Task Force

Overview

In pageant-like fashion, Warner Bros.' Task Force traces the history of the American aircraft carrier, as experienced by a group of naval air aces. Gary Cooper plays Admiral Jonathan L. Scott, who on the verge of retirement remembers his struggle to win recognition of the importance of aircraft carriers. The story begins in 1921, when Scott and his friend Pete Richard Walter Brennan were making dangerous landings on the primitive 65-foot carrier Langley. Scott's outspokenness wins him few friends among the brass,...
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Overview

In pageant-like fashion, Warner Bros.' Task Force traces the history of the American aircraft carrier, as experienced by a group of naval air aces. Gary Cooper plays Admiral Jonathan L. Scott, who on the verge of retirement remembers his struggle to win recognition of the importance of aircraft carriers. The story begins in 1921, when Scott and his friend Pete Richard Walter Brennan were making dangerous landings on the primitive 65-foot carrier Langley. Scott's outspokenness wins him few friends among the brass, and after he publicly insults a Japanese diplomat on the subject of his beloved carriers, he is shunted away to a desk job. Naturally, once Pearl Harbor is attacked, Scott is vindicated. While his wife Mary Jane Wyatt waits patiently at home, Scott serves in World War II with distinction, guiding his carrier through a maze of Japanese artillery and kamikazes. Filmed in Technicolor, Task Force makes good use of actual color battle footage filmed by the Signal Corps. A brief clip from Task Force shows up in the drive-in movie scene in James Cagney's White Heat 1949.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Overall, Task Force is only an average movie, but it's not average throughout. Instead, it's one of those films that has a number of highlights that can't quite compensate for the lesser aspects of the film. Chief among its assets is the final 20 or so minutes, when the use of archival battle footage is used to thrilling effect by writer/director Delmer Daves. The footage itself is impressive, but Daves knows that it has to be used properly, and he arranges it for maximum effectiveness. There are also some other very good moments scattered throughout, particularly those that deal with the technical aspects of carrier life; Daves breathes life into what could have been dull stretches here. He's not as successful when dealing with the actual story elements of Task Force, which generally come across as strained. The reluctance of those in command to see the importance of Cooper's "mission" may be fact-based, but it plays as pure Hollywood, and the romantic segments are terribly trite. This isn't meant to denigrate Jane Wyatt's contributions to the latter, which are quite commendable. But truth be told, there's more life and chemistry between Cooper and Walter Brennan than between Coop and Wyatt. AS a result, Task Force drags in too many places instead of soaring -- but when it does take off, it flies good and high.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/1/1998
  • UPC: 027616304131
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Warner)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Jonathan L. Scott
Jane Wyatt Mary Morgan
Wayne Morris McKinney
Walter Brennan Pete Richard
Julie London Barbara McKinney
Bruce Bennett McClusky
Jack Holt Reeves
Stanley Ridges Bentley
John Ridgely Dixie Rankin
Richard Rober Jack Southern
Art Baker Senator Vincent
Moroni Olsen Ames
Ray Montgomery Pilot
Harlan Warde Timmy
James Holden Tom Cooper
Rory Mallinson Jerry Morgan
John Gallaudet Jennings
Warren Douglas Winston
Joe Forte Presidential Representative
Alex Gerry Chairman
William Hudson Lt. Leenhouts
Mary Lawrence Ruth Rankin
Mickey McCardle Lindsay
Dick Paxton Pilot
Charles Sherlock Capt. Wren
Charles Waldron Jr. Aide
Charles Williams Luggage Clerk
Mal Merrihugh Jones
Paul MacWilliams Harrison
Fred Clark
Sally Corner Mrs. Secretary
William Gould Mr. Secretary
Reed Howes Officer
Tetsu Komai Japanese Representative
John McGuire Supply Officer
Robert Rockwell Lieutenant Kelly
Basil Ruysdael Admiral
Kenneth Tobey Capt. Williamson
Laura Treadwell Mrs. Ames
Tommy Walker Lieutenant
Beal Wong Japanese Naval Attache
Technical Credits
Delmer Daves Director, Screenwriter
Robert Burks Cinematographer
Wilfrid M. Cline Cinematographer
Alan Crosland Jr. Editor
Roy Davidson Special Effects
Edwin DuPar Special Effects
George James Hopkins Set Decoration/Design
Leo K. Kuter Art Director
Charles Lang Sound/Sound Designer
Leah Rhodes Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerry Wald Producer
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Perc Westmore Makeup
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