Twelve O'Clock High

Twelve O'Clock High

4.8 10
Director: Henry King

Cast: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill

     
 

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Twelve O'Clock High asks how much can a soldier give? When the U.S. 8th Army Air Force 918th Bombardment Group is ordered on their fourth harrowing mission in four hard days, Brigadier General Frank Savage (Gregory Peck) demands "maximum effort." The pilots and crews are forced to fly lower, to fly farther, and to test themselvesSee more details below

Overview

Twelve O'Clock High asks how much can a soldier give? When the U.S. 8th Army Air Force 918th Bombardment Group is ordered on their fourth harrowing mission in four hard days, Brigadier General Frank Savage (Gregory Peck) demands "maximum effort." The pilots and crews are forced to fly lower, to fly farther, and to test themselves -- overstressed and fatigued -- right up until death's door. When their dedicated colonel speaks out in their defense, Savage mercilessly takes over command -- an officer should not sympathize with his men. The general will compel the 918th to stop pitying itself and to hone its morale in the face of danger. Yet, as the men grow colder due to Savage's orders and the missions bring them closer to their crucial German targets, the general learns the practical impossibility of raising the confidence of young men while also sending them to their deaths. He begins to understand that it is the burden of command that makes even the toughest leader sympathetic. Eventually caring for his men above all else, it is Savage who is forced to carry the hardships of "maximum effort" -- asking himself, How much can a man take? ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio, All Movie Guide

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Most war films maintain that the officer's experience is incomparable to the trauma that befalls the enlisted man. The genre's resulting narratives consistently dwell on the emotional distance between a higher-up and his inferiors -- an exaggerated separation mended only by a common goal (winning the war) and never a common experience (fighting the battle). Henry King's Twelve O'Clock High rejects this practice. The film portrays the pressures of war as torturous to all dutiful soldiers and as a catalyst for mutual admiration and compassion between all ranks. Twelve O'Clock High reveals that a commander can understand his men, and in turn, those men can sympathize with their commander. Based on the reign of actual American Brigadier General Frank A. Armstrong Jr., the story of Gregory Peck's General Savage remains one of the most fair and celebrated accounts of leadership. To expertly match this narrative honesty with technical accuracy, King also became one of the first directors to incorporate real footage of distressed American planes, taken by the German Luftwaffe. The film's look is as genuine and unaffected as its tale. Twelve O'Clock High is a sincere and realistic war film, so inspiring that it was required viewing at the U.S. Air Force Academy for years after its release.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2007
UPC:
0024543440550
Original Release:
1949
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
2:12:00
Sales rank:
15,807

Special Features

Disc 1; Commentary with historians Rudy Belhmer, Jon Burlingame and Nick Redman; Disc 2; Memories of Twelve O'Clock High featurette; WWII and the American Home Front Featurette; Inspiring a Character: General Frank A. Armstrong fetaurette; The Pilots of Eighth Air Force featurette; Still gallery; Interactive pressbook

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gregory Peck Gen. Frank Savage
Hugh Marlowe Lt. Col. Ben Gately
Gary Merrill Col. Keith Davenport
Millard Mitchell General Pritchard
Dean Jagger Major Harvey Stovall
Robert Arthur Sergeant McIllhenny
Paul Stewart Major "Doc" Kaiser
John Kellogg Major Cobb
Joyce MacKenzie Nurse
Lee MacGregor Lieutenant Zimmerman
Sam Edwards Birdwell
Roger Anderson Interrogation Officer
John Zilly Sergeant Ernie
William Short Lieutenant Pettinghill
Richard Anderson Lieutenant McKessen
Lawrence Dobkin Captain Twombley
Kenneth Tobey Sentry
Campbell Copelin Mr. Britton
Peter Ortiz Weather Observer
Steve Clark Clerk in Antique Shop
Patrick Whyte Clerk
Robert Patten Lieutenant Bishop
Russ Conway Operations Officer
Don Hicks Lieutenant Wilson
John R. McKee Operations Officer

Technical Credits
Henry King Director
Sy Bartlett Screenwriter
W.D. Flick Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Beirne Lay Screenwriter
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Barbara McLean Editor
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Ben Nye Makeup
Maurice Ransford Art Director
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Twelve O'Clock High
1. Main Titles [1:42]
2. A Special Item [1:34]
3. Return to Archbury [3:42]
4. A Tragic Run [4:10]
5. McKesson's Crew [2:57]
6. Lord Haw-Haw's Message [2:47]
7. Maximum Effort [3:33]
8. General Savage [4:30]
9. In Trouble [2:54]
10. Relieved of Command [4:49]
11. Scared Stiff [2:23]
12. The New Commander [5:42]
13. Yellow [6:24]
14. The Bar's Closed [3:11]
15. Back to Fundamentals [2:48]
16. Morale Problem [5:14]
17. The Retread [3:45]
18. The Leper Colony [2:41]
19. Loyalty [2:54]
20. Davenport's Return [4:15]
21. The Gamble [3:53]
22. No Confidence [4:24]
23. Iron-Tailed [3:02]
24. Germany [4:25]
25. Stowaways [4:56]
26. Casualties [1:40]
27. Something Extra Special [1:22]
28. Critical Mission [4:53]
29. Combat Assembly [4:01]
30. Twelve O'Clock High [3:16]
31. Confused [9:02]
32. Battle Fatigue [2:36]
33. State of Shock [3:26]
34. The Final Count [2:57]
35. Field of Memories [4:50]
36. End Titles [1:02]

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