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Customer Review

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Depiction of Allied Daylight Bombing Over Germany!, July 9, 2000
This review is from: Memphis Belle (Snap Case) (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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2007 10:38:16 AM PST
Accutron says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Apr 16, 2011 11:45:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2011 12:01:58 PM PDT
AJM says:
I liked the film also but I doubt there are very many restored B-17's around. Amazing what you can do with camera technology etc. Yes, the Americans went on daylight bombing raids and it was a dangerous time for them - But... (The Brits went at night)? what does that mean? It wasn't any less dangerous flying at night, in fact it was probably moreso and the RAF were already bombing Germany before the Americans showed up. I find it difficult to not comment when someone uses the term 'murderous' losses. Were we any less 'murderous' then? I mean we dropped bombs and killed civilians just as the Germans did, we shot down enemy aircraft (and quite rightly so), also just as they did. War is War, especially when it is all-out World War and no one side is any more or less 'murderous' than the other. I don't think the term even enters the equation - If it did I think it would terribly difficult to drop bombs on enemy territory knowing full well that there is more than a small chance of killing innocent men, women and children no matter what their nationality. Was the film accuarte? Erm..... No, not entirely. This is a fictional film based on real life events. To make such a movie one must apply more than a modicum of 'poetic' license otherwise you simply couldn't bring it to the screen. Forget the glitz and the glamour that the movie brings, in reality it was an almost impossible task for maintenance crews at the time to even keep hastily built deathtraps flying. Just obtaining spare parts was a hit-and-miss affair and there would have been a lot of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' going on to keep the best of the planes in the air. I don't refer to just one particular aircraft, I mean all of our aircraft. These were knocked out in factories in a few months and were dangerous enough to fly anyway, let alone take one over the sea and fly it over enemy territory. Having said all of that.... It's still an enjoyable film and I take nothing away from the bravery and dedication of all of our bomber and fighter crews back then.

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 8:58:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 10, 2013 9:03:02 AM PDT
Thank you, Labradorman, for the compelling and thoughtful review! Thought you might find these links of interest:

http://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.38755
http://archive.org/details/gov.dod.dimoc.26134
http://archive.org/details/MemphisBelle

http://archive.org/search.php?query=Memphis%20Belle
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Barron Laycock
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Temple, New Hampshire United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 39,751