23 user 11 critic

Wing and a Prayer (1944)

Passed | | Action, Drama, War | 11 January 1945 (Argentina)
In WW2, an American aircraft carrier sails around the Pacific on a decoy mission until it joins the battle of Midway against the Japanese forces.


Henry Hathaway


Jerome Cady (story), Jerome Cady (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Ameche ... Flight Cmdr. Bingo Harper
Dana Andrews ... Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton
William Eythe ... Ens. Hallam 'Oscar' Scott
Charles Bickford ... Capt. Waddell
Cedric Hardwicke ... Admiral (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Kevin O'Shea Kevin O'Shea ... Ens. Charles 'Cookie' Cunningham
Richard Jaeckel ... Beezy Bessemer
Harry Morgan ... Ens. Malcolm Brainard (as Henry Morgan)
Richard Crane ... Ens. Gus Chisholm
Glenn Langan ... Executive Officer
Renny McEvoy ... Ens. Cliff Hale
Robert Bailey ... Ens. Paducah Holloway
Reed Hadley ... Cmdr. O'Donnell
George Mathews ... Dooley
B.S. Pully B.S. Pully ... Flat Top


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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MIGHTY DRAMA OF AIRCRAFT CARRIER X (print ad - Lubbock Avalanche Journal - Cactus Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - July 5, 1945 - all caps) See more »


Action | Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Dana Andrews and Charles Bickford were both born on New Year's Day. See more »


The wall-map of the world in the opening scene is wildly inaccurate. See more »


Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton: Didn't you see the wave off?
Ens. Hallam 'Oscar' Scott: Yes sir, I did.
Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton: What did you think the flag man was doing? Waving bye bye?
See more »


Referenced in Boston Legal: A Whiff and a Prayer (2005) See more »


Chattanooga Choo Choo
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the dart-throwing scene
See more »

User Reviews

11 May 2002 | by jparker-4See all my reviews

"The True Story of Carrier X". Not. A decent flick, but given that it was made in 1944, there are still some propaganda/intelligence considerations.

It's interesting that we pick apart current movies (like Spiderman), yet leave these old films alone - when there are much more egregious errors to it. Pilots in TBFs taking off, when the planes that are launched are SBDs. Place #31 takes off, but it's plane #27 which crashes. The winning planes of Midway are torpedo planes instead of dive bombers.

Despite these sort of issues, it does appear to capture the spirit of the carrier air groups of the war. Well worth seeing.

My interest was to determine which carrier in fact was used for the film. Definitely an Essex class - the first of which was launched in '42. So it wasn't really at Midway. Looks like the USS Hornet CV-12 - which would be cute, the orignal USS Hornet (CV-8) was at Midway. But the hull number is not visible in the film.

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Release Date:

11 January 1945 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Wing and a Prayer: The Story of Carrier X See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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