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Twelve O'Clock High [Blu-ray] 
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One of the "most honest and powerful war pictures” (Life) of all time, this “thrilling, dramatic thunderbolt” (The Hollywood Reporter) “soars right up into the bright blue yonder” (Los Angeles Times). Blending “thrilling action” with “personal drama brought to heroic heights” (The New York Times), this winner of two Academy Awards® stars Gregory Peck in “the best performance of his career” (Look), a role which earned him a Best Actor Oscar® Nomination. At the height of World War II, the 918 Bomb Group suffers devastating losses and Brigadier General Frank Savage (Peck) is sent to take command. Because of his strong discipline his men resent him, and although Savage remains impersonal under heavy attack and unrelenting fire fights, he becomes personally involved in their well-being--a dangerous position for any leader--especially in the middle of a war.
- Commentary with historians Rudy Behlmer, Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman
- Memories of Twelve O'Clock High
- WWII and the American Home Front
- Inspiring a Character: General Frank A. Armstrong
- The Pilots of the Eighth Air Force
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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
USAAF air base Archbury in United Kingdom, autumn 1942. The 918th Bomb Group of USAAF, operating the B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, one of the first American units to attack targets in Nazi-occupied Europe from British bases, attracts attention of allied high command for its repeated bad performances and especially very high losses. It is now known as "Bad Luck 918" and morale in it is low, even if its commanding officer, Colonel Davenport, is known for his courage under fire and also for the attention given to his men welfare. He is therefore still popular with his men. But the high command decides to sack him and replace him with Brigadier-General Frank Savage - a somehow extraordinary appointment, considering that Bomb Groups were usually not commanded by generals.
Savage (Gregory Peck) is a young and extremely vigorous general - he also quickly proves to be absolutely ruthless in restoring discipline and squeezing from his men everything they can give! He quickly becomes object of intense hatred and things will ultimately go very, very far between him and the men under his command... That takes care of about first eight minutes of the film, and I will say no more here.
The great quality of this particularly brilliant film, which got two Oscars in 1949, is due in large part to the men who wrote the novel "Twelve O'Clock High", published in 1948 and immediately adapted to the screen.
Ukrainian-Jewish immigrant Sy Bartlett (he was born Sacha Baraniev in Ukraine in 1901), was first a journalist before becoming a screenplay writer in the 30s.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lesson in discipline in wartime. Something sadly lacking in to-days environmentPublished 23 days ago by Mr. T. A. Clarke
One of the best Air War films ever made, was still used in management training in civilian life... Leading is a special Art and Leadership is what
much of this film is bout.
Dated but still a superb movie. There are cliches by modern standards but they weren't cliches when the film was made. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joe.Allerston
Excellent depiction of very brave teams. Real footage adds to the quality of this hard hitting war movie.Published 2 months ago by B.Crawley
A good war film about the wonderful boys who were so brave and some died for us. I am old enough to appreciate that.Published 3 months ago by Anno Domini