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Any Twelve O'Clock High (1949) Fans Here?


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I believe that Twelve O'Clock High is by far the best WWII Air Bomber Combat movie ever made from the American POV. It has a all-star cast which includes Gregory Peck.

 

Command Decision (1948) staring Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson and Brian Donlevy is also a really good movie however, I think Twelve O'Clock High is better since it is more focused on the crews members and not the "high brass" calling the shots.

 

Every time I see the movie I can't help but think of what my uncle went through. He was a WWII 1st Lt Co-pilot in a B-17G and flew 30 missions out of Deenethorpe, England with the 401st BG(H)

 

Twelve O'Clock High gives a really good taste of what it was like to be a bomber crew member during WWII.

 

I don't know about you, however, it would be great to see TCM play it some time.

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Yes, an excellent movie that I also would like to see again. I know it's been shown on TCM before. My father also was a bomber co-pilot over Europe in WW2. Flew 13 missions in a B-24 before being shot down after a Berlin bombing raid while returning over western Germany. Survived a year in the German POW camps. Eight others from his bomber also survived the war. One the nose gunner was killed on the German fighter attack. Accolades to all of The Greatest Generation who fought.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, Compass Rose. I am a fan of *Twelve O Clock High* but I must also say I like *Command Decision* even more; not much action in the latter but the message is strong and the cast is as good as any film gets . Both films do sort of complement each other so I would recommend both for viewing. If you ever get the chance every year on the first FULL 3 day weekend in June the Mid Atlantic Air Museum in Reading Pa has a "World War II " weekend . Lots of aircraft (at least one B 17) flying around and you can get a ride in one if you're so inclined. On the ground lots of re -enactors camp out for the full 3 day weekend. Many other activities, check out the Mid Atlantic Air Museum website.

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>roverrocks said:: " My father also was a bomber co-pilot over Europe in WW2.

 

 

 

 

My Dad was a ball-turret gunner on a B-24 during WWII based in England. As I've gotten older and learned more about it, it must have been a terrible experience for, not only him, but everybody in those bomber crews. While he loved to tell stories about England and the people he knew, like so many others, he would never talk about his combat experiences.

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Just in WW2 training accidents I believe the Army Air Force suffered 15,000 dead alone even before combat operations. We would probably be astounded by British, German, and Soviet Air Crew losses as well. Flying was a dangerous business during the War.

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I just did a little internet research on your statistic about airmen fatalities and probably read some of the same sources as you did, that is a startling bit of info. I have heard a few veterans give talks about flying the different aircraft back in the day. Some aircraft ,naturally the trainers they flew, were somewhat forgiving if you made a mistake. Other aircraft were notorious for being very unforgiving. Before you went into combat and were still "learning" you had to fly those planes. One mistake could easily be your last. If you were lucky you might have crashed a few times, never getting seriously hurt, and then washed out and got reassigned to "less" hazardous duties. Of course in wartime any duty was some kind of hazardous.

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>mrroberts said: "Men who flew on the bombing missions suffered some of the highest casualty rates of WW2. I believe only submarine duty was more hazardous."

 

 

 

 

From everything I've read that's true, so it wouldn't have taken long for the odds to turn decisively against the crews. The more they flew the worst the odds got. I expect that a lot of them resigned themselves to the fact the sooner or later they'd get it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

*Twelve O Clock High* was just on a few nights ago. Its one of those films that I start watching and just have to see it through even though I've seen it several times before. Peck gives his group a speech when he first takes command; words to the effect of "consider yourself already dead, that way flying the mission will be a little easier" . Hell of a way to look at things, but one way of coping with the mental strain of going out on each mission.

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I don't mean to burst your bubble, Compass Rose, but scheduling decisions are usually made months in advance so I would assume that the film was already on the schedule. TCM has recently had greater success in getting access to 20th Century Fox films, hopefully over the next year this film will get a few more airings. A film that good should get several plays over a years time (but not TOO many, many of our posters will get freaked out about that) :)

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  • 1 month later...

A great movie that I only saw for the first time awhile ago...it is going to be on again in May for Memorial Day. 

I also highly recommend the book, "A Higher Call".  I am trying to read as many first hand WWII books as I can find...there are so many stories & I am so grateful to all who served.  My dad was in WWII, the Pacific, but I never knew anything more about it.

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  • 4 years later...

"Twelve O'Clock High" is my #1 all-time, favourite WW-II war movie. This should speak volumes.

Often running neck-and-neck with competition from "The Guns of Navarone" but...it usually winds up firmly in the lead.

Can't even count the numerous times I've viewed it. I could wax on about its multifarious merits for pages and pages.

Maybe I will revisit this thread sometime (after a few cups of grog) and do so. For now, suffice to say that it's tops with me. Just an astounding movie. Never seen anything like it.

Sadly no, "Command Decision" is not even anywhere near it, in terms of quality.

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