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Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 13 February 1950 (Brazil)
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2:05 | Trailer
A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Sy Bartlett (screenplay), Beirne Lay Jr. (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:
Gregory Peck ... Gen. Frank Savage
Hugh Marlowe ... Lt. Col. Ben Gately
Gary Merrill ... Col. Davenport
Millard Mitchell ... General Pritchard
Dean Jagger ... Major Stovall
Robert Arthur ... Sgt. McIllhenny
Paul Stewart ... Maj. 'Doc' Kaiser
John Kellogg ... Major Cobb
Robert Patten ... Lt. Bishop (as Bob Patten)
Lee MacGregor Lee MacGregor ... Lt. Zimmerman (as Lee Mac Gregor)
Sam Edwards ... Birdwell
Roger Anderson 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1950 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Twelve O'Clock High See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Many of the detailed accounts in the movie are true, and based on the experiences of veterans Bartlett and Lay. The scene where the 918th ignores the radio recall and presses on to bomb the target is true. The 94th BG, based at Bury St. Edmunds, ignored a recall order on their way to Brunswick, Germany, and pressed on to the target alone, their accompanying groups having turned back. The Group commander later said they had fought most of the way to the target, and lost 1/3 of their aircraft at that point. Instead of a reprimand, the 94th Group was given the highest group award, what is now known as the Presidential Unit Citation. The account where the pilot fought the wounded co-pilot's thrashing for hours was also true, and the pilot was awarded a Medal of Honor for saving his crew. See more »

Goofs

During the first attack on the ball bearing plant, when the bombs are released, you see two groups of bombs on the racks, one in front of the other. The B-17 carried all its bombs in one vertical stack. The American bomber in use at the time that would have had forward and aft stacks would be the B-24. The bomb bay doors on the B-24 roll up like garage doors, but you clearly see the doors hinged back, and the bombs have a round support around the fin. The American bombs of this time had a square support to the fins. The bomb release is shown from what appears to be an Avro Lancaster, a British bomber. 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"what a way to run a war!"
21 February 2004 | by mail-671See all my reviews

There's little I can add to all the accolades for this outstanding & absorbing drama - excellent,dignified and credible for its time. Peck's finest hour and an Oscar to Dean Jagger. I should also demand a standing applause for the guy at the helm, Henry King for many a production can fly or crash where a director cannot get the best from his cast. I agree absolutely about the beautifully constrained and moving opening and close. Even more moving is Alfred Newman's beautiful theme music so carefully used and as memorable as that for the likes of "Shane" "Treasure of Sierra Madre" "Johnny Belinda" or "NorthWest Passage".

But - the most obvious & serious flaw for me was the inclusion of a supposed daytime broadcast by "Lord Haw-Haw". As another reviewer has mentioned this would never have happened since,for one thing, the man broadcast from Hamburg only at night,around 9pm. In those days reception from Europe was only barely audible after dark! For another, his name was William Joyce and he would never have identified himself by the derisory tag placed upon him by a scornful British public. One would have thought that Zanuck so methodical in his facts for The Longest Day would have spotted this research slip! Suffice,however,to say that from the moment the credits appeared until Dean Jagger climbs back on his 1930 bike my eyes never left the screen in the cinema when I first saw it,for the entire 130mins.


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