The lives of a close-knit group of brothers growing up in Iowa during the days of the Great Depression and of World War II and their eventual deaths in action in the Pacific theater are ... See full summary »
In 1936, seven prisoners escape from a concentration camp. Nazis put up seven crosses for demonstrative executions. The story focuses on one of the fugitives, who relies on own courage and compassion of people to avoid the seventh cross.
An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their individual worries and concerns, but become increasingly frustrated at their avoidance of combat, for reasons unknown to them. But in the end, all get their chance to fight.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
In order to add "immediacy" to the final attack on the ship the actors were filmed in front of rear-projected shots of actual combat footage. This is especially noticeable when showing the flight deck behind Charles Bickford since the perspective is slightly off. See more »
The film takes place in the months leading up to the Battle of Midway in June, 1942, and the pilots in it fly Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bombers. The TBF was not introduced until just prior to Midway and saw its first operational flights at the battle. During the period in which the film takes place, the pilots would actually be flying Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bombers instead. See more »
The trap has been sprung. Believing us scattered all over the ocean, the main Jap fleet is headed for Midway. They're going in for the kill and so are we. We're through pulling punches. We're through running away. Our mission is accomplished and from here on in, we fight!
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"Wing and a Prayer" is a decent WW II film made in 1944. It stars Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, William Eythe, Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Bickford, Harry Morgan, and Richard Jaeckel (so young it's unbelievable). It's directed by Henry Hathaway.
The story concerns Naval decisions made during World War II before the Battle of Midway. It's not complete -- because of the time that it was made, info was still classified. We had broken the Japanese code and knew what was going to happen at Midway. This particular film is about a carrier, probably in real life, The Enterprise, that was supposed to make the Japanese think the Navy was spread all over the place so that they wouldn't anticipate the forces at Midway. When they were seeing carriers in different spots, they were in fact seeing only this carrier. The crew was told not under any circumstances to engage with the Japanese, which caused fatalities and problems when pilots could not defend themselves.
The crew was in the dark, of course, and had no understanding of this policy, so they were angry and frustrated.
Don Ameche plays a very stern flight commander, Bingo Harper, a man without a sense of humor, who seems detached from his men. Andrews plays lieutenant commander Edward Moulton, and William Eythe plays Hallam "Oscar" Scott, a film star who carries his Academy Award with him for luck.
This is a 20th Century Fox film, and Andrews and Eythe were two actors who came up during World War II and were groomed by Fox to take over for its absent actors. Eythe bore a resemblance to Tyrone Power and was being groomed for stardom. The role he plays here is undoubtedly based on Power, who was indeed a movie star-pilot with an unusual first name. And he had kissed Betty Grable, just like Hallam. Unlike Dana Andrews, Eythe probably would never have made first ranks - he is rough around the edges, awkward physically, and he just didn't have star quality. He was given some excellent roles, but after Zanuck found out he was gay and pretty openly the lover of actor Lon McAllister, he got rid of him. Eythe found work in television and on the stage but died at the age of 38 of hepatitis.
All in all, a pretty good movie, though the characters aren't very well developed, particularly Andrews' role. The minor characters have more back story.
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