1943. In viewing an act of subordination, Maj. Gen. Vernon C. Brent of the US Air Force decides to take a chance in appointing Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets, the said insubordinate, to lead the testing of a new long range bomber, Boeing's B-29, for use in military service, as the plane operates like a dream in ideal conditions, but is known to be a deathtrap in extreme conditions often faced by the military. The General has a long term plan about which he does not inform Paul at this stage, but which is designed as a preemptive measure designed to end the war, the Allieds who seem to be losing: drop an atomic bomb, which is being developed in a top secret mission called the Manhattan Project, on a major Japanese city. While the testing of the bomber is a dangerous mission in and of itself, each progressive step along the way to the end goal becomes increasingly dangerous and difficult. When the team, including the Manhattan project researchers, come together at Wendover Air Force base in Utah...Written by
The sequences showing the bombing of Hiroshima were lifted from another MGM film, The Beginning or the End (1947), which was about the development and use of the first atomic bombs. See more »
After the bomb is dropped, the Enola Gay is turned sharply away at a right angle to escape the radiation and shock wave. Yet the pilot and crew are shown looking out the left side of the aircraft and looking at a view of Hiroshima from relatively close up. In reality they were not close enough to see the actual destruction. See more »
Above and Beyond and then Some-Above & Beyond ****
Highest rating with Robert Taylor and Eleanor Parker giving phenomenal performances, perhaps the best ever in both of their careers.
After he has been chosen to test pilot the B-29 bomber, Taylor is so affected by his work in the preparation of dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, that he becomes intolerable to live with and is extremely harsh with all those under his command. He had no choice as the objective of his work obviously had to remain top secret.
This is definitely a superior story of the human spirit in triumph.
Taylor is aided by an excellent supporting cast headed by Larry Gates, Larry Keating and the recently departed James Whitmore.
The emotional pain of Taylor is sincerely etched in his face in an unforgettable performance.
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