Saturday, September 11, 2010

Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

"Where angels and generals fear to tread."

That's what is written on the side of a plane seen early on in Twelve O'Clock High. When General Savage (Gregory Peck) takes over a struggling air unit, he is far stricter than their previous commanding officer, but slowly earns the admiration of his men by joining them on several bombing raids over France and Germany.

Actual WWII combat footage was used for much of the air sequences, which definitely adds something when you see men ejecting or a plane explode to know that you're watching the real thing. The title refers to enemy planes approaching from above and straight ahead.

Overall, Twelve O'Clock High is a solid WWII movie, but far from spectacular. Peck is always good, but is hard to buy as a real hard ass. The movie was directed by Henry King, one of the founding members of the Motion Picture Academy who directed seven best picture nominees as well as dozens of films before that famous awards ceremony was initiated.

106 to go...

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