6.9/10
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86 user 23 critic

Memphis Belle (1990)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, War | 12 October 1990 (USA)
Trailer
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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
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Popularity
3,913 ( 5,454)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
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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 »
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Details

Country:

UK | Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bela Memphis See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,026,846, 14 October 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$27,441,977
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Company Credits

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The poem Sgt. Danny Daly (Eric Stoltz) reads is "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death", by Irish poet William Butler Yeats (but a stanza referring to Ireland is left out). 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

Dennis Dearborn: And if we don't drop these bombs right in the pickle barrel there are going to be a lot of innocent people killed.
Luke Sinclair: What's the difference? They're all Nazis!
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.40 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

I Know Why (and So Do You)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
" I know you're dying, but if you try that again, I gonna kill you "
24 July 2009 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

World War II has many memories in it's huge archives. But the ones which stand out in an audience's mind are the ones which recall family members who actually experienced them. This movie " Memphis Belle " reaches deep into the human Psyche and rekindles a plethora of war time conflicts. The actors chosen for this masterpiece are incredible as they superbly resurrect the dangerous era of the courageous men and their historic aircraft. Matthew Modine plays Capt. Dennis Dearborn, a stern commander who exhibits a tough veiner, but is inwardly aware and concern with every man in his crew. Tate Donovan is Lt. Sinclair, anxious to experience bravery as a necessary element to achieve fame. However when the war touches him, he realizes, it's not as glorious as he imagined. Eric Stoltz, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Harry Connick Jr., Reed Diamond, Courtney Gains and Neil Giuntoli play the crew. Rounding out the cast, adding prestige and enhancing the over-all story are David Strathairn and John Lithgow. Together, this superior ensemble and the dramatic talent of the special effects specialists allowed the 'Belle' to rise center stage and display its last wartime flight. The result is nothing short of extraordinary. Behind the men and their plane is the memory of the thousands of brave airmen who gave their lives for their country. In short, their sacrifice becomes the lasting monument which continues to this day as a lasting tribute to our freedom. A great film which is sure to become a military Classic. Highly recommended! ****


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