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Air Force (1943)

John Garfield , John Ridgely , Howard Hawks  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Drake
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Arthur T. Horman, Dudley Nichols, Leah Baird, William Faulkner
  • Producers: Howard Hawks, Hal B. Wallis, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Subtitled, NTSC, Black & White, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTPG5M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,043 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Air Force" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Oscar-nominated Technicolor drama short "Women at War"
  • Classic cartoons "The Fifth-Column Mouse" and "Scrap Happy Daffy"
  • Audio-only bonus: radio adaptation with George Raft and Harry Carey
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Garfield, John Ridgely, and Gig Young star in this hard-hitting, realistic story that celebrates America's airborne heroes during WWII. Year: 1943 Director: Howard Hawks Starring: John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young

Director Howard Hawks casually referred to Air Force (1943) as his "contribution to the war effort." It's also a masterpiece, standing with John Ford's They Were Expendable as the best WWII films Hollywood made while the war was still on. On the evening of December 6, 1941, a B-17 flies out of San Francisco on a routine peacetime training mission to Hickam Field in Hawaii. While en route, the officers and crew overhear radio traffic of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ("Whatcha got there," somebody asks the radio operator, "Orson Welles?"). They touch down in a smoking world like a vision out of Dante, then hop from one Pacific outpost to the next as the clouds of war roil. The plane itself, the Mary Ann, is the movie's main character; the biggest star, John Garfield, actually gets last billing as her newly assigned tail gunner. Air Force is one of Hawks's supreme guys-doing-their-job movies, and the definitive war-movie portrait of America as a melting-pot of diverse individuals and types making common cause. The ensemble (Garfield, Gig Young, John Ridgely, Arthur Kennedy, the great Harry Carey, et al.) is superbly directed, there's a strong Dudley Nichols screenplay (with an uncredited contribution by William Faulkner) and breathtaking editing of the battle scenes (which won George Amy an Oscar), and the camerawork is by James Wong Howe in peak form.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Top War Film November 5, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The legendary Howard Hawks directed this WWII classic about the Mary Ann, a B-17 bomber lead by Captain John Ridgely and featuring crew members Gig Young, Harey Carey, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Drake, George Tobias, Ray Montgomery, and John Garfield. On a routine mission to Hawaii, the crew arrives just hours after the Pearl Harbor attack and find themselves thrust into war. Other stops include Wake Island and the Philippines. Of course, one of the purposes of this film was to rally the American spirit, and it features some of the anti-Japanese dialogue you'd have to expect. But the film succeeds beyond the propaganda value. The action sequences are well filmed and exciting, with terrific aerial action and some good ground sequences, too. The camraderie amongst the crew is credible. Each member has his own small "back story" as you would expect, but these fine character actors make it all very believable (Harry Carey is a particular standout). This film is a true WWII classic.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
While some paid reviewers would classify this film as archetypal and "hard to stomach" because of the political correctness of today, it is an excellent film about the early days of World War II and the crew of the B-17 bomber, "Mary Ann." This film is on par with what some consider the best air war film ever made, "Twelve O'clock High."
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW2 Classic! March 2, 2007
On their way to Pearl Harbor, a flight of B-17 bombers arrive at the height of the Japanese attack at the start of WW2. After landing they are told to refuel and fly on to the Philippines where they are to fight the Japanese. Many problems ensue but the crew pulls together and takes the fight to the Japanese. This is truly one of the best WW2 movies with lots of action and a relatively unknown cast...stars Harry Carey, Sr, a young John Garfield, and the B-17 "Mary-Ann". The interplay between crew members and the Marines in the Philippines is worth the price of admission alone. A long lost classic finally being released....DO Not miss this one..!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT! February 16, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I was impressed the very first time I saw this film, and I enjoy watching it every year. A fine cast makes it believeable. The early hours of world war two. This film truly shows how unprepared we were, but also shows the dedication of our american servicemen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie January 5, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
An accurate portrayal of how unprepreparred the US was as World War II began. Harry Carey as the gruff, wily, mechanical genius reminds me a a real B17 crew chief I once knew.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great WW-II drama December 19, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A movie that lifted the hearts of the home folks. John Garfield played pivitol role going from trouble maker to a dependable "team" player.
A must see film for everyone who had someone in the military during WW II.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great WWII Film July 22, 2007
Lots of action, suspense, thrill, bombs and camaraderie. Well packed war movie with fast pace action, good dialogue, growing in intensity as the story develops and amazingly well done settings that give plenty of realism. The dark scenarios along the film provide that gloomy and tragic feeling that matches those moments before and after Pearl Harbor. The cast does pretty well and their friendship on the B-17 is not just an accompaniment to the war scenes but grows with them.

It sure reveals the masterful hand of classic artisan director Howard Hawks. If not one of his greatest films it still is a very good one, and one of the very best war films ever.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ......WW2 America at It's........ Greatest !! July 10, 2007
Propaganda my eye!!....this is what it takes to win a war unconditionally....not like the past 50+ years of limited warfare...Air Force was the vanguard of epic WW2 movies and it ranks up there with any war film that followed...darn good cast with unheralded actor gets top billing, and rightly so...John Ridgely in his apex role of his career...even the starry John Garfield settled for a supporting role no less...wonderful supporting cast: Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, James Brown, Harry Carey-Sr, Charles Drake, Stanley Ridges, Moroni Olsen, George Tobias, Addison Richards and Edward S. Brophy as the mud-Marine Gunner plus "Tripoli" [woof-woof]...sure it covers alot of battles to get it before the American people fast and once Japan was stopped at Guadalcanal [Aug1942]...our Armed Forces were on the road to Tokyo non/stop for TOTAL Victory...the studio bosses knew how to make real movies that galvanized the American way of life [ 1941-1955]...ever look around today to see how fragmented we are in politics and lack of love for our flag/country...let the other kid join up while you stay home...get rich...get fat and drugged out?? siree, Air Force was the real America in every impacted scene you see to WIN!!...below, you read some of these other Reviews from an uneducated guys weren't around in 1943 where heroic endeavors were common place accomplishments...not muder, rape, bestiality and everyday drug arrests smeared all over the headlines since the 1960s...God bless the WW2/Korea generation....anyone else finding fault with being a winner in 1941-1945??..."Get Lost"....Semper Fi, Mac.... SSGT CHRIS SARNO-USMC FMF
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting movie. Entertaining.
Published 1 day ago by Steven Mccann
5.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted the HD version, but this is still entertaining.
2 or 3 years after I first saw this, I had quit high school to enlist in the U.S.A.F. I became a B-29 engine mechanic. (And then,
we had the Korean war}.
Published 2 days ago by lancer31
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent DVD transfer of an early WWII movie that was ...
An excellent DVD transfer of an early WWII movie that was meant to improve morale at home. For WWII aviation buffs, it is a great look at "D" model B-17s in action. Read more
Published 12 days ago by History Nut
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my very movie of WW11.
Published 13 days ago by fernando a. fausto
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great "historical" movie. :-)
Published 1 month ago by George W. Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well worth watching
Published 1 month ago by j.Algeir
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
DVD was defective, froze up half way through movie.
Published 2 months ago by Earl Henson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great flick, although John Garfield didn't get much air time.
Published 2 months ago by Adam
4.0 out of 5 stars This is another one of my favorite movies. A great cast and good story...
This is another one of my favorite movies. A great cast and good story line roughly corresponding to actual history. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Larry K Albertson
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent war
Realistic, thrilling, an excellent war film
Published 2 months ago by Richard C. Fannon Jr.
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