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Twelve O'Clock High [DVD] [1949]

Gregory Peck , Hugh Marlowe , Henry King    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: £4.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Twelve O'Clock High [DVD] [1949] + Memphis Belle [DVD] [1990]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell, Dean Jagger
  • Directors: Henry King
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009TR75BW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,323 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The war-time memories of surviving World War II bomber squadrons were still crystal clear when this acclaimed drama was released in 1949--one of the first post-war films out of Hollywood to treat the war on emotionally complex terms. Framed by a post-war prologue and epilogue and told as a flashback appreciation of war-time valour and teamwork, the film stars Gregory Peck in one of his finest performances as a callous general who assumes command of a bomber squadron based in England. At first, the new commander has little rapport with the 918th Bomber Group, whose loyalties still belong with their previous commander. As they continue to fly dangerous mission over Germany, however, the group and their new leader develop mutual respect and admiration, until the once-alienated commander feels that his men are part of a family--men whose bravery transcends the rigours of rigid discipline and by-the-book leadership. The film's now-classic climax, in which the general waits patiently for his squad to return to base--painfully aware that they may not return at all--is one of the most subtle yet emotionally intense scenes of any World War II drama. With Peck in the lead and Dean Jagger doing Oscar-winning work in a crucial supporting role, this was one of veteran director Henry King's proudest achievements, and it still packs a strong dramatic punch. --Jeff Shannon,

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Movie With A Soul. 7 Sep 2002
This is a truly memorable film - comprising of a memorable story, memorable acting by Gregory Peck and memorable economical directing. However, the most memorable aspect of this film is the way it allows the story to seize your attention and then hands over to Peck and others to ensure your emotions are enagaged to the final end. The end is about victories of the soul and spirit as well as of men and machines. The feel of the film brings to ones remembrance the times of grave peril endured by Britain in the early years of the war. In essence the story tells of the redemption of a US Bomber Squadron based in Britain in the early years of the war after a run of 'bad luck'. It also tells of the great sacrifices made in the journey to final victory. If you are after a memorable movie experience - make this film your next stop!!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best film of its genre. 13 Nov 2006
By Sir Bob
Written by two airmen who lived the story and made at a time before revisionists lost the plot, this film accurately portrays life for the airmen during the early part of the American daylight bombing campaign, initially over France and then the first raids over Germany. The characters and bomber group are all ficticious but the real people on whom they are based can easilly be identified by anyone with a reasonable knowledge of the history.

Technically the film is very accurate but with a few blunders : American scenary like a plank-built railway station and picket fences, several of the "enemy" fighters are actually Spitfires and P47's and some of the airplanes are B17G's instead of B17F's.

The acting varies from stiff to brilliant, with Peck delivering an oscar-worthy performance. Camera work and direction are very good.

On another level the film is an excellent study of military leadership methods and styles. It is also a basic lesson in warfare which the west seems to have forgotten in the 1950's.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Forget the war (there's no bloodshed), forget the action (that's limited), forget sex - the nearest we get is Gregory Peck's thigh and there is not a woman in the film! - what Darryl F Zanuck's masterpiece shows is the positive attributes of great leadership along with the challenges it faces. It also exposes the leader as a 'friend' as a weak and ultimately failing approach. This film was designed to show leadership in its toughest environment and it achieves this wonderfully - remember it's based on fact so it has relevance where many other films fall down (Braveheart, Jerry Maguire etc) which are so far removed from any origins they are no longer connected to achievable outcomes.

Watch the nuances of expression - with no music to mask these, they are raw and meaningful.

Some amazing one-liners 'I didn't ask you to ask me....' 'Spit it out, with the bark on...' etc

A must for any aspiring Leader! - watch it at least 3 times to start to fully appreciate its complexity and subtlety, with the lessons it holds.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie is rightly considered a classic and was probably quite surprising for the time it was made - focusing so heavily on the psychological trauma of war, even air war in 1949 was far from established practice in war films.

Gregory Peck takes on the role of bringing a problematic squadron back up to speed - in effect he is asked to establish how far one can push men in the air war before they will crack. His attitude, different from that of his predecessor is much sterner and more autocratic - I would not be surprised if the character was not at least in part modelled on Curtis LeMay - the US Air Force general responsible for the strategic bombing campaign against Japan and known for his hardline attitude towards his men. While Peck does not have the right stature or the obligatory cigar, he displays many of the same qualities and atittudes - the name Savage probably being chosen tongue in cheek.

On top of that the movie delivers in spades during the Schweinfurt raid scenes - these are takn from original WW2 footage, both from the US bomber crews as well as partially from German archives. The fact that some of the scenes are repeated, some aircraft a bit iffy (early Bf-109E occasionally standing in for the Gs and/or Fw-190s and US P-47s on occasion supposedly portraying Fw-190s) does not really detract as badly from it as it would were the scenes to be shot later for the movie specifically. This is no Memphis Belle [DVD] [1990] - the scenes are real and largely uncommented - not that one needs to say much.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untouchable 7 Nov 2006
Made whilst the war had only just ended this is the most authentic portrayal of the Americans in Britain ever produced. The air base itself with its nissen huts and dreary East Anglia landscape gives an indication of what the aircrews war was like. The black and white tones of the film only accentuate the harshness of their life. Gregory Peck dominates, but all the actors contribute to what is my favourite air war film. You could be there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth seeing
A dramatic and entertaining film which recreates the atmosphere and drama of WW2 as well as the leadership skills necessary to get the best out of men, It was based on actual... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Speedygee
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent acting - enjoyed the story.
Published 2 months ago by BBJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film. Well worth it
Great film. Well worth it
Published 2 months ago by Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve O;clock High
This was an excellent movie on taking control and being in a leadership role. I recommend this movie to everyone who needs to understand war, what it is like to be in command, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by CSZ
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb movie.
This is one of the most thought provoking films of the Fifties.
Anybody who is interested In personnel management techniques/styles should watch this. Read more
Published 4 months ago by derek ashworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I like to watch Gregory Peck movies. He is an excellent actor and his films are all good. This had a good story line and plenty of Peck action. Most enjoyable.
Published 4 months ago by Scottish Lassie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Film
I had been toying with the idea of getting this film for some time and glad that I did as thoroughly enjoyed it, Mr. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Slider
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film
This is a really good film well worth watching.Well acted and good story line. I could watch it over and over again.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. D. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands the test of time
An excellent movie demonstrating the psychological effect of war on humans, well worth a watch and if you like war films you have to add it to your collection
Published 6 months ago by Bruce Sane
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gritty warrie
Has everything, brave tight lipped fliers, dedicated & misunderstood leaders who have to send men out to be killed, gripping tension. I liked it & the story was easy to follow.
Published 8 months ago by Allan E Powell
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