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Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 1950 (UK)
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A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Sgt. McIllhenny
...
...
Major Cobb
...
Lt. Bishop (as Bob Patten)
Lee MacGregor ...
Lt. Zimmerman (as Lee Mac Gregor)
...
Birdwell
Roger Anderson ...
Interrogation Officer
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Storyline

In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Nazi Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a "hard luck" bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of twelve men as their women never knew them...

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1950 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Almas en la hoguera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is used by the U.S. Navy as an example of leadership styles in its Leadership and Management Training School. The Air Force's College for Enlisted Professional Military Education also uses this film as a education aid in its Noncommissioned Officer Academies. This film is also used as a teaching tool for leadership at the Army Command and General Staff College. The film has also been used for leadership training in civilian non-military seminars. See more »

Goofs

On the last mission General Savage goes on, right after take-off, the camera slowly zooms in on Piccadilly Lily's cockpit. A minute later the camera zooms in on Reluctant Dragon's cockpit, then Fluffy Fuzz's cockpit. All three times the plane in the background is the same #23613 and the stains and dirt on the roof of the three cockpits is the same. See more »

Quotes

General Savage: [after Stovall is caught stowing away on a B-17] Did you get anything?
Major Stovall: My glasses were frosted over some, but I think I got a piece of one.
General Savage: Ours or theirs?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON 1949 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Gregory Peck (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep in the Heart of Texas
(uncredited)
Music by Don Swander
Lyrics by June Hershey
Sung at the officers' club
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A fine memorial to the men of the 8th Air Force.
9 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Of all the movies to come out of Hollywood covering world war two, I place this one, which I first saw in 1950, in the top-draw category. From the very start when the credits start rolling, the opening music seemed to fit perfectly; instead of the era-splitting noise they have hit us with in recent years. The old wartime, "Bless 'em All" and, "Don't sit under the apple tree", heard in the background, as Dean Jagger, now a civilian, slowly takes a nostalgic walk out onto the weed-covered, oil-stained runway to remember gallant times of the 918th Bomb Group, now past.

Gregory Peck as Brigadier General Frank Savage did great credit to this role, and deserved an Oscar. From the moment he enters the base and tears into the guard at the gate for casually waving him through, you know he's going to be a S.O.B. Dean Jagger as Major Stovall, the lawyer in uniform now Ground Executive Officer knows how to handle the paperwork after the first sobering face to face encounter with with Savage. That Jagger won the Oscar as best supporting actor, was well deserved indeed. Gary Merrill as Colonel Keith Davenport, the too popular Group CO, very good. Hugh Marlowe as Lt Colonel Ben Gately, who flew too many missions from behind a desk, placed on the rack by Savage with the other bomb group deadbeats and foul ups, handles his role well. Then their's Millard Mitchell as Major General Pritchard, displaying a commanding presence, and Paul Stewart as Doc Kaiser, also well portrayed.

There are no false heroics in this movie. No blood and guts all over the silver screen. And no routine world war two, hard boiled, go-get-'em dialogue to spoil it. The authors, Sy Bartlett and Beirne Lay. wrote an excellent screenplay. They did the film a favour, they deleted General Savage's love interest that appeared in their fine novel. I don't think it would have added anything to the movie at all. Maybe what surprised a lot of moviegoers who had not read the book before seeing the movie, was Savage's mental breakdown; freezing suddenly at the hatch as he attempted to heave himself aboard the B-17. It was so unexpected of him after showing such ice-cold nerves

What rounded out this impressive movie was the insertion of the air combat footage shot over Europe during the actual daylight operations. This documentary footage crowned a very fine achievement. One of Henry King's best; a professional effort indeed. The thread of sincerity in this war movie runs deep.

The reason I found the movie so engrossing was, as a teenager, on the sidelines of the war, I saw more than one B-17 stagger home and belly in on a wing and a prayer. This movie was loaded with integrity from the beginning to the end credits. I'm sure the gallant gentlemen who flew with the Eighth Air Force over enemy-occupied Europe would be of the same opinion. It is a kind of monument to those warriors.


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