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The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, War | 13 April 1944 (USA)
A documentary on the 25th bombing mission of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 in the US 8th Air Force.

Director:

William Wyler
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Wray Stanley Wray ... Himself - Group Commander (as Colonel Stanley Wray)
Robert Morgan Robert Morgan ... Himself - Pilot (as Captain Robert Morgan)
James A. Verinis ... Himself - Co-Pilot (as Captain Jim Verinis)
Robert J. Hanson Robert J. Hanson ... Himself - Radio Operator (as Sergeant Bob Hanson)
Charles B. Leighton Charles B. Leighton ... Himself - Navigator (as Captain Chuck Leighton)
Harold P. Loch Harold P. Loch ... Himself - Engineer and Top Turret Gunner (as Sergeant Harold Loch)
John P. Quinlan John P. Quinlan ... Himself - Tail Gunner (as Sergeant John Quinlan)
Cecil H. Scott Cecil H. Scott ... Himself - Turret Gunner (as Sergeant Cecil Scott)
Vince Evans Vince Evans ... Himself - Bombardier (as Captain Vincent Evans)
Clarence E. Winchell Clarence E. Winchell ... Himself - Waist Gunner (as Sergeant Bill Winchell)
Casimer A. Nastal Casimer A. Nastal ... Himself - Waist Gunner (as Sergeant Tony Nastal)
Haywood Hansell Haywood Hansell ... Himself - USAAF (as Brigadier General Hansell)
King George VI ... Himself - Congratulates Crew of Memphis Belle
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother ... Herself - Congratulates Crew of Memphis Belle
Ira C. Eaker Ira C. Eaker ... Himself - Commander: 8th Air Force (as General Eaker)
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Storyline

Documentary about the 25th and last bombing mission of a B17, the "Memphis Belle". The "Memphis Belle" took part in a great bombing raid on sub-pens in Wilhelmshafen, Germany. On their way they encounterd heavy AA fire and interceptors. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fly and Fight with the Crew on an Actual Bombing Mission Over Germany!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Memphis Belle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of director William Wyler's cameramen was shot down and killed while flying in another B-17 during a combat mission over Germany. See more »

Goofs

The narrator claims that Britain was last conquered more than a thousand years ago. The latest conquest of Britain was in 1066, 878 years before the film was released. See more »

Crazy Credits

All aerial combat film was exposed during air battles over enemy territory See more »

Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Forget the 1990 movie, this is the real thing
3 February 2014 | by robertguttmanSee all my reviews

This Memphis Belle is the real thing, and will be remembered long after the 1990 movie version has been forgotten. It is a documentary filmed during the height of World War II on a USAAF air base in Britain, and also on board the Memphis Belle, a typical B-17 Flying Fortress of the U.S. Army's 8th Air Force.

No blue screens were used in the production of this movie, no Hollywood special effects or computer-generated imaging. William Wyler and his cameramen accompanied the bomber crew on a actual combat missions over Germany. No actors or stunt men were used, either. The men shown flying in the Memphis Belle were the actual crew of the Memphis Belle. In addition, the wounded airmen seen being removed from returning planes were not extras, they really were wounded.

Another aspect of this film that was not faked was the severe battle damage seen on some of the returning B-17s. The fact that some of those planes even managed to get back at all is almost incredible, and the images in this movie stand as a testament both to the skill of the pilots and to the structural integrity of the legendary "Flying Fortress".

The combat footage used in this movie was so good that, for decades, it was used in any movie or television program concerning the air war over Europe, in preference to anything that the Hollywood special effects departments could manufacture. You will see clips from The Memphis Belle in such well-known Hollywood films as "12 O'Clock High" and "Command Decision".

The Memphis Belle is a must-see, both as a tribute to the courageous airmen memorialized in it, and to the intrepid cameramen who literally risked their lives to film it.


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