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Twelve O’Clock High (TCF 1949, Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe)

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Compelling WWII drama Twelve O’Clock High focuses on the emotional effects the fear and anxiety of war have on fighting men. When a compassionate bomber-squadron leader (Gary Merrill) resists taking his scarred, jumpy men on one more near-suicidal daytime mission, he’s replaced by by-the-book general Gregory Peck.

After exposure to the dangers his men face, Peck becomes more uncertain than his predecessor, even suffering a nervous collapse from the stress. One of the few war films to depict the real human costs of war (based on the true story of Gen. Frank Armstrong), it also includes terrifying aerial sequences that make real the dangers the fliers faced.

Twelve O’Clock High is based on a novel by Sy Bartlett and Beirne Lay, Jr., who also wrote the screenplay. The film was later adapted as a 1960s television series starring Paul Burke, Andrew Duggan, Lew Gallo and Robert Lansing.

Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Actor: Gregory Peck.

production details
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 132 minutes | 1949

Director: Henry King
Writers: Sy Bartlett, Beirne Lay Jr.,

cast
Millard Mitchell as Major General Patrick Pritchard
Hugh Marlowe as Lieutenant Colonel Ben Gately
Lawrence Dobkin as Captain Twombley, group chaplain (uncredited)
Barry Jones as Lord Haw-Haw, German radio commentator (voice) (uncredited)
Dean Jagger as Major / Lieutenant Colonel Harvey Stovall
Robert Arthur as Sergeant McIllhenny
Don Gordon as First patient in base hospital (uncredited)
Gregory Peck as Brigadier General Frank Savage
Gary Merrill as Colonel Keith Davenport
Paul Stewart as Major “Doc” Kaiser (flight surgeon)
John Kellogg as Major Cobb
Robert Patten as Lieutenant Bishop
Lee MacGregor as Lieutenant Zimmerman
Sam Edwards as Lieutenant Birdwell
Roger Anderson as Interrogation Officer
Paul Picerni as Bombardier (uncredited)
Harry Lauter as Radio officer (uncredited)
Kenneth Tobey as Sgt. Keller

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