7.4/10
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Command Decision (1948)

Passed | | Action, Drama, War | February 1949 (USA)
Army generals struggle with the decision to prioritize bombing the German factories producing new jet fighters over the extremely high casualties the mission will cost.

Director:

Sam Wood

Writers:

William R. Laidlaw (screenplay), George Froeschel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Brigadier General K.C. 'Casey' Dennis
Walter Pidgeon ... Major General Roland Goodlow Kane
Van Johnson ... Technical Sergeant Immanuel T. Evans
Brian Donlevy ... Brigadier General Clifton I. Garnet
Charles Bickford ... Elmer Brockhurst
John Hodiak ... Colonel Edward Rayton Martin
Edward Arnold ... Congressman Arthur Malcolm
Marshall Thompson ... Captain George Washington Bellpepper Lee
Richard Quine ... Major George Rockton
Cameron Mitchell ... Lieutenant Ansel Goldberg
Clinton Sundberg ... Major Homer V. Prescott
Ray Collins ... Major Desmond Lansing
Warner Anderson ... Colonel Earnest Haley
John McIntire ... Major Belding Davis
Moroni Olsen ... Congressman Stone
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Storyline

General Dennis of the US Force in England in World War II finds that he must order his planes deeper and deeper into Germany to prevent the production of military jet planes that will turn the tide of battle to the Germans. He must fight congressmen, and his own chain of command to win the political battle before he can send his planes out. His problem is complicated by a very narrow window of good weather necessary to allow his effort to be successful. Adapted from a stage play, it attempts to look at the challenges of command in the political arena. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's Dramatic Hit! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sublime decisión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,467,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,901,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,685,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In April 1948 MGM announced that Tom Drake would be cast in this movie playing the part of Capt. Tom Jenks. Drake in the end did not appear in this film. A May 1948 MGM press release reported that Michael Steele would be cast to play the role of the pilot Capt. Lucius Malcolm Jenks and Steele does appear in this film in this part. See more »

Goofs

When General Dennis tries to talk down the bombardier flying the crippled bomber, the bombardier reports that the aircraft's fuel is exhausted. Presumably he had also dropped his bomb load over the target. His on-board supply of machine gun ammunition should be very low if not exhausted. Yet when the bomber crashes, it explodes and burns. If he has no bombs, no gas , and no machine gun ammunition, what's to burn? See more »

Quotes

Congressman Arthur Malcolm: But it seems to me our boys are paying a pretty bloody price for General Dennis' record!
Congressman Stone: Arthur!
Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis: Arthur, they're paying a price for the country's record.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Under-Appreciated, A Great War-Movie
25 April 2001 | by shaman-7See all my reviews

This is an under-appreciated gem of a move.

To start with, the core story sounds utterly fantastic, but it is partly true. There was never a "Lance-Wulf 190", but there really was a Messerschmidt Me-262 in World War 2. The Me-262 wasn't quite the wonder-plane which the mythical Lance-Wulf was, but it was a swept-wing jet with a top speed of 540 mph, a blinding speed for the time. And, as fighter pilots say, "speed is life".

American bombing in August, 1943 did delay the introduction of the real Me-262. (The pre-production aircraft were wrecked on an assembly line, forcing a delay of several months.) The irony is that the German jet fighter program was really stymied by Hitler's aversion to defensive weapons and the German feeling that the war could be won with existing fighter types.

There is, however, a "message" in this film which fully applies to civilian life. You know that everything is okay just now, but this will soon come to an end. Given those facts, are you willing to take some massive losses now and solve the problem? Or do you just wait for the situation to become visible to everyone before you act?

I don't know how many times I've seen people--even bright ones--opt for the "wait and see" course of action. It never works.

Just as Betty Davis's 1938 film "Jezebel" was overshadowed by "Gone With The Wind", this film was overshadowed by "Twelve O'Clock High".


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