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Twelve O'Clock High (21-Dec-1949)

Director: Henry King

Writers: Sy Bartlett; Beirne Lay, Jr.

From novel: Twelve O'clock High! by Beirne Lay, Jr. and Sy Bartlett

Music: Alfred Newman

Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck

Keywords: Action/Adventure, WWII

Col. Frank Savage takes over as head of the beleaguered 918th Bomber Group and tries to turn them into an effective fighting machine. One of the great WWII films; uses real combat footage for aerial scenes. Won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Sound Recording; received additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor. Entered 1998 into the National Film Registry.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Robert Arthur
18-Jun-1925 1-Oct-2008 Ace in the Hole
Dean Jagger
7-Nov-1903 5-Feb-1991 Twelve O'Clock High
Hugh Marlowe
30-Jan-1911 2-May-1982 Jim Matthews on Another World
Gary Merrill
2-Aug-1915 5-Mar-1990 All About Eve
Millard Mitchell
14-Aug-1903 13-Oct-1953 My Six Convicts
Gregory Peck
5-Apr-1916 12-Jun-2003 To Kill A Mockingbird
Paul Stewart
13-Mar-1908 17-Feb-1986 Citizen Kane


Gregory Peck   ...   Gen. Savage
Hugh Marlowe   ...   Lt. Col. Ben Gately
Gary Merrill   ...   Col. Davenport
Millard Mitchell   ...   Gen. Pritchard
Dean Jagger   ...   Maj. Stovall
Robert Arthur   ...   Sgt. McIlhenny
Paul Stewart   ...   Capt. "Doc" Kaiser
John Kellogg   ...   Maj. Cobb
Bob Patten   ...   Lt. Bishop
Lee MacGregor   ...   Lt. Zimmerman
Sam Edwards   ...   Birdwell
Roger Anderson   ...   Interrogation Officer


Review by Richard Conner (posted on 17-Sep-2007)

Gregory Peck is among the very best of actors, and no role he played is any better than the brigadier general sent in to rescue the morale and effectiveness of an American bomber wing in World War Two. The wing, demoralized and without disclipline, became so because of the virtual collapse of its commanding officer under the pressures of trying to coordinate multiple massive bombing runs on Nazi targets in the face of severe losses and exhausted crews. The film does an amazing job of following Peck's approach to reconstituting the morale of both officers and men, but also the gradual effect of the same pressures on him. True to historical form and content, the film is gripping and enormously entertaining from beginning to end. One comes away almost overwhelmed with the impact on history such men made, and the price they paid in their contribution to winning the war. There is probably no WW2 movie that better captures the drama of that desperate period than this one, and the supporting cast is exceptional. Well worth seeing, more than once over time for most.

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