Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Two World War II Films

...Patterico's Pontifications has a very interesting video about the nerve-wracking journey of a Boeing Pacific Clipper which was in New Zealand at the time of Pearl Harbor.

The United States military was very concerned that the plane not fall into enemy hands. The crew was instructed to travel to New York without any radio communications, while avoiding Hawaii and the West Coast...a long, precarious trip, complicated by the fact that the plane could only land on water.

The story is going to be told in a new film titled ESCAPE OF THE PACIFIC CLIPPER which is due for release in 2011.

I assume the film might be based on the book ESCAPE OF THE PACIFIC CLIPPER by George L. Flynn, published in 1997. (Unfortunately, multiple reviews indicate the book was badly in need of an editor and proofreader.)

...When I read today of the passing of Dick Jeppson, who accomplished the precarious mid-flight arming of the atomic bomb during the plane flight to Hiroshima, I immediately thought of the film ABOVE AND BEYOND (1952).

The sequence where the bomb is armed is perhaps the most nerve-wracking scene in a very tense film.

Jeppson was only 23 when he was assigned the critical task. After the war, Jeppson studied at UC Berkeley and became a scientist; at one point he worked in Berkeley's radiation laboratory.

ABOVE AND BEYOND will air on Turner Classic Movies on April 20th, 2010. Highly recommended.


Blogger panavia999 said...

I love ABOVE AND BEYOND. The scene where they drop the bomb is jaw dropping. Maybe it's because I find technical details so interesting, but I wish they had made the story just about the training and the flight and left out the family bits because the story of the bomb is quite a movie by itself.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I found Taylor's reaction to the bomb dropping profound and moving. The scene really captures the solemnity and mixed emotions of the moment.

Best wishes,

10:44 AM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Agree - There are those who say Taylor was a wooden actor. It's sometimes true, but Col. Tibbetts was a man who had to keep things in check. Always on duty - mission integrity was top priority 24/7. Taylor was great at conveying that.

6:33 PM  

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