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Memphis Belle/Thunderbolt [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Thunderbolt
Filmed in Technicolor, Thunderbolt was the last of Major William Wyler's wartime directorial efforts on behalf of the US Army Air Corps. As in his previous WW2 documentaries, Wyler himself participated in the mission that he depicts herein on film. The title refers to the huge bombers used by the Corsica-based 57th fighter group. The film concentrates on "Operation Strangle", the all-out assault agains t the Nazi stronghold at Monte Cassino. Adding poignancy to the film is the knowledge that several of the extremely young American participants, here shown smiling and waving at the camera, did not survive the battle. Released to the troops in 1945, Thunderbolt was distributed theatrically in 1947. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Memphis Belle
Filmed in color, The Memphis Belle has long been held up as a "model" wartime documentary. In a terse, exciting 41 minutes, the film assembles footage from several allied bombing missions into one single representative flight of the famed Flying Fortress known as The Memphis Belle. Though both the crewmen and the filmmakers take considerable pride in the fact that the Belle has completed 25 successful missions, there's no phony heroism, no grandstanding, no flagwaving. As calm-voiced narrator Ed Kern explains, the Belle has a job to do, and it does it, and that's all. The danger facing these Flying Fortresses is underlined, but never overemphasized, by brief glimpses of those doomed ships that didn't make it back. Memphis Belle was directed by William Wyler, who also flew several missions with the crew, manning the camera himself at considerable risk. The overall excellence of The Memphis Belle is even more obvious when compared to the hokey fictionalized 1990 movie version of the Belle's 25th mission. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • James Stewart
    James Stewart - Narrator
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