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Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (1980)

The decision to drop the atom bomb, the secrecy surrounding the mission, and the men who flew it.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lieutenant Jacob 'Jake' Beser
... Lucy Tibbets
... Colonel Paul Tibbets
... Major Tom Ferebee
... Captain Bob Lewis
... Major Wiiliam 'Bud' Uanna
... Sergeant Shug Crawford
... Captain William 'Deke' Parsons
... Field Marshall Abehata
... J. Robert Oppenheimer
Richard Venture ... Alexander Sachs
... General Groves
... Secretary of War Stimson
Stephen Roberts ... President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
... Captain Claude Eatherly
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Storyline

The decision to drop the atom bomb, the secrecy surrounding the mission, and the men who flew it.

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23 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enola Gay  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

The other pilots refer to Captain Bob Lewis as having been Tibbets' "fair-haired boy on two continents." While Lewis was an experienced test pilot, he had not yet served overseas at that point. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Paul Tibbets: Improperly commandeered an airplane...
Captain Bob Lewis: I was on official business.
Colonel Paul Tibbets: Lost in the middle of a snowstorm...
Captain Bob Lewis: Do you expect me to control the weather?
Colonel Paul Tibbets: Didn't occur to you to use instruments...
Captain Bob Lewis: My compass was out, SIR.
Colonel Paul Tibbets: Set down in the middle of a corn field...
Captain Bob Lewis: It was on the approach to the airport.
Colonel Paul Tibbets: So why didn't you use the airport?
Captain Bob Lewis: Because I was out of gas! It was one gorgeous piece of flying.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Strictly Background (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very interesting approach to the subject
19 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

Hard to believe there are only two comments on this very interesting subject.

What was the attitude of the flight crews who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Where does the name Enola Gay come from? Is it true that one of the crew spent years in an insane asylum after committing this unspeakable act? Was the action justified? The book this is based on answers many of these questions.

The Japanese were using back door channels to find a way of surrendering with honor, or at least to surrender and preserve their Emperor. American diplomats were un-aware of these attempts. Presidential advisers estimated the cost of invading the Japanese islands in human lives (American lives) would be in the hundreds of thousands. How the numbers were arrived at is anybody's guess.

One of the crew members had a depressive personality and suffered an un-related nervous breakdown later in life. It has become urban legend that he went insane because of remorse following Hiroshima.

Enola Gay was the name of Colonel Tibbets' mother. It was common practice for bomber crews in all the theaters of operation in World War II to name their aircraft after sweet hearts, wives or mothers.

The actors in this mini-series do a fine job in trying to express the attitudes of WWII flyers and ground crew. It is a fine adaptation of the book and the preparation of the mission and the top secret nature of the job given to those young men is an important story that sheds light on why the bomb was dropped on human beings.


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