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Memphis Belle (Snap Case) (1990)

Matthew Modine , Eric Stoltz , Michael Caton-Jones  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.97
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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane
  • Directors: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Writers: Monte Merrick
  • Producers: Catherine Wyler, David Puttnam, Eric Rattray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 1998
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304936362
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,629 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Memphis Belle (Snap Case)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 6 Theatrical Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If you've never seen an aviation movie before in your entire life, you'll be blissfully ignorant of the fact that Memphis Belle shamelessly (and yet gloriously) incorporates just about every cliché in the flight-movie handbook. If you're a big fan of aviation movies--especially movies about World War II bomber crews--you'll be glad that the genre's clichés have been handled with such professional flair. As it follows the crew of a B-17 bomber on its final and most dangerous mission over Germany, Memphis Belle may be little more than a slick and highly authentic presentation of familiar thrills and characters, but it's a rousing piece of entertainment. Featuring an ensemble cast of fresh faces who've since enjoyed thriving careers (including Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Eric Stoltz, D.B. Sweeney, and Harry Connick Jr.), the movie exists as a fitting tribute to the men who fought and often died in the air over hostile territory. It's the Hollywood version of a 1944 wartime documentary made by legendary director William Wyler (whose daughter served as one of this film's producers), and as such it's a bit contrived and melodramatic. And yet, this exciting movie is almost certain to grab and hold your attention, offering an honorable reminder of the bravery and integrity that were crucial ingredients of any bomber's crew. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Thrilling World War II adventure centering on the final flight of the legendary Memphis Belle, a B-17 bomber with Dresden as its target. Meet the gung-ho members of its young crew (played by Eric Stoltz, Matthew Modine, Billy Zane and Harry Connick, Jr., among others) and be mesmerized by amazing flight sequences. With John Lithgow, David Strathairn. 107 min. Standard and Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital Surround stereo, Spanish Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; filmographies; theatrical trailers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
185 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a former military aircraft crewmember July 21, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I have to be different from most of the other reviewers and give this movie a full 5 stars. It is one of my favorites. As a former hookup man, crew chief, flight engineer, and door gunner, I have seen exactly the type of character assortment and wacky actions that this film portrays. There is always one that is afraid of dying. There is always AT LEAST one hung over person, usually with a barf bag within reach. There is always the one that tries to ride herd on the rest and keep them paying attention to their job. There is always one glory hound that feels he must get a shot at everybody's job so he has bragging rights when he gets home. So this set of characters is totally credible and all were played with extraordinary skill. I love them all, even the jerk.
As for historical accuracy, it is not accurate. They based the story on the Memphis Belle, but incorporated all the incidents and accidents that happened to the flying fortresses. If it didn't happen to the Belle, her crew witnessed it. In my opinion, the movie is made better for this. It also serves to educate people about the realities of WWII bomber flights. I'm all for that. The public needs to be made aware that these men went through a hell that most cannot begin to imagine. Thus, this movie performs a vital function.
As for the entertainment value ... it is top of the line. You will feel the pain and dodge the shrapnel! The anti-aircraft rounds make me get in fast motion! I especially like the part about the monkey harness and can identify fully with it. The pilot always had to force me to put mine on, and like the guy in this movie, it saved my bacon once. There's just no comparison to flapping in the breeze beneath an aircraft while other crewmembers try to haul you back aboard. (But you'll never have to be told to put on your monkey harness again!) Thus, I identify and empathize with his position ... literally!
Order a copy today and see if it doesn't fully engage all your systems!
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I watched this great movie with wonder at all the restored vintage B-17 bombers used in the filming. When one watches as they take off and land with such dangerous imprecision, it's remarkable to realize how far we've come technologically since those dangerous days of daylight bombing by the Americans (the Brits went at night) and the murderous losses over German skies. All of this as depicted was before we developed the P-51 with its much longer range and its ability to escort the bombers to the target area to fend off Luftwaffe fighters who shot down so many bombers in 1942, 1943, and 1944.
This is a wonderful movie, very accurate, authentic, and quite appealing. Starring Matthew Modine as the Pilot of the fabled "Memphis Belle", the first bomber crew to accomplish its mission tour and be returned to the states (to sell war bonds, among other things), is retells the amazing story of how thousands of kids as depicted here went off to England to fly thousands and thousands of planes through the perilous skies of Europe in a sustained effort to bomb the Third Reich into submission. Off they went, seeking the industrial and urban targets, knowing full well they might as well have had `bullseyes' painted on their fuselages. The costs of flying the missions in terms of lost people and planes were almost overwhelming to the Allies.
The story is told in all its fullness, and one comes to recognize just how many of these plucky kids leaving the air field would never come back, as the daily losses to German fighters, flak and mishap were atrocious. Yet they went up again the next day and the next and the next, in a dazzling display of uncommon courage, tenacity, and maturity beyond their tender years. This is a poignant and well-told, scripted and acted story brilliantly photographed on location over the hills and dales of bonny olde England, where it all unfolded in its grand yet grisly magnificence fifty some years ago. Watch and remember
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Hollywood Introduction to Vital American History December 30, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
A little background. First of all, there really was a plane called the Memphis Belle. It is traditionally considered the first B-17 to complete the obligatory 25 missions and survive. If you are going to learn about the real 'Memphis Belle', I highly recommend you watch the William Wyler documentary, made during World War II, that chronicles the story of the actual plane and its crew. You may also want to read the book that came out in the past year called "The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle" about the Belle's pilot, Robert Morgan, because it is a fascinating book about a man who went on to fly B29's in the Pacific after surviving in Europe. And to watch a movie that accurately chronicles the trials and tribulations of bomber crewmen in Europe in WWII, I recommend "Twelve O'Clock High" and "Pistol Packing Mama".
That having been said, I must add that most air veterans think that the 1990 "Memphis Belle" movie is unrealistic, and in many ways they are right. However, I have done enough research to appreciate that the film is a great way to get introduced to the exploits of the brave aircrews who flew over Germany in World War II. It is an entertaining film. I think the director would have been much better off NOT calling the film "The Memphis Belle", because the story is mostly fiction. So why did he/she do so? It was put out by the daughter of William Wyler, who made the original movie, in part as a tribute to her father. Thus the name.
The actual pilot of the real Memphis Belle was asked about the movie, and said that it appeared to him that the writers had taken everything that had happened to the crew over all 25 missions and compressed them into one hellish mission.
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