6.9/10
25,424
87 user 23 critic

Memphis Belle (1990)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, War | 12 October 1990 (USA)
Trailer
1:37 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
In 1943, the crew of a B-17 based in UK prepares for its 25th and last bombing mission over Germany before returning home to the USA.

Writer:

Monte Merrick
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary on the 25th bombing mission of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 in the US 8th Air Force.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Stanley Wray, Robert Morgan, James A. Verinis
The Tuskegee Airmen (TV Movie 1995)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The true story of how a group of African American pilots overcame racist opposition to become one of the finest US fighter groups in World War II

Director: Robert Markowitz
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

For almost 60 years the B-17 bomber, the Memphis Belle, called Memphis, Tennessee home. In Oct. 2005, The U.S. Air Force removed one of the most famous aircraft in the world from the ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Axmaker Jr.
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Anthony Barrile, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle
Red Tails (2012)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.

Director: Anthony Hemingway
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Gerald McRaney, David Oyelowo
Certificate: GP Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A hardened sergeant and the four core members of his infantry unit try to survive World War II as they move from battle to battle throughout Europe.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The complacent life of three small town brothers is shattered when their father sells the family business from under them.

Director: Lee Grant
Stars: Sean Astin, Stockard Channing, Melinda Dillon
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dramatization of Nazi Germany's final Western Front counterattack of World War II.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1941, following months of economic embargo, Japan prepares to open its war against the United States with a preventive strike on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine ... Capt. Dennis Dearborn
Eric Stoltz ... Sgt. Danny "Danny Boy" Daly
Tate Donovan ... 1st Lt. Luke Sinclair
D.B. Sweeney ... Lt. Phil Lowenthal
Billy Zane ... Lt. Val "Valentine" Kozlowski
Sean Astin ... Sgt. Richard "Rascal" Moore
Harry Connick Jr. ... Sgt. Clay Busby
Reed Diamond ... Sgt. Virgil Hoogesteger (as Reed Edward Diamond)
Courtney Gains ... Sgt. Eugene McVey
Neil Giuntoli ... Sgt. Jack Bocci
David Strathairn ... Col. Craig Harriman
John Lithgow ... Lt.Col. Bruce Derringer
Jane Horrocks ... Faith
Mac McDonald ... Les (as Mac Macdonald)
Jodie Brooke Wilson Jodie Brooke Wilson ... Singer (as Jodie Wilson)
Edit

Storyline

It's May 1943 at a US Army Air Corps base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic captain, Dennis Dearborn - will soon start their twenty-fifth mission, having completed their previous twenty-four successfully with nary an incident, while fewer and fewer other planes are coming back from their missions at all. If they complete their next mission successfully, they will be the first Army Air Corps B-17 Crew to complete their tour of duty. Visiting communications officer Lt. Col. Bruce Derringer wants to publicize and highly tout their accomplishment, even before it happens, as a long term good news campaign at a time when there is little good news to report. Derringer's plan is against the wishes of the base commander, Col. Craig Harriman, who would prefer to treat the ten as any of his other hard working men. The previous success of the Memphis Belle is despite the disparate natures ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brave young men who rode on the wings of victory.

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Memphis Belle See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,026,846, 14 October 1990

Gross USA:

$27,441,977

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,441,977
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The bombardier of the real Memphis Belle was Vince Evans. Hollywood writer for Bogart, friend of Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, June Allyson. Restaurant operator, race car driver. Completed 2nd tour of duty aboard B-29s with Morgan in the Pacific. See more »

Goofs

In Memphis Belle the bomber force is ordered to circle back to the Initial Point when the Primary Target is obscured by smoke or cloud cover. In reality, this would not have happened. First, it is very hard to have a formation of 300-plus Forts make a 360 degree turn. Second, such a maneuver would alert all flak batteries as to the actual target. Third, such a maneuver would keep the force under fighter attack longer than need be. In actuality, bomber crews were briefed on a primary, a secondary, a tertiary and targets of opportunity. If the primary target was unable to be hit, the primary became the IP to set up on the secondary. If the secondary were unable to be hit, it became the IP for the tertiary, and if that were unable to be hit, the force commander (NOT the pilot of the lead aircraft) would issue an order to go after targets of opportunity. Failing that, the mission would be aborted and the crews would dump their ordnance in either the North Sea or the English Channel. The mission would count toward tour completion, as the crews would have been in combat, and were over enemy territory. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Virgil Hoogesteger: [the cockpit is covered in blood and the pilots are shouting] Sir!, It's Tomato Soup!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was rated 12, and was uncut. The video release was rated PG, and removed the use of "all fucked up". See more »


Soundtracks

Greeneyes
Written by Nilo Menendez, Eddie Rivera (as E. Rivera) and Eddie Woods
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Too bad about the first part
20 July 2005 | by philip_vandervekenSee all my reviews

I was glad to finally see a World War II movie that wasn't situated on the ground, but in the air. Don't get me wrong, I'm still an absolute fan of the 'infantry and tank' war movies, but from time to time I want to see something new, something different. And let's be honest, there just doesn't seem to be any interest from Hollywood for the air fights over Europe or Asia in WWII. I only know of two other movies of this kind and that is "Battle of Britain", made in 1969 (WWII) and "The Blue Max" from 1966 (WWI).

The "Memphis Belle" is a B-17 bomber that is about to fly its 25th and final mission. After this mission, the crew of ten men will have fulfilled its tour of duty and will finally be able to go home. Since they would be the first crew to finish all 25 missions in the 8th Airforce, plans are made to celebrate their coming home party, even before they have taken off. But before there can be any party, they first have to fly their final mission to one of the worst targets imaginable. They will have to fly over German territory, all the way to the heavily defended Bremen, where they will have to bomb an airplane factory in the middle of a residential area. All the men know that chances are little that they will ever return alive and that one little mistake will cost the lives of many innocent civilians...

In the beginning I didn't like this movie all that much and there were a couple of reasons for that. One is the in my opinion badly casted John Lithgow. His role as Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Derringer just didn't fit in properly. It felt like he didn't take his role very serious, although I'm convinced that it also had something to do with the script. Perhaps no-one had payed enough attention to the development of his role... And there were a couple more problems to be found in this movie. Take for instance the crew. The voice-over in the beginning says it too: There just has to be a virgin, a wise guy, a cool guy,... in every flight crew. That was so stereotypical that it bothered me. The last thing that didn't really do it for me - although it wasn't as bad as my two other points of criticism - was the entire day before their mission. I just had the feeling that they should have kept it shorter. I'm not saying that they had to skip that part completely, but I was waiting for the part in which all the flying and the action would take place.

Still, I don't want you to think that this isn't a good movie. Once they are in that bomber, the stereotypes seemed to melt away like snow for the sun. They started to act as a team, instead of being a bunch of individuals that didn't seem to fit in. From that moment on I was truly captivated by this movie. Also the fact that they show so many flight and fight sequences, including some real-time footage, is wonderful. I know, I just love to watch those old Messerschmits, B-17's,... flying and that already was enough for me to like this movie. But than again, who else would watch such a movie than the people who are interested in that part of the war? Not that many I suppose.

As a conclusion I would like to say that I liked this movie for many reasons, but the best one must have been the acting once they were in that confined space of the airplane. All they had to work with was the interaction between them, their enemies and their plane and they sure did a wonderful job from that moment on. So despite the fact that I didn't like the first part of the movie all that much, I must say that the second part made me decide to give it a very good final rating. I give this movie a well deserved 7.5/10.


26 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 87 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream 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