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Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 13 February 1950 (Brazil)
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A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Sy Bartlett (screenplay), Beirne Lay Jr. (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Gen. Frank Savage
Hugh Marlowe ... Lt. Col. Ben Gately
Gary Merrill ... Col. Davenport
Millard Mitchell ... General Pritchard
Dean Jagger ... Major Stovall
Robert Arthur ... Sgt. McIllhenny
Paul Stewart ... Maj. 'Doc' Kaiser
John Kellogg ... Major Cobb
Robert Patten ... Lt. Bishop (as Bob Patten)
Lee MacGregor Lee MacGregor ... Lt. Zimmerman (as Lee Mac Gregor)
Sam Edwards ... Birdwell
Roger Anderson Roger Anderson ... Interrogation Officer
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Storyline

In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Nazi Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a "hard luck" bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of twelve men as their women never knew them...

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1950 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Almas en la hoguera See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to Gen. Savage (inspired by Gen. Frank Armstrong), many characters in this film were based on real-life people. Maj. Gen. Pat Prichard (Millard Mitchell) is based on Maj. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, first commander of the 8th Bomber Command. Col. Keith Davenport (Gary Merrill) is based on Col. Charles B. Overacker, first commander of the 306th Bomb Group. Lt. Jessie Bishop (Robert Patten) is based on Lt. John Morgan, a B-17 co-pilot who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for landing his plane after his pilot was severely wounded during a bombing run. Maj. Joe Cobb (John Kellogg) is based on Maj. (later Col.) Paul Tibbets, who later became famous as the pilot of the B-29 "Enola Gay" which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 (Tibbets himself served as a technical adviser on the film). Sgt. McIlhenny (Robert Arthur) is based on Sgt. Donald Bevan, who was shot down over Germany in 1943 and became a POW. Bevan later co-wrote the play Stalag 17 (1953), with fellow POW Edmund Trzcinski, based on their prison camp experiences. See more »

Goofs

Aircrews are seen wearing A-2 jackets and wool mufflers around their necks. According to some dialog these crews have been coming off raids that took place at 19,000 feet. The wearers of these jackets would have froze at this altitude. Also strange is that various crew members of the Group are seen wearing the B3 Sheep lined jackets which would be appropriate for this altitude but without the electrically heated blue bunny suits the wearers would freeze. At Interrogation one man is clearly wearing a B-15 jacket which didn't appear until later in WWII. See more »

Quotes

General Savage: I take it you don't really care about the part you had in breaking one of the best men you'll ever know. Add to it that as Air Exec you were automatically in command the moment Colonel Davenport left - and you met that responsibility exactly as you met his need: you ran out on it. You left the station to get drunk. Gately, as far as I'm concerned, you're yellow. A traitor to yourself, to this group, to the uniform you wear. It would be the easiest course for me to transfer you out, to saddle ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON 1949 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
(uncredited)
Music by Sam H. Stept
Lyrics by Charles Tobias and Lew Brown
Sung at the officers' club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
How did Gregory Peck do so many great films?
9 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In writing reviews for IMDb, I have begun to notice just how many exceptional movies Gregory Peck did. Yes, I know he made a few stinkers (such as Days of Glory and Boys From Brazil), but look at all the great movies he did--3 of the best Westerns ever made (The Big Country, The Gunfighter and Yellow Sky), some dandy dramas (To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear) and two of the best war pictures of all time (The Guns of Navarone and this movie, Twelve O'Clock High).

Twelve O'Clock High is exceptional in every way. It is very similar to the excellent movie Command Decision, but goes deeper into the emotional and psychological cost of commanding the bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. Whereas Gable is all alone and hated in Command Decision, Peck goes a step further and actually goes on bombing runs with his men--only to become deeply scarred emotionally in the process. As a result, this movie is a fantastic look at the psychological effects of war--something that only rarely gets addressed in war movies.


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