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Twelve O’Clock High

Picture treats its story [from the novel by Beirne Lay Jr and Sy Bartlett] from the high brass level, i.e. a general's concern for his men's morale while establishing the man-killing daylight bombing raids back in 1942.

Picture treats its story [from the novel by Beirne Lay Jr and Sy Bartlett] from the high brass level, i.e. a general’s concern for his men’s morale while establishing the man-killing daylight bombing raids back in 1942.

As a drama, High deals soundly and interestingly with its situations. It gets close to the emotions in unveiling its plot and approaches it from a flashback angle so expertly presented that the emotional pull is sharpened.

Gregory Peck heads up the operations of a bombing squadron from a base in Chelveston, England. Peck gives the character much credence as he suffers and sweats with his men.

There are a number of what amount to ‘surprise’ performances in the male cast. Standout among them is Dean Jagger as a retread still determined to do his bit. Story comes to life through his eyes as he revisits the Chelveston base in 1948.

1949: Best Supp. Actor (Dean Jagger), Sound Recording (20th Century-Fox Sound Dept).

Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Gregory Peck)

Twelve O’Clock High

  • Production: 20th Century-Fox. Director Henry King; Producer Darryl F. Zanuck; Screenplay Sy Bartlett, Beirne Lay Jr; Camera Leon Shamroy; Editor Barbara McLean; Music Alfred Newman; Art Director Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1949. Running time: 132 MIN.
  • With: Gregory Peck Hugh Marlowe Gary Merrill Millard Mitchell Dean Jagger Robert Arthur
  • Music By: