Quincannon. The bombardier, Tommy McMartin, has a sister living in Hawaii and the co-pilot, Bill Williams, is sweet on her. The men are all highly professional with the exception of aerial gunner Joe Winocki, a bitter man who has every intention of leaving the army air corps. They arrive at Hickam Field on the morning of December 7, just as the Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor and other military facilities. All of the men prepare to face the enemy, including Winocki whose attitude changes quickly. The bomber and its crew will participate in many missions but not all will survive. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The name of their love was Mary Ann. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

20 March 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El bombardero heroico See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Barbara, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft used to play "Mary-Ann" was a B-17B, one of 19 that had the gunners' bubbles replaced by the flush gun positions of the B-17C and B-17D. This aircraft MAY have been aircraft 38-583 or possibly 39-010. Also, aircraft "18" in the movie is 38-269. Pause the scenes where John Ridgely has walked in front of the daytime flight line with numbers "18" and "05" in the back ground, and, as he is talking to the crew in the bomb bay, look through the gap between the bomb bay door and the fuselage: as you pause and forward frame-by-frame, you will see the tail of "18" just barely enough to see the numbers "8269" showing! This means that aircraft "18" is actually B-17B 38-269. See more »

Goofs

During the initial battle between the Japanese and the B-17 Robbie goes from the cockpit to his position as top gunner and gets ready to fight. There is a cut and he is back in the cockpit there is another cut and he is back at his gun. There is not enough time between the cuts to allow him to change positions. See more »

Quotes

Assistant Crew Chief Weinberg: [looking at map] Is this here Wake Island?
Navigator Monk Hauser: Yeah.
Assistant Crew Chief Weinberg: How far is it?
Navigator Monk Hauser: Oh, it's about 2300 miles from Honolulu.
Assistant Crew Chief Weinberg: [whistles] And we're gonna land on that dot?
Navigator Monk Hauser: Yeah, it's not very big, is it?
Assistant Crew Chief Weinberg: Like trying to find a buckshot in Central Park. Gee, I wish there were some traffic signs around.
Navigator Monk Hauser: There are, but you can't see them.
Assistant Crew Chief Weinberg: I mean like numbers and streets.
Navigator Monk Hauser: Yeah, but they call them latitudes and longitudes.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: FOREWARD "It is for us the living .... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced ..... It is ......for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ..... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Abraham Lincoln See more »

Connections

Featured in What's Up, Doc? (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
(1923) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Mills and Duke Ellington
Played on the radio aboard the B-17 airplane
Partially sung by George Tobias
See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie for the times and even today.
30 April 2003 | by wilstreamSee all my reviews

I've seen this on cable dozens of times and almost never turn it off when it comes on. Some of the comments about the racist terms are simply naive. Trying to judge a movie 60 years later using political correctness as a measurement is like trying to compare Slater Martin with Michael Jordan. Air Force was released in 1943 meaning it was written and produced shortly after Pearl Harbor. So, the terms "Fried Jap" are understandable considering the times. Yes, the death bed scene was sappy. But the scene where the "Mary Anne" is trying to take off just one step ahead of invading japaness troops is exciting. The special effects are good (again, considering the technology 60 years ago) and although you can point to problems here or there, I think Howard Hawks and a great cast make this a movie people will enjoy for many more decades.


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