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Above and Beyond (1952)

Approved | | Action, Biography, Drama | 2 January 1953 (USA)
Col. Paul Tibbetts piloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in World War 2.


Melvin Frank, Beirne Lay Jr. (story) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets
Eleanor Parker ... Lucey Tibbets
James Whitmore ... Maj. Bill Uanna
Larry Keating ... Maj. Gen. Vernon C. Brent
Larry Gates ... Capt. William Parsons
Marilyn Erskine ... Marge Bratton
Stephen Dunne ... Maj. Harry Bratton
Robert Burton ... Gen. Samuel E. Roberts
Hayden Rorke ... Dr. Ramsey
Lawrence Dobkin ... Dr. Van Dyke (as Larry Dobkin)
Jack Raine ... Dr. Fiske
Jonathan Cott ... Dutch Van Kirk
Jeff Richards ... Thomas Ferebee
Dick Simmons ... Bob Lewis
John McKee John McKee ... Wyatt Duzenbury


1943. In viewing an act of subordination, Maj. Gen. Vernon C. Brent of the US Air Force decides to take a chance in appointing Lt. Col. Paul Tibbets, the said insubordinate, to lead the testing of a new long range bomber, Boeing's B-29, for use in military service, as the plane operates like a dream in ideal conditions, but is known to be a deathtrap in extreme conditions often faced by the military. The General has a long term plan about which he does not inform Paul at this stage, but which is designed as a preemptive measure designed to end the war, the Allieds who seem to be losing: drop an atomic bomb, which is being developed in a top secret mission called the Manhattan Project, on a major Japanese city. While the testing of the bomber is a dangerous mission in and of itself, each progressive step along the way to the end goal becomes increasingly dangerous and difficult. When the team, including the Manhattan project researchers, come together at Wendover Air Force base in Utah... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"You're not the man I married. Not any more. You're ambitious...cold...and heartless!" See more »


Action | Biography | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 January 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eagle on His Cap See more »


Box Office


$1,397,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Enola Gay is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. See more »


When Col.Tibbets tells the Enola Gay crew they are about to see the largest explosion that ever took place he is incorrect. The gun-type bomb they drop had the equivalent of about 13,000 tons of TNT. The first atom bomb to be exploded in the Trinity test on 16 July,1945 was an implosion-type bomb with the force of approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. See more »

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User Reviews

A bit of a surprise...in a good way.
9 June 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Despite my love for aviation films, I somehow never got around to seeing "Above and Beyond" until now. Much of this is because although I like airplane films, I incorrectly assumed that this movie would basically be a by the numbers and very dull documentary about the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Seeing them recreate this somewhat mundane process depressed me and I only got around to seeing it finally because the film starred Robert Taylor--an exceptional actor. Fortunately, my assumptions about the film were mostly wrong--and it was a very good retelling of this true story.

I think the biggest reason I liked "Above and Beyond" is because it does NOT show as much of the technical aspects as I thought it would. Instead, it focused a lot of the film on the personal toll the project took on its commander, Col. Tibbets. Now this is NOT the toll on him after the dropping of the first A-bomb (he actually seemed to have no problems with this from everything I've read--saying that it DID help end the war)--but how the secrecy demands of the project took a major toll on the Colonel's marriage. I had just assumed, incorrectly, that Tibbets was some guy chosen at the last minute to command this mission and that he was already serving in the Pacific. Instead, he was picked long before and headed an unit in Utah that spent many, many months working out the specifics of the bombing. The security for all this surprised me--as I'd just assumed this was only for the Manhattan Project itself.

Interesting, well-written and acted, this is a nice historical piece that is both fascinating and entertaining. I was particularly impressed by the recreation of the atomic bomb drop from the point of view of the crew as it happened--it was well done and believable. The only negative, if there is one, is that the film really doesn't even mention the second bomb dropped a few days later--a bit on an odd omission. I guess being second doesn't hold a lot of interest to most folks.

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