Movie Guide Un-abashedly sentimental, this war film was produced by David Putnam in partnership with Catherine Wyler, whose father William Wyler directed an acclaimed documentary about the real-life events depicted in the film. The ensemble cast is composed of ten young actors portraying the crew of the World War II B-17 bomber Memphis Belle, anticipating their 25th and last mission before they will be able to go home. Having won fame with their exemplary war record and amazing lack of casualties, they expect their final assignment to be a cake walk, but instead they are ordered to bomb Bremen, a heavily defended German city that will mean almost certain loss of life. Led by their experiencedcaptain, Dennis Dearborn (Matthew Modine), the crew shoulders its responsibility despite mounting fears, while their commanding officer(David Strathairn) and a public relations specialist (John Lithgow)wait anxiously for their return. Aboard the bomber, there's friction between Dearborn and his disgruntled co-pilot Luke Sinclair (TateDonovan), and between medical officer Val Kozlowski (Billy Zane) andthe rest of the crew when it's learned that Val lied about his qualifications. Despite impressive technical credits and a popular Generation-X cast, Memphis Belle (1990) was a box-office disappointment, its enthusiastic patriotism considered a throwback to a by-gone era of filmmaking. -Karl Williams / All Movie Guide
Running Time: 45 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: PG
The pilot was 24-year-old Captain Robert K. Morgan from Asheville, North Carolina who was an industrial engineer before joiningthe Army in 1941;the co-pilot, whom Captain Morgan insisted was 'the other pilot', was 25-year-old Captain James A. Verinis from New Haven,Connecticut, who was a business administration student at theUniversity of Connecticut before entering the service in July of 1941;Captain Vincent B. Evans, the 23-year-old bombadier was one of the two married members of the crew, and was a fleet-truck operator in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas before enlisting in January of 1942;Captain Charles B. Leighton, from East Lansing, Michigan and a chemistry student at Ohio Wesleyan before entering the service, was the navigator. The engineer and top turret gunner was Technical Sergeant Harold P. Loch, a 23-year-old Steve Dore from Green Bay, Wisconsin who joined the service in November of 1941;Technical Sergeant Robert J.Hanson, a construction worker from Washington state and the other married crew member, was the radio operator. The 19-year-old 'baby' of the Memphis Belle crew waswaist-gunner Staff Sergeant Casimer A. Nastal who was a washing machine repairman from Detroit, Michigan with two confirmed fighter kills to his credit who thought he had more 'but never had time to watch whether they went down';Staff Sergeant Cecil H. Scott, a pressman for a rubber company in Rahway, New Jersey was the ball turret gunner and, at 27,the oldest member of the crew. One of the three cameraman was First Lieutenant Harold J. Tannenbaum, from Binghamton, New York, a World WarI veteran who remained in the Navy until 1927. He re-entered theservice in July,1942 when he received his commission in the Army AirForce. He was killed in action, age 46, in April of 1944 and received a posthumous Purple Heart. ( Leslie Howard Adams, IMDB.com)
Documentary about the 25th and last bombing mission of a B17, the'Memphis Belle'. The 'Memphis Belle' took part in a great bombing raidon sub-pens in Wilhelmshafen, Germany. On their way they encounterdheavy AA fire and interceptors. Written by Stephan Eichenberg
To really appreciate this documentary, one must also read 'The man whoflew the Memphis Belle', written by Bob Morgan the pilot of the memphisBelle, and find out what it was like to be over there. Not only did Morgan and his crew complete 25 missions over Germany with the EightAir Force, but after a bond tour in the US, he then went to the Pacific theater where he completed 26 missions flying B-29s over Japan. (Gabriel Brown)
Jacob L. Devers
Ira C. Eaker
National Film Preservation Board
National Film Registry
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