A dead World War II bomber pilot named Pete Sandidge, becomes the guardian angel of another pilot, Ted Randall. He guides Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.
The story of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Although unaware of the full potential of this new weapon, he knows that it is capable of doing tremendously more damage than any other weapon used before, and that the death toll resulting from it will be enormous. He is reluctant to be the person who will end so many lives, but if using it may bring an end to the war, then not doing so may result in even more lives being lost in continued ground assaults as the fighting goes on. At the same time, the intense secrecy surrounding this mission leaves him with no one he can express his thoughts and doubts to, not even his wife. As time goes on, the pressure upon him only increase.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The medal shown behind the opening and closing credits is the U.S. Army's Distinguished Service Cross. It is the second highest award only to the Medal of Honor. Col. Tibbets was awarded the DSC for the Hiroshima mission. See more »
When Lt. Col. Tibbets first gets to Wendover he is asked for his ID three times. The third MP is wearing a USMC armband. Army military police armbands are only the letters MP, USMC ones are M.P., with the periods. See more »
Despite my love for aviation films, I somehow never got around to seeing "Above and Beyond" until now. Much of this is because although I like airplane films, I incorrectly assumed that this movie would basically be a by the numbers and very dull documentary about the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Seeing them recreate this somewhat mundane process depressed me and I only got around to seeing it finally because the film starred Robert Taylor--an exceptional actor. Fortunately, my assumptions about the film were mostly wrong--and it was a very good retelling of this true story.
I think the biggest reason I liked "Above and Beyond" is because it does NOT show as much of the technical aspects as I thought it would. Instead, it focused a lot of the film on the personal toll the project took on its commander, Col. Tibbets. Now this is NOT the toll on him after the dropping of the first A-bomb (he actually seemed to have no problems with this from everything I've read--saying that it DID help end the war)--but how the secrecy demands of the project took a major toll on the Colonel's marriage. I had just assumed, incorrectly, that Tibbets was some guy chosen at the last minute to command this mission and that he was already serving in the Pacific. Instead, he was picked long before and headed an unit in Utah that spent many, many months working out the specifics of the bombing. The security for all this surprised me--as I'd just assumed this was only for the Manhattan Project itself.
Interesting, well-written and acted, this is a nice historical piece that is both fascinating and entertaining. I was particularly impressed by the recreation of the atomic bomb drop from the point of view of the crew as it happened--it was well done and believable. The only negative, if there is one, is that the film really doesn't even mention the second bomb dropped a few days later--a bit on an odd omission. I guess being second doesn't hold a lot of interest to most folks.
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