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Air Force (1943)

John Ridgely , Gig Young , Howard Hawks  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Price: $21.46 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy, Charles Drake, Harry Carey
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • 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 (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NTPG5M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,310 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

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.

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

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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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Look At the Reason for War September 29, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
I saw "Air Force" for the first time the other night. Frankly, I had thought I'd seen or at least heard of the better WWII movies that were made in the 40's, 50's, and 60's. I'm not certain that this belongs in the category of "better" WWII movies but, if not, it's on the cusp. It does a great job of telling the story of the outbreak of WWII though they eyes of the crew of the "Mary Ann", a bomber that was in flight to Pearl Harbor on 12/6/41. Needless to say, they come on the scene just as the stuff hits the fan. After a brief stop, they head to Manilla by way of Wake Island. In case you don't know, those were the hot spots for the US at the beginning of WWII. They depart Manilla and discover a fleet of Japanese naval ships. They radio for help and the Battle of Midway ensues. At the end we see the surviving members ready to head off on a bombing mission over Tokyo.

I was impressed with the sense of historical perspective in how the movie was put together. Some of the chronology may have been stretched a wee bit. For example, the Battle of Midway came a few days too late, in my estimation, to have involved a US plane leaving Corregidor. However, I could be wrong. Anyway, the movie was a good recap of the war to that point ("Air Force" was released in 1943). I suppose that most people who saw "Air Force" in a theater pretty much knew most of this but were glad to get a more dramatic look at the events.

The acting was very good with a special nod to Harry Carey (who did, however, look like he should have been pensioned off 20 years earlier). Arthur Kennedy and George Tobias got my attention but the intentional anti-hero was John Garfield. Garfield was his usual cynical self who finally sees the light before the movie ends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
DVD was defective, froze up half way through movie.
Published 3 days ago by Earl Henson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great flick, although John Garfield didn't get much air time.
Published 17 days 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 21 days ago by Larry K Albertson
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent war
Realistic, thrilling, an excellent war film
Published 25 days ago by Richard C. Fannon Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars The B-17 Flying Fortress Mary-Ann Is Off To War
This dvd arrived earlier than expected and in good condition. The picture and sound quality is very good. This is a first class Warner Bros. and Howard Hawks production. Read more
Published 29 days ago by BYRON
1.0 out of 5 stars Rip off Rental Period
Good movie but it's only a 24 hour rental so the one star. Also, the dialog in some places required 90% volume on my set. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Laurie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by steve wurzburger
5.0 out of 5 stars That's how it was
Yes, in the beginning, war came harshly. I suppose our leaders were mostly unprepared due to complacency, and no real warnings. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brian Bobbitt
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good WW II movie,
Published 2 months ago by Tess
4.0 out of 5 stars always like
I am same what a fan of these old style movies around the time and during WW2. Although some of the telling is alitte salted for my liking.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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