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Command Decision

Overview

Command Decision 1948 is a stagebound but consummately acted adaptation of William Wister Haines' Broadway play. Clark Gable, starring in the role essayed on Broadway by Paul Kelly, plays Air Force Brigadier General "Casey" Dennis. With time at a premium, Dennis sends waves of bomber squadrons into Germany to knock out the enemy's jet plane factories. Though Dennis seems utterly unconcerned about the fate of his pilots even his superior officer Walter Pidgeon is appalled by the heavy losses, the audience knows ...
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Overview

Command Decision 1948 is a stagebound but consummately acted adaptation of William Wister Haines' Broadway play. Clark Gable, starring in the role essayed on Broadway by Paul Kelly, plays Air Force Brigadier General "Casey" Dennis. With time at a premium, Dennis sends waves of bomber squadrons into Germany to knock out the enemy's jet plane factories. Though Dennis seems utterly unconcerned about the fate of his pilots even his superior officer Walter Pidgeon is appalled by the heavy losses, the audience knows that his duty is exacting a severe emotional toll on him. Thanks to pressure from a misguided U.S. senator, "butcher" Dennis is replaced by the supposedly more humane Brian Donlevy. But Donlevy realizes that Gable's decisions were the correct ones, and he vows to continue his predecessor's "suicide missions."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Command Decision is a gripping, if manipulative, war drama that features Clark Gable in one of his best post-War roles. Based upon a hit Broadway play, Decision suffers a bit from feeling stagebound. The creators have opened it up, but not as much as might be desired, although they have resisted the temptation of following the flyers on too many of their missions, which would have been a big mistake: by really showing what happened to the flyers (and to the innocent people killed in their raids), it would have worked against the screenplay's central argument in favor of tough, sometimes brutal decisions during war time. Decision's point is one that can be argued, and if the cards are stacked in favor of the argument here, they are still done so with skill. However, Decision does get a bit too talky, and sometimes the dialogue that was so powerful onstage comes across as a tad stilted. Fortunately, Gable is on hand, in a commanding, full-out performance that ranks among his best. He's ably abetted by an excellent Walter Pidgeon, Brian Donlevy, Van Johnson and even John Hodiak. Sam Wood directs with precision and care, and the result is a good, solid war flick.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/30/2013
  • UPC: 883316734476
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Full Frame
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 17,948

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clark Gable Brig. Gen. K.C. "Casey" Dennis
Walter Pidgeon Maj. Gen. Roland G. Kane
Van Johnson Tech. Sgt. Immanuel T. Evans
Brian Donlevy Brig. Gen. Clifton L. Garnet
Charles Bickford Elmer Brockhurst
John Hodiak Col. Edward R. Martin
Edward Arnold Congressman Arthur Malcolm
Richard Quine Maj. George Rockton
Cameron Mitchell Lt. Ansel Goldberg
Clinton Sundberg Maj. Homer V. Prescott
Ray Collins Maj. Desmond Lansing
Warner Anderson Col. Earnest Haley
John McIntire Maj. Belding Davis
Moroni Olsen Congressman Stone
John Ridgely James Carwood
Michael Steele Capt. Lucius M. Jenks
Edward Earle Congressman Watson
Mack Williams Lt. Col. Virgil Jackson
James Millican Maj. Garrett Davenport
Gregg Barton Sergeant
Bruce Cowling Operations Officer
Sam Flint Congressman
Don Haggerty Command Officer
Henry Hall Congressman
Alvin Hammer Sergeant Cahill
Holmes Herbert Chairman
John James Officer
Marten Lamont Officer of R.A.F
William Leicester Chauffeur
Peter Martin Command Sergeant
Barry Nelson Voice Only
William "Bill" Phillips Jeep Driver
Marshall Thompson Cap. George Washington Lee
George Offerman Waiter
Technical Credits
Sam Wood Director
Sidney Franklin Producer
George Froeschel Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
William Wister Haines Screenwriter
Harold Kress Editor
William R. Laidlaw Screenwriter
Urie McCleary Art Director
Gottfried Reinhardt Producer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2003

    Decisively Commanding!

    An excellent portrayal of the pressures of command in wartime and the impact of politics on the conduct of military operations. The film accurately contrasts the attempt by the operational commander (Clark Gable) to agressively prosecute the aerial bombing war against Germany in WWII while his superior (Walter Pidgeon) fights the higher level political war of placating Congress and the War Department while pursuing the objectives of proving strategic bombing and, ultimately, Air Force independence. Gable's character persists in pursuing a bloody, costly series of raids against German industrial sites involved in the production of German jet fighters, believing that they will ultimately save lives and shorten the war by denying the Germans a formidable aerial weapon, unmatched by anything in the Allied arsenal. Pidgeon, operating at a higher level, must balance his support for Gable with the need to achieve broader, less immediate objectives. Adapted from a stage play, most of the story takes place in the offices and living quarters of an American bomber bse in England.

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