Twelve O'Clock High

Synopsis: In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Nazi Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a "hard luck" bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Henry King
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min

Enjoy the hat, Mr. Stovall.

A pleasant voyage home.

I'd like to thank you

for something else.

Back home I'd buy a hat

in 5 minutes.

Thank you for an enjoyable hour

and 40 minutes.

It was a pleasure. Come back soon.

- Where'd you get this?

- In an auction at Archbury.

I'll take it.

It's been knocked around a bit, sir.

- I have a fine Staffordshire...

- No, I'll take this one.

- How much?

- Ten shillings. It's not much value...

Value? I want you to pack

it carefully. Very carefully.

As you say, sir.




You mustn't go back.

Easy with his right leg.

It's broken.

Easy now.

- Hold him.

- We've been sitting on him.

I can't. I just can't.

I wouldn't believe it if I wasn't

looking at it. You can see his brain.

Step on it, Doc.

What'll I do with an arm, sir?

- Whose arm?

- Ed Campbell's, the gunner's.

- What happened to the rest of him?

- In a French hospital, I hope.

He couldn't have made it home,

so I bailed him out.

I put the ring in his good hand.

The chute opened.

That's all right.

I'll take care of it.

- Sergeant, get me a blanket.

- Yes, sir.

Come on, I'll give you boys a lift.

- Hospital, Mac.

- Yes, sir.

Mac's had it.

Coordinates on a Spitfire

in the Channel?

I passed them to Air-Sea Rescue, sir.

That's it, gentlemen. Thanks a lot.

Next crew.

- Take this one.

- Next crew!

Come on, Jesse.

- McKesson's crew.

- Right.

- McKesson coming?

- McKesson's dead.

I didn't know. I'm sorry. We might

as well get this out of the way.

Sit down.

Where did you first encounter

enemy action?

- Bishop!

- Leave him alone!

Leave him alone.

What is it, Billy?

I don't know, sir.

Not all of it.

We got hit pretty bad

the first pass the FWs made.

That was when Mac got it.

It took the back

of his head right off.

Only he didn't pass out.

It just made him a crazy man.

He was shouting, trying to get

the controls from Jesse...

...when I got up there

two hours later.

The kid was flying with one hand

and holding back Mac with the other...

...wiping blood off the windshield

so he could see.

For two hours.

He made a good bombing run too.

If he was in trouble, why didn't

somebody get Mac out of there?

- The intercom was shot.

- For two hours?

Mac's foot was jammed

in the controls.

We broke his leg

trying to get it out of there.

It seemed to hurt Jesse worst of all.

He started shaking.

I sat on Mac, held him...

...while Jesse brought us in.

Give me a copy of that. I'm making

a recommendation for a Medal of Honor.

- Jesse will be okay. I'll see him.

- Thank you, sir.

- That's enough for this crew.

- That's all, gentlemen.

Next crew. Next crew.

- Is he in there, Harvey?

- Hasn't been in since interrogation.

- He looked like the devil.

- Who wouldn't, with today?

That's for you, Ben.

They'll fly down three replacements.

That's nice of them.

Lose five, get three. Nice gain,

not counting battle damage.

This is Germany calling.

Lord Haw Haw talking from Berlin.

I want to bring a special greeting

from the pilots of the Luftwaffe... the American pilots

in England, the 8th Air Force.

That's all we need.

Our submarines checked you

very carefully, four groups so far.

Too bad about the crew

you lost on the way.

But know that a U-boat

picked up the crew...

...and they're quite safe here.

We found them agreeably talkative.

But what we want to know:

Whoever persuaded you to try

this idea of daylight bombing?

It must have been the English.

They know better than to try it.

Losses are a bit heavy, aren 't they?

Let's take the 918th Group

at Archbury.

- That's us!

- The hard-luck group.

You lost five bombers today,

didn 't you?

Five out of the one group.

Let's see, 21 in a group.

At that rate

it won 't take very long, will it?

Something to think about

before your mission tomorrow.

Yes, Colonel Keith Davenport,

you'll have another one tomorrow.

Pleasant dreams,

my misguided friends.

Why do we listen? It's always the same

pitch, "We've already lost the war."

On a day like this

I could believe him.

What was today's count on crews?

Five crews didn't make it back, three

killed, 11 wounded out of those who did.

- A lot of letters to write.

- I'm glad I don't have that one.

- Did you hear about Lord Haw Haw?

- Twice.

News moves fast.

Don't let a Kraut throw you.

He was right, sir,

we're alerted for tomorrow.

- You're kidding, Ben?

- I wish I were, sir.

Fine. Four days in a row.

We'd better get things together.

Alert the crews.

I'll see you in Ops in an hour.

- This will make you happy. Flak City.

- Saint-Nazaire.

It's either a feast or a famine.

Waiting on this weather...

...and then try to cram a month's

bombing into four days.

Field order snafued.

It says 9000 feet.

I'm sure they mean 19,000.

I'll check with Savage.

Another maximum effort.

And the weather?

Give us some fog.

I wish I could, but the target

is C.A.V.U.

About 3/10 cloud cover

over the Channel.

You're no good to me.

Tell me if there's any change.

How many airplanes left?

With the 3 new ones, and working

the crews all night, 18.

- How many from the others?

- Twenty-one apiece.

Better camp on Nero's tail.

If he says 18, he's giving us

everything with wings still on it.

- What did the others lose?

- Two in the 916th, zero in the others.

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Sy Bartlett

Sy Bartlett (July 10, 1900 – May 29, 1978) was an American author and screenwriter/producer of Hollywood films. Born Sacha Baraniev in Ukraine, he immigrated to the United States at the age of four and adopted the name Sidney Bartlett. Bartlett died in Hollywood on May 29, 1978, aged 77, from cancer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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