Memphis Belle is an amazing movie that has an amazing cast where each man fits his character perfectly as you are thrown back into May 17, 1943 as the crew of the Memphis Belle has completed 24 missions and is about to become the first crew of the Eighth Airfore to complete its 25th and final bombing mission over Bremen to bomb a factory.The movie accurately depicts a mission of a B-17 bomber and all the treacheries the crew of 10 men must face while in the sky. From take off and grouping for formation to the flight across the channel the movie builds excitement as the men head into enemy <more>
skies where they will have to face multiple attacks from ME-109 Messershmitt fighters as well as brutal barrages of flak anti aircraft attacks, all while trying to maneuver through the skies to make it over the target and drop its payload of bombs. At that point, only half the battle is done, the plane, crew of 10, and all other bombers in the formation must struggle to make it back to their bases and land safely in England to live to fight another day, or if they are lucky enough such as the crew of the Memphis Belle, they will complete their tour of duty 25 missions and return home to their families or continue on and complete more tours.The movie really gives the viewer a great understanding for how the American airmen fought bravely over enemy skies of Germany during the daylight bombing raids during WWII.This movie is by far my favorite movie. I was introduced to this movie one year after it came out in theaters. I was only 5 years old but I already had a growing fascination for the war and especially for the B-17s because of my grandfather. My dad knew about the movie because local actor Eric Stoltz lives here in Santa Barbara, so he gave me the movie in hopes of fulfilling my ever growing curiosities of B-17s.
" I know you're dying, but if you try that again, I gonna kill you " (by thinker1691)
World War II has many memories in it's huge archives. But the ones which stand out in an audience's mind are the ones which recall family members who actually experienced them. This movie " Memphis Belle " reaches deep into the human Psyche and rekindles a plethora of war time conflicts. The actors chosen for this masterpiece are incredible as they superbly resurrect the dangerous era of the courageous men and their historic aircraft. Matthew Modine plays Capt. Dennis Dearborn, a stern commander who exhibits a tough veiner, but is inwardly aware and concern with every man in <more>
his crew. Tate Donovan is Lt. Sinclair, anxious to experience bravery as a necessary element to achieve fame. However when the war touches him, he realizes, it's not as glorious as he imagined. Eric Stoltz, D.B. Sweeney, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Harry Connick Jr., Reed Diamond, Courtney Gains and Neil Giuntoli play the crew. Rounding out the cast, adding prestige and enhancing the over-all story are David Strathairn and John Lithgow. Together, this superior ensemble and the dramatic talent of the special effects specialists allowed the 'Belle' to rise center stage and display its last wartime flight. The result is nothing short of extraordinary. Behind the men and their plane is the memory of the thousands of brave airmen who gave their lives for their country. In short, their sacrifice becomes the lasting monument which continues to this day as a lasting tribute to our freedom. A great film which is sure to become a military Classic. Highly recommended! ****
A very good movie about the 8th Army Air Force in WWII (by sjtmjr)
Memhis Belle is based on the story of the real Memphis Belle on the last mission of the crew, their 25th. Memphis Belle was the first ship and crew to do so. I would suggest the viewer rent and view Billy Wilder's actual movie about the Memphis Belle's last mission. This will give you an idea of what really happened and what it was really like. My Dad served with the 8th Air Force,this was one of last movies we saw together before he passed away. He liked it very much. The scene where John Lithgow is reading the letters of the families while actual footage is being shown really got to <more>
me. Especially when one of the B-17s is hit and goes down. Memphis Belle, Twelve O'Clock High and the War Lover all give you different views of the 8th Air Force in England. The 8th Air Force accounted for one of every ten casualties in the ETO.
I cannot believe that this only received a 6.7 rating. It just shows how little you can actually trust people's input when it comes to how much they like/dislike a movie. I mean, if you're a pacifist you're not going to like, or probably even watch, a war movie. Yet, for the general movie goer, who wishes to be captivated, entranced, entertained and held captive for their bucks worth, this movie depicting the personalities, emotions, chaotic environment and casualties of air war cannot be held to a candle by few bomber movies out there. I mean, really folks. Compare it to any <more>
other bomber film out there and name that many that had the cinematic, story line, actor input and visual effects this movie offered, delivered and gifted to the audience.People need to quit pretending they are hifalutin' movie critics and give an "atta boy" when its deserved. People that lessened this and cheated others out of watching a good film should feel shame for exhibiting a haughty pride in themselves and quit being so tasking on film makers and actors.This movie DELIVERS!
Good movie about the people who should not be forgotten (by gdn2)
Yes, this movie has tons of technical and historical inaccuracies, and it has very little in common with the real crew of Memphis Belle and their final run. But yet it is a good movie. I like the way the Belle's crew and other pilots are portrayed in this movie - not fearless dumb cartoon heroes, but regular guys who are doing very tough and dangerous job, and who are happy to get done with it and stay alive. The air war over the Europe they waged was horrible and most difficult combat the US armed forces encountered in the WWII. The 8th Air Army alone suffered more casualties than whole <more>
US Navy and Marines combined! So any movie that honors them and doesn't look like a flag-waiving propaganda poster is a great thing to see. By the way, mentioned here many times William Wylers' `documentary' is a half-fiction as well - the footage is real, but the plot is not. The real 25th mission of the Memphis Belle went perfect - the target was the sub pens in France not a factory in the heart of the Reich , the group encountered no fighters' resistance and relatively weak flak, did not lose a single bomber, and the Memphis Belle and its crew returned without a scratch. Which of course does not undermine their achievements.
Very good war-time character piece (by BadWebDiver)
Based on a famous WW2 documentary film, this is a fine character story about the final mission of daylight raid American bomber crew.While full of action and set pieces, this is really an actor's showpiece - and it's played very effectively particularly by Matthew Modine, D B Sweeney, Billy Zane, Eric Stoltz, Sean Astin and Harry Connick Jr. Special mention should also go to David Strathairn and John Lithgow for providing effective counter-drama on the ground.For a modern recreation, this shows top-notch style and doesn't look too flashy. The film-makers have shown a lot of <more>
respect for the period, compared with what it could have looked like in lesser hands. Very well produced drama that maintains interest. Highly recommended.
True story of the valiant B-17 bomber "Memphis Belle's" 25th and last bombing run over the German port city of Bremen on May 17, 1943. Having flown 24 bombing missions over Nazi occupied Europe since it's first bombing run on November 7, 1942 over the city of Brest France this if successful, it's 25th bombing run, would be the planes and crews ticket out of WWII.It had been determined by the US general staff that 25 bombing and combat missions over Europe were the limit that a bomber crew, in order to keep casualties down, can take before they start to fall apart from <more>
the stress and cease to be effective. The crew of the "Memphis Belle" are the first to almost reach that goal, 25 successful bombing missions. The unbelievably ferocious German resistance from it vaunted Luftwaffa and ground anti-aircraft batteries over the skies of Europe cost the USAAF and RAF some 35,000 planes, fighters and bombers, and their crews, over 150,000 airmen, during the bombing of Germany and German controlled Europe from 1942 to 1945. Thats just how savage and bitter the fighting was for air supremacy over that war-torn continent. Stirring story with fine performances from the "Memphis Belle's" Captain Dennis Dearborn, Matthew Modine, on down. As the legendary bomber weathers wave after wave of deadly German ME 109 Messershmitt fighter planes from the sky and massive and murderous German AK AK anti-aircraft fire from the ground. As the "Memphis Belle" flies over Bremen and drops it's bomb payload and then limps back to England. With it's crew battered and bloody but safe and alive to be the first bomber crew to survive 25 missions over German controlled Europe. The spectacular air combat photography was the best I've ever seen in a war movie and the cast was on par with the "Memphis Belle" with no one outshining the others but all equal up to their task just like the famed bomber was.Back on the ground there was another drama played out with officer Col. Harriman, David Strathaim, who sent out the "Memphis Belle" and the other 23 B-17's of his bomber squadron on their mission over Bremen Germany. Col. Harriman didn't go along with Col. Derringer, John Lithgow, the US public relation officer who seemed too eager to reward the "Memphis Belle" crew with honors and glory even before they successfully finished their 25th mission. Not realizing that he was making the bombers crew and Col. Harriman very nervous with his not understanding how dangerous their mission was and even possibly jinxing them. Tense and terrific the movie has already become a war classic without the false heroics that was so common in war movies made during WWII by Hollywood in order to boost the US morale at home and on the battlefield. The crew of the "Memphis Belle" were just as normal and scared as anyone of us would be if we were in the same situation that they were in. But it was that very fear that brought the best in strength and courage out of them and made them the hero's that they eventually became.
A Worthy Addition to the Corpus of War Films (by JamesHitchcock)
The traditional, patriotic World War 2 film was popular in both America and Britain throughout the fifties and sixties, long after the war itself was over. In the late seventies, eighties and early nineties, however, it went into something of a decline in both countries. In Britain, this was connected to a decline in the British cinema itself, which only occasionally had the financial resources and self-confidence to make pictures on a large scale. The best British war film of the period was 'Hope and Glory', which concentrated on the Home Front rather than on actual combat .In <more>
America, the decline of the war film probably had more to do with post-Vietnam syndrome which led to patriotic sentiment and the military being viewed for a time with some suspicion. There were a few disguised war films, such as 'Top Gun', which had modern American fighter pilots battling an unidentified enemy in a fictitious war, or the 'Star Wars' trilogy which, even if George Lucas disliked the analogy, was widely seen as either World War Two or the Cold War translated into outer space. Genuine war films, however, were few and far between, although there were a number of exceptions, and TCM recently broadcast two of these as part of the D-Day sixtieth anniversary celebrations, 'The Big Red One' from 1980 and 'Memphis Belle' from ten years later. Of these two, 'Memphis Belle' is closer in style and in spirit to the traditional war film. Like many other war films it follows the fortunes of a small, tightly-knit group of fighting men. The group in this case is the crew of an American B-17 bomber based in England in 1943; the producer David Puttnam originally wanted to make the film about a RAF Lancaster bomber, but no British studio was interested and Hollywood has never taken much interest in the British war effort. The crew of the 'Memphis Belle' have already flown twenty-four successful missions; one more, and they will have completed their tour of duty the first American crew to do so and will be able to return home. The name 'Memphis Belle' was taken from that of the first aircraft which completed twenty-five missions in real life .The film follows the men on their twenty-fifth mission, an attack on the German city of Bremen. The raid is a difficult one; the bombers meet strong opposition from German fighters and anti-aircraft gunners, the plane is damaged and one of the crew is seriously injured. This leads to a tense finale which leaves the audience wondering whether the crew will be able to make it back to base. The main glory of the film lies in its exciting depictions of aerial combat, among the best ever filmed although those in 'The Battle of Britain' made over twenty years earlier are also excellent . As in that film, the combat sequences in 'Memphis Belle' were achieved by the use of real aircraft and models rather than by computer-generated special effects. We are introduced to each of the crew, each of whom is presented as a distinct and different personality- Dennis, the conscientious pilot and captain, the depressive Phil, Val the medical student who pretends to be far more knowledgeable than he really is, the poetic intellectual Danny, and so on. Trying to make each crew member an individual character in his own right was perhaps a mistake, as this meant that there are too many actors in leading roles for the viewer to concentrate on. The crewmen all emerge as half-formed characters with no fully-formed ones; it might have been better to concentrate on, say, four or five crew members and to tell their stories fully, with the others only playing supporting roles. The film touches on the moral dilemmas of the bombing campaign rather more than earlier films on this subject might have done. Rather than take the risk of hitting a nearby school, Dennis insists on flying round thereby increasing the risk of his aircraft being shot down until he has a clear view of the intended target, a German aircraft factory. There is also a sub-plot involving a rather unpleasant Air Force officer who is eager to exploit the Memphis Belle and her crew for propaganda purposes, and his clashes with the base commander, who finds this distasteful and who is more concerned about the heavy casualties his unit is suffering.These elements aside, there is little in the film that could not also be found in earlier films about the World War Two bombing campaign, such as 'The Dambusters' or '633 Squadron'. That does not, however, necessarily mean that the film is anachronistic, as some have complained. Fashions in film-making may come and go, but this cannot alter the fact that the Second World War provides innumerable examples of heroism and drama which are capable of being made the subject of a good film. That was as true in 1990 as it was in 1950 or 1960, and remains true even today. I myself found 'Memphis Belle' to be both exciting and, at times, moving; a fine tribute to the men whose bravery inspired it and a worthy addition to the corpus of war films. 8/10
Too bad about the first part (by philip_vanderveken)
I was glad to finally see a World War II movie that wasn't situated on the ground, but in the air. Don't get me wrong, I'm still an absolute fan of the 'infantry and tank' war movies, but from time to time I want to see something new, something different. And let's be honest, there just doesn't seem to be any interest from Hollywood for the air fights over Europe or Asia in WWII. I only know of two other movies of this kind and that is "Battle of Britain", made in 1969 WWII and "The Blue Max" from 1966 WWI .The "Memphis Belle" is a <more>
B-17 bomber that is about to fly its 25th and final mission. After this mission, the crew of ten men will have fulfilled its tour of duty and will finally be able to go home. Since they would be the first crew to finish all 25 missions in the 8th Airforce, plans are made to celebrate their coming home party, even before they have taken off. But before there can be any party, they first have to fly their final mission to one of the worst targets imaginable. They will have to fly over German territory, all the way to the heavily defended Bremen, where they will have to bomb an airplane factory in the middle of a residential area. All the men know that chances are little that they will ever return alive and that one little mistake will cost the lives of many innocent civilians...In the beginning I didn't like this movie all that much and there were a couple of reasons for that. One is the in my opinion badly casted John Lithgow. His role as Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Derringer just didn't fit in properly. It felt like he didn't take his role very serious, although I'm convinced that it also had something to do with the script. Perhaps no-one had payed enough attention to the development of his role... And there were a couple more problems to be found in this movie. Take for instance the crew. The voice-over in the beginning says it too: There just has to be a virgin, a wise guy, a cool guy,... in every flight crew. That was so stereotypical that it bothered me. The last thing that didn't really do it for me - although it wasn't as bad as my two other points of criticism - was the entire day before their mission. I just had the feeling that they should have kept it shorter. I'm not saying that they had to skip that part completely, but I was waiting for the part in which all the flying and the action would take place.Still, I don't want you to think that this isn't a good movie. Once they are in that bomber, the stereotypes seemed to melt away like snow for the sun. They started to act as a team, instead of being a bunch of individuals that didn't seem to fit in. From that moment on I was truly captivated by this movie. Also the fact that they show so many flight and fight sequences, including some real-time footage, is wonderful. I know, I just love to watch those old Messerschmits, B-17's,... flying and that already was enough for me to like this movie. But than again, who else would watch such a movie than the people who are interested in that part of the war? Not that many I suppose.As a conclusion I would like to say that I liked this movie for many reasons, but the best one must have been the acting once they were in that confined space of the airplane. All they had to work with was the interaction between them, their enemies and their plane and they sure did a wonderful job from that moment on. So despite the fact that I didn't like the first part of the movie all that much, I must say that the second part made me decide to give it a very good final rating. I give this movie a well deserved 7.5/10.