6.9/10
1,483
27 user 14 critic

The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, War | 31 December 1955 (USA)
A dramatization of the American general and his court martial for publically complaining about High Command's dismissal and neglect of the aerial fighting forces.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Milton Sperling (story and screenplay), Emmet Lavery (story and screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A disgraced merchant marine officer elects to stay aboard his sinking cargo ship in order to prove the vessel was deliberately scuttled and, as a result, vindicate his good name.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave
Saint Joan (1957)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1456, French King Charles VII recalls the story of how he met the seventeen-year-old peasant girl Joan of Arc, entrusted her with the command of the French Army, and ultimately burned her at the stake as a heretic.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Richard Widmark, Richard Todd, Anton Walbrook
The Cardinal (1963)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young Catholic priest from Boston confronts bigotry, Naziism, and his own personal conflicts as he rises to the office of cardinal.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Tom Tryon, John Huston, Romy Schneider
Certificate: M/PG Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: William Holden, David Niven, Maggie McNamara
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman whose past is scorned by nearly everyone around her meets a man who'd love her regardlessly- if only everyone else would allow them to.

Directors: Otto Preminger, Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr.
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An army major, himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommend soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Van Heflin
Hurry Sundown (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Following World War II, a northern cannery combine negotiates for the purchase of a large tract of uncultivated Georgia farmland. The major portion of the land is owned by Julie Ann Warren ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ex-pilot and current baseballer is recalled into the U.S. Air Force and assumes an increasingly important role in Cold War deterrence.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Lovejoy
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda
Run for Cover (1955)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mistaken for train robbers, Matt Dow and Davey Bishop are shot at by the sheriff and his posse but they are cleared and hired as lawmen.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, John Derek
The Mountain (1956)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Selfish Chris Teller pressures his older brother, a retired climber, to accompany him on a treacherous Alpine climb to loot the bodies of plane crash victims.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Claire Trevor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cooper ... Col. Billy Mitchell
Charles Bickford ... Gen. Jimmy Guthrie
Ralph Bellamy ... Congressman Frank R. Reid
Rod Steiger ... Maj. Allan Guillion
Elizabeth Montgomery ... Margaret Lansdowne
Fred Clark ... Col. Moreland
James Daly ... Lt. Col. Herbert White
Jack Lord ... Lt. Cmdr. Zachary 'Zack' Lansdowne
Peter Graves ... Capt. Bob Elliott
Darren McGavin ... Capt. Russ Peters
Robert F. Simon ... Adm. Gage (as Robert Simon)
Charles Dingle ... Sen. Fullerton
Dayton Lummis Dayton Lummis ... Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Tom McKee Tom McKee ... Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker
Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts ... Maj. Carl Spaatz (as Steve Roberts)
Edit

Storyline

The true story of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneering crusader for the Army's fledgling air corp. In spite of an impressive performance during the First World War, the commanders of America's armed forces still think of the airplane as little more then a carnival attraction. Even after sinking an "unsinkable" captured German battleship from the air, Mitchell sees funds dry up and friends die due to poor equipment. He is court-martialed after questioning the loyalty of his superiors for allowing the air corp to deteriorate. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He defied the army and navy . . . and they gave him a Court Martial!

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Condamné au silence See more »

Filming Locations:

El Monte, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,000,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United States Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Gary Cooper had said long ago that he would make no more biopics, he signed for The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955). It was a poor Otto Preminger film and even Billy Mitchell's widow expressed disappointment with Cooper's performance. Possibly the story had appealed to Cooper on political grounds and Mitchell may have been a hero of his - the general who accused the government of neglecting military needs. Cooper went on Ed Sullivan's TV show to promote the film and home viewers were quite disappointed - David Shipman referred to Cooper's "effeminate mannerisms in his TV interviews". See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Billy Mitchell is reduced in rank and transferred to Texas for disobeying orders during the bombing tests. Actually it was due to him talking to the press without permission and happened a few years after this event. See more »

Quotes

Admiral William S. Sims: The Navy hasn't got any policy on flying, they are ignoring the aeroplane in hopes that it will just go away.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: 5 O'Clock Charlie (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Josephine In My Flying Machine
(uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A decent film - with a mesmerising 17-minute cameo
16 April 2007 | by tohuSee all my reviews

This is a decent film, for the most part a very watchable telling of a good true story which is worth knowing about. Gary Cooper is solid in the title role (albeit he is apparently nothing like the real-life Mitchell) and the drama moves along at a reasonable pace.

But for 17 minutes towards the end it rises above that and becomes mesmerising. What makes the difference? Two words: Rod Steiger. The cross-examination scene, where he goads and scorns Cooper mercilessly, is one of those very rare moments in cinema when a performance holds the screen and burns itself into your memory. No matter how many times I have seen this film, I always spend the first hour or so waiting to relish this particular scene. And I am never disappointed.

So watch the film for two reasons: it is good in its own right. A well-played, thoughtful and dignified film about a good man who was ahead of his time. But whatever you do, make sure you don't miss the last half-hour!


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed