Wing and a Prayer

Wing and a Prayer

4.5 2
Director: Henry Hathaway

Cast: Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, William Eythe

     
 

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Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1944, this tough as leather WWII actioner is notable for Don Ameche's strong performance, as well as its skillful use of real combat footage. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's disc presents this gripping film in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (full frame), but it also gives the viewer the option… See more details below

Overview

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1944, this tough as leather WWII actioner is notable for Don Ameche's strong performance, as well as its skillful use of real combat footage. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's disc presents this gripping film in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (full frame), but it also gives the viewer the option to watch the film with its original English mono soundtrack or a newly remastered stereo track, for those who dig change. Both tracks are fine, though the stereo track does make a difference during the dogfight scenes. Both tracks are fine, though. The black-and-white picture is stable throughout and has been given a nice overhaul. The disc also includes the film's original theatrical trailer, as well as trailers for other Fox entries in its "War Classics" series. A French mono soundtrack is also available and English and Spanish subtitles have also been provided. A solid disc overall.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A Wing and a Prayer is a good, solid World War II drama that benefits from its rather off-beat focus on the men who had to play "decoys" in the strategy leading up to the Battle of Midway. Soon after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. realized that Japan would likely try to capture Hawaii, and that to do so they would need to first gain hold of Midway Island. The U.S. command launched an elaborate plan to lull the Japanese military into thinking that U.S. forces were spread out across the globe, leading Midway unprotected; in fact, the U.S. forces were in position at Midway, and thus assembled were able to surprise the Japanese forces and keep the island out of Axis hands. Wing is all about an aircraft carrier that has to be one of the decoys, making the enemy think that many, many ships and planes were far away from Midway; part of this called upon the pilots to act like cowards, running away from the enemy rather than engaging them. Wing examines this situation and the manner in which is affects the men involved. While the characters are your typical string of "types" that you find in many films of this sort, they're played very well by the cast. As their leader, Don Ameche is quite good, demonstrating a flair for drama that his many lightweight roles never exploited. Director Henry Hathaway filmed a great deal of actual battle footage which is incorporated into the film; it's not always as smooth as modern day audiences might wish, but it's effective nonetheless. And Hathaway keeps the film moving at a brisk clip, punching the highlights with considerable power.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2002
UPC:
0024543025375
Original Release:
1944
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:38:00

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; Interactive menus; Scene selection; Full frame [aspect ratio 1.33:1]; Audio: English stereo, English mono, French mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Don Ameche Flight Cmdr. Bingo Harper
Dana Andrews Sqdn. Cmdr. Edward Moulton
William Eythe Hallam 'Oscar' Scott
Charles Bickford Capt. Waddell
Cedric Hardwicke Admiral
Kevin O'Shea Cookie Cunningham
Richard Jaeckel Beezy Bessemer
Henry Morgan Malcolm Brainard
Richard Crane Ensign Gus Chisholm
Glenn Langan Executive Officer
Reed Hadley Cmdr. O'Donnell
Eddie Acuff Actor
Stanley Andrews Marine General
Irving Bacon Sailor
Chet Brandenburg Actor
Jimmie Dodd Actor
Blake Edwards Actor
Joe Haworth Murphy
Selmar Jackson Actor
John Kellogg Assistant Air Officer
John Kelly Lew
Mike Kilian Pilot
Billy Lechner Anti-Aircraft Gunner
William Manning Actor
Frank Marlowe Actor
Matt McHugh Actor
Frank McLure Admiral
Jack Mower Actor
B.S. Pully Flat Top
Terrance Ray Actor
Raymond Roe Gunner
Robin Short Actor
Charles B. Smith Alfalfa
Ray Teal Exec. Officer
Larry Thompson Sam Cooper
Charles Trowbridge Medical Officer
Edward Van Sloan Actor
Jay Ward Orderly
Pierre Watkin Actor
Crane Whitley Actor
Frederic Worlock Actor
Jerry Shane Foley
Carl Knowles Marine Orderly
Mel Schubert Actor
Renny McEvoy Ensign Cliff Hale
Robert Bailey Ens. Paducah Holloway
George Mathews Dooley
Dave Willock Ens. Hans Jacobson
Murray Alper Benny O'Neill
George Chandler Actor
Charles Lang Ens. Chuck White
John Miles Ens. "Lovebug" Markham

Technical Credits
Henry Hathaway Director
William A. Bacher Producer
Alfred Bruzlin Sound/Sound Designer
Jerry Cady Screenwriter
Lewis H. Creber Art Director
Hugo W. Friedhofer Score Composer
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Glen MacWilliams Cinematographer
Walter Morosco Producer
Emil Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Guy Pearce Makeup
Fred Sersen Special Effects
J. Watson Webb Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Scene Selection
1. Main Titles [1:36]
2. Where Is Our Navy? [3:23]
3. Torpedo Squadron Five [4:58]
4. Oscar's Big Entrance [2:41]
5. A Hot Pilot [:37]
6. Cookies Citation [2:29]
7. To Kiss Betty Grable [1:16]
8. Too Old and Too Young [3:56]
9. The Orders [2:51]
10. Do Not Engage [3:35]
11. Oscar's Fan Mail [:14]
12. Bombing Practice [4:23]
13. In Trouble Again [3:11]
14. Movie Night [3:47]
15. Battle Stations [:40]
16. Cookie Crumbles [2:00]
17. Grounded [3:21]
18. Zeroes at Five O'Clock [6:11]
19. The Interrogation [:51]
20. Goodbye, Gus [2:41]
21. A Tense Journey [1:37]
22. We're Through Running [2:39]
23. Ready for Battle [2:50]
24. The Squadrons Attack [1:21]
25. The Sounds of War [:20]
26. Enemies in the Air [2:32]
27. Cookie's Second Chance [1:27]
28. One Straggler [2:53]
29. Casualty Lists [5:53]
30. Orders for Tomorrow [2:38]

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