Twelve O'Clock High
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
It would be a disservice to those who have not as yet seen this film to say any more about the plot.Read more ›
It starts with a lawyer visiting England as a tourist years after war's end. He discovers a cheap, ceramic antique which the store owner tells him is of little value. "Value?" replies the lawyer. "Wrap it very carefully" he adds. So begins his mental journey back in time to the English airstrip where he served as adjutant of the 918th (nine, eighteenth) Bomb Group.
This "hard luck" group is taken over by a brigadier general from a colonel who has "over-identified" with his men, thus putting them before his missions. The general, Frank Savage, must restore group discipline and performance before the group disintegrates as an effective fighting unit.
General Savage puts mission before men and turns the disgruntled men who despise him into a cohesive unit. They turn into a group that will do anything to keep from being left behind, or letting down their new leader. (Each announcement of a mission for the following day is characterized by the operations officer going to the mantel over the fireplace, in the Officers' Club, and turning the head of a ceramic pirate face outward.)
But the tough general will not make the same mistake that the last group commander makes. He will always keep the mission first, and will not over-identify with his men. He will not let the loss of his men affect him.
Or, will he?
This black & white story is exceptional and superbly acted. It shows the mental tug-of-war a leader must make in the decisions that will cost the lives of men he has come to admire and respect. It depicts how the ugliness of war brings out the best in ourselves, and creates fraternal bonds that last a lifetime.Read more ›
Spielberg's film focused on some of the command problems faced by Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) in fulfilling his combat mission, but the treatment and development were almost high schoolish (if I may) compared to the enthralling delineation in "Twelve O'Clock High." The problems encountered by Gregory Peck as the bomber group commander were complex, subtle and psychologically demanding, while the resolution was filled with the kind of male social and political dynamics not much explored at the movies these days. (We have female dynamics aplenty.)
Director Henry King's clean, crisp, "invisible" direction was also superior to the uneven and far too showy pandering from Spielberg. Furthermore the acting, with Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe supporting Peck, was also better. Ted Danson in his cameo and Matt Damon at times in "Saving Private Ryan" were almost laughable.
Comparing the two movies makes one wonder how much movies really have improved. Technically they have in every respect, but too often today's film-makers think they can get by with special effects and splashy sets. Pour a lot of blood, show a lot of skin, get people at each other's throat, and it will play, seems to be the attitude. What is often forgotten are the two most important aspects of film, namely, story and character development. In this respect I don't think today's films have improved on the great classics of the past.
--Dennis Littrell, author of "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to return the dvd 2 times. Would not run on our blu ray player.Published 4 days ago by coolnana
The absolute best WWII movie about the Air Force ever made. Perhaps Gregory Peck's finest roll.I don't want to engage in spoilers so I'll just say if you read my reviews and trust... Read morePublished 21 days ago by WATCHER
Can't believe I waited all these years to buy what is surely one of the all time best WW2 films. It is great.Published 24 days ago by Daniel Eulis Creasy
After World War II numerous young men wrote semi auto biographical novels that paralleled their war time experiences. Some of the authors and / or the novels became iconic. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Francis C. Donnelly
When it comes to putting men in battle what does it mean to put forward a maximum effort, and where are the bounds of human endurance? Read morePublished 2 months ago by ARH
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|The Removal of original ending, and re-installation of it||
That's a load of you-know-what. Anyone familiar with the novel by Beirne Lay and Sy Bartlett is aware the film's ending, as penned by Bartlett and shot by King is extremely faithful to the novel. Killing off everyone would have made no sense nor would authors Lay and Bartlett acquiesed to such... Read More
Jun 13, 2007 by mjh | See all 11 posts
|Color or Black and White?||Be the first to reply|
|cut or uncut||Be the first to reply|
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Look for Similar Items by Category
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Action & Adventure
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Military & War
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment > Action > General
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment > All Fox Titles