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Twelve O'Clock High (Full Screen)

 Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 25.98
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Product Description


The wartime memories of surviving World War II bomber squadrons were still crystal clear when this acclaimed drama was released in 1949--one of the first postwar films out of Hollywood to treat the war on emotionally complex terms. Framed by a postwar prologue and epilogue and told as a flashback appreciation of wartime valor and teamwork, the film stars Gregory Peck in one of his finest performances as a callous general who assumes command of a bomber squadron based in England. At first, the new commander has little rapport with the 918th Bomber Group, whose loyalties still belong with their previous commander. As they continue to fly dangerous missions over Germany, however, the group and their new leader develop mutual respect and admiration, until the once-alienated commander feels that his men are part of a family--men whose bravery transcends the rigors of rigid discipline and by-the-book leadership. The film's now-classic climax, in which the general waits patiently for his squad to return to base--painfully aware that they may not return at all--is one of the most subtle yet emotionally intense scenes of any World War II drama. With Peck in the lead and Dean Jagger doing Oscar-winning work in a crucial supporting role, this was one of veteran director Henry King's proudest achievements, and it still packs a strong dramatic punch. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best review from someone who lived it. July 9 2004
My father, a b-17 bomber pilot, flew 52 missions out of England (Bassingbourn) during WWII. He spoke very little about his war-time experiences, but he said that this was the closest that Hollywood ever came to capturing what it was like for the B-17 bomber squadrons during WWII. It is a great film about human beings under extraordinary stress, making extremely difficult choices and living with their consequences - but most especially it is a moving portrayal of the complexities of leadership and friendship, and the trust needed to get others to do difficult, if not impossible things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the Director's Cut Nov. 24 2003
I was disappointed when the DVD version of this film was released. I saw it in theaters in 1949 (probably 10 times)and still recall several missing scenes that are important to the plot. When the DVD came out I was excited thinking that surely they would have been restored in this format without the space constraints of VHS. I was wrong. The current cut, for example, does not explain the significance of the Toby mug that Dean Jagger finds in a London shop and replaces on the airbase officers' club mantlepiece. There are others, such as what happens to the young navigator and why. Obviously, I think this is one of the greatest war movies of all time. I just hope someday a director's cut is released with all the missing scenes restored. It's still worth buying but the film is incomplete without the missing scenes.
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By Maurice A. Rhodes TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The performance of Gregory Peck as the general who is sent out to smarten up an ailing US Army Air Corps bomber wing in England as it is repeatedly sent on punishing daylight missions so that the famous Norden bombsight and the less famous daylight bombing-in-formation could be proven. While the USAAC certainly did more accurate bombing than either the RAF or the RCAF it was at a horrendous cost in planes and lives. The RAF early found out that their bombers in daytime were dead meat in the face of Nazi fighters and flak, and neither the Spitfire,the Hurricane or any other of the current top-line Allied fighters had the range to accompany the bombers very far. And so RAF Bomber Command flew at night and developed quite different tactics from the US. The RAF and RCAF bombers flew at night and in stream, each plane attacking independently. As the war developed they found that Pathfinder forces using Lancs and later high speed Mosquitoes to reach the target first and drop markers that indicated the target could be successful. They later developed electronic means to identify the targets with greater accuracy. They also dumped strips of foil which gave false targets to fool German radars.

In either case the flak made either alternative highly dangerous .Later, Nazi nightfighters made even the night dangerous -aircrew losses were probably higher than any of the other branches in Europe..

This movie tells the story of US bombing with a great deal of pain and heroism. While Peck tries first to improve the performance by discipline to instil confidence and courage, he, like the audience, is shocked at the bloody reality and the amount of the losses and the toll on aircrews and aircraft.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant June 7 2004
This movie is a black and white movie set in World War 2. At first glance, the story line seems commonly Hollywood. Gen. Savage inherits a bomber squadron that has fallen upon a streak of bad luck. The bombers are falling victim to the enemy and they are not hitting their target. Gen. Savage comes in, whips the pilots and crews into shape, end of story.
While the plot is nothing special, the movie is absolutely brilliant. Despite the movie being set in the military, character of Gen. Savage is universal and timeless.
Gen. Savage replaces a friend of his as the commanding officer of the 918th Bomber Group. What makes this movie so different than other war movies is that the movie focuses on the chess game Gen. Savage has to play to get the bomber group to operate effectively with no casualties. At first glance, there is no easy answer as to why the bomber group is not doing well. The movie revolves around Gen. Savage picking the organization apart to find the problems. As Gen. Savage implements changes to fix the issues, he is met with heavy resistance from his own men. A majority of the movie is dedicated to how Gen. Savage implements the changes in the bomber group.
This movie is about strategy. It is not about the strategy of war, but rather the strategy and the problems encountered when trying to implement organizational change. While the move would not be as exciting, the role of Gen. Savage could as easily been a CEO or any person who overseas people.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone that has to supervise people. It is great to see a war movie that focuses on the "behind the scenes" issues rather than the death and violence of the battlefield.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful look on the effect of war on men Jan. 8 2004
Many people dismiss the acting of Gregory Peck as John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster sort of actor. Their roles reflect their own personality, rather than the characters. Sadly, I think of lot of good acting has been given off-the-cuff reviews. Peck's body of work speaks for itself, From 'To Kill a Mockingbird' to 'Guns of Navarone' - and all the deft works between - he has proved his class as an actor, as a screen legend.
Twelve O'clock high is a very moving film. It's in B&W, and I think personally, the film benefits from this. It gives you the grim realities of sending young men out to die and the men who shoulder that decisions. There are bigger epics - like the air shows of 'The Battle of Britain' or the tank saga of 'The Battle of the Bulge', but I don't think any film can really touch the power of this film. It does not deal with the battles, but the men. It is a quiet film that address the pressures men face, the ones going out there and fighting, the ones that stay behind and give the orders. It is bloody brilliant!
Gregory Peck stars as Brig. Gen. Frank Savage. At the start of the film, he is dealing with the Lt. Col. Ben R. Gately played by the underrated and very natural actor, Hugh Marlowe. Gately is very popular with his men, because he cares. Each time he sends them out and they do not come back, his heart bleeds. Slowly the grim guilt is grinding him down. Savage sees his friend's problems as one of distancing himself from the men. If you stay aloof, do not get involved with them personally, the decisions would come easier. When Savage voices this opinion once too often, he is told to put his money with his mouth is - he is to take over for the cracking Gately.
Savage arrives.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Good movie but the DVD has a visible scratch that causes a skip, not so good.
Published 8 days ago by Ramon
5.0 out of 5 stars I have seen it several times and enjoyed it every time
A Classic war movie. I have seen it several times and enjoyed it every time.
Gregory Peck is superb as always. The Black and White filming adds to the era of the film.
Published 2 months ago by BM - BC Canada
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic!
Published 2 months ago by joemac74
5.0 out of 5 stars WWII as it was
Among favourite movies of the past is this one. Even though it can be seen on movie channels on TV a personal copy is needed for those times when we need to remember or experience... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
the film was a great depiction of how it was in the early days of americas entry into ww2 and how they had to learn their lessons by trial and error the human cost and incredible... Read more
Published 7 months ago by john tyndall
4.0 out of 5 stars The Film that B-17 Veterans Endorse
I'd seen this film on broadcast TV growing up but bought the DVD and watched it several more times after spending hours interviewing a B-17 bombardier a couple of years ago for a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John Quimby
4.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past
I used to watch the series with my father who navigated during WWII out of Malta with the RCAF. Quite enjoyed the movie and the plot was only outdone by the actors..
Published 13 months ago by D. Cline
5.0 out of 5 stars FLASH....The movie has arrived, cue the dancing girls, breakout the...
Great movie. Why do I have to supply 18 more words when two will suffice, why pray tell why ?
Published 19 months ago by Gerard Brosso
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 O'Clock High
12 o'clock High is a wonderful classic movie. It has been nicely converted to DVD and the price was more than reasonable.
Published 20 months ago by Jane Ridley
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve O'Clock High - A true classic
A true classic! But more.... a great teaching tool in leadership. To acting and newly appointed managers.... Do watch this movie and learn how to lead a group. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2012 by golf_a_lot
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