7.4/10
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Command Decision (1948)

Army generals struggle with the decision to prioritize bombing the German factories producing new jet fighters over the extremely high casualties the mission will cost.

Director:

Sam Wood

Writers:

William R. Laidlaw (screenplay), George Froeschel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Brigadier General K.C. 'Casey' Dennis
Walter Pidgeon ... Major General Roland Goodlow Kane
Van Johnson ... Technical Sergeant Immanuel T. Evans
Brian Donlevy ... Brigadier General Clifton I. Garnet
Charles Bickford ... Elmer Brockhurst
John Hodiak ... Colonel Edward Rayton Martin
Edward Arnold ... Congressman Arthur Malcolm
Marshall Thompson ... Captain George Washington Bellpepper Lee
Richard Quine ... Major George Rockton
Cameron Mitchell ... Lieutenant Ansel Goldberg
Clinton Sundberg ... Major Homer V. Prescott
Ray Collins ... Major Desmond Lansing
Warner Anderson ... Colonel Earnest Haley
John McIntire ... Major Belding Davis
Moroni Olsen ... Congressman Stone
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Storyline

General Dennis of the US Force in England in World War II finds that he must order his planes deeper and deeper into Germany to prevent the production of military jet planes that will turn the tide of battle to the Germans. He must fight congressmen, and his own chain of command to win the political battle before he can send his planes out. His problem is complicated by a very narrow window of good weather necessary to allow his effort to be successful. Adapted from a stage play, it attempts to look at the challenges of command in the political arena. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Heroes, cowards, fighters, braggarts, liars...and what goes on in their hearts! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sublime decisión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,467,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,901,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,685,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its USA television premiere in Los Angeles Friday 16 November 1956 on KTTV (Channel 2) followed by both New York City Saturday 1 December 1956, where it was selected to launch the long awaited and much heralded MGM film library on WCBS (Channel 2), and by Seattle on KING (Channel 5) where it was also shown the same evening, by Minneapolis Saturday 15 December 1956 on KMGM (Channel 9) and by Cincinnati Friday 21 December 1956 on WXIX (Channel 19) (Newport KY); it first aired in Chicago 2 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), and in Philadelphia 5 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); it finally found its way to Altoona PA 11 April 1958 on WFBG (Channel 10) and to San Francisco 12 April 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

When Casey is wondering about the weather for the third straight day of maximum effort, he tells his staff to keep him informed with weather updates. But when he does so, his lips don't move. See more »

Quotes

Congressman Stone: [Watching bombers taking off for a raid] I suppose no one ever really gets used to this, general.
Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis: Never.
Congressman Stone: I can imagine. Wierd.
Brig. Gen. K.C. 'Casey' Dennis: The weirdest kind of war on earth, Mr. Stone. A few hours from now, they'll be fighting on oxygen, five miles over Germany. Tonight, some of them will be dancing at the Savoy - and some of them will still be in Germany.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

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User Reviews

A highly intelligent film from a lost age.
3 December 2005 | by eclecticSee all my reviews

I found an old tape of Command Decision which I must have made 20 years ago. I concur with all those who have said that it is one of the best WW2 films ever made, but what struck me most forcefully was the fact that this highly intelligent, gripping and thoughtful film was made with a large crew of established filmstars by a completely commercial film studio. It brought home to me forcibly what was lost when the old studio system broke up and the sheer craftsmanship which it embodied was dispersed. The sheer childishness of most current films becomes even more evident.

Writing as one who lived through the bombing of Britain, the historical perspective on the Allied wartime bombing campaign was fascinating. One small complaint--all film coverage of the American campaign in WW2 seems to focus on the Flying Fortress. Actually, most of the bombs were dropped by the Consolidated Liberator squadrons--less photogenic but more effective!


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