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From a former military aircraft crewmember,
This review is from: Memphis Belle (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!