Twelve O'Clock High

Twelve O'Clock High is a 1949 American war film about aircrews in the United States Army's Eighth Air Force who flew daylight bombing missions against Nazi Germany and occupied France during the early days of American involvement in World War II, including a thinly disguised version of the notorious Black Thursday strike against Schweinfurt. The film was adapted by Sy Bartlett, Henry King (uncredited) and Beirne Lay Jr. from the 1948 novel 12 O'Clock High, also by Bartlett and Lay. It was directed by King and stars Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell and Dean Jagger.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and won two: Dean Jagger for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Thomas T. Moulton for Best Sound Recording.[3] In 1998, Twelve O'Clock High was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

Twelve O'Clock High
Twelve O'Clock High poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry King
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay byHenry King (uncredited)
Sy Bartlett
Beirne Lay Jr.
Based onTwelve O'Clock High
(1948 novel)
by Sy Bartlett
Beirne Lay Jr.
StarringGregory Peck
Hugh Marlowe
Gary Merrill
Millard Mitchell
Dean Jagger
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byBarbara McLean
Distributed byTwentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • December 21, 1949 (Los Angeles)
  • January 26, 1950 (New York City)
Running time
132 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$3,225,000 (U.S. rentals)[1][2]

Plot

In 1949, former U.S. Army Air Forces officer Harvey Stovall spots a familiar Toby Jug in the window of a London antique shop and learns that it came from Archbury, an airfield where Stovall served during World War II. Convinced that it is the same jug which used to stand on the mantle of the airfield's officers' club, he buys it and journeys to the derelict airfield.

Stovall remembers the events of 1942, when the 918th Bomb Group at Archbury had gained a reputation as the 'hard luck group'. After a particularly disastrous mission, group commander Colonel Keith Davenport appears exhausted and demoralized. His defeatist attitude spreads to other senior leaders of the group, including his Air Exec, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Gately. Ordered to fly another mission the next day, at a dangerously low altitude, Davenport protests to his friend, Brigadier General Frank Savage, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at VIII Bomber Command. Later, Savage reluctantly shares with Major General Pritchard, the commanding general of VIII Bomber Command, his belief that Davenport has become too emotionally close to his men and may no longer be fit to command. That night, Pritchard and Savage visit the group headquarters to investigate the cause of the mission's heavy losses. Pritchard realizes that Savage is right: Davenport has become over-protective and is unwilling to discipline his men even for costly mistakes. Davenport is relieved of command and Savage is asked to take over.

Twelve O'clock High Gregory Peck
Publicity shot of Gregory Peck in Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Savage takes a harsh approach to restoring the group's discipline and morale. He begins by reprimanding Lt. Col. Gately, demoting him to aircraft commander and insisting that he henceforth fly every mission. Savage assigns Gately only the most incompetent crewmen, ordering him to paint the name 'Leper Colony' on his airplane. Rough-and-ready Major Cobb impresses Savage with his independent spirit and replaces Gately as Air Exec. Savage conducts a series of training missions and waits for an opportunity to restore the group's pride in its abilities. Upset by the contrast of Savage's stern leadership with Davenport's easygoing ways, all of the Squadron’s pilots apply for transfers. Savage asks the Group Adjutant, Major Stovall, to delay processing their applications to buy him some time. An attorney in civilian life, Stovall knows how to use organizational 'red tape' to his advantage.

When the Group returns to combat, all the groups are ordered to abort their mission due to heavy weather. Savage, leading the group, ignores the recall order. The 918th successfully bombs the target and is the only group to do so. All of its crews return safely. Though Pritchard is furious, Savage claims that he did not hear the recall due to radio malfunction and instead persuades Pritchard to recommend the group for a Distinguished Unit Citation. Savage also acquires a surrogate son in Lieutenant Jesse Bishop, a Medal of Honor recipient who is Savage's eyes and ears among the combat aircrews. When the Inspector General arrives to investigate the pilots' transfer requests, Savage packs his belongings, expecting to be relieved of command and possibly court-martialed. But, led by Bishop, the pilots withdraw their requests. Savage also softens his attitude towards the men as he becomes more closely involved with them. Gately goes on to win Savage's respect and admiration by demonstrating extraordinary leadership and courage in combat.

With enemy resistance intensifying as the air war advances deeper into Germany, missions become longer and riskier and many of Savage's best men are shot down or killed. Pritchard tries to get Savage to return to a staff job at VIII Bomber Command but Savage feels that the 918th is not yet ready to stand up without him. Reluctantly, Pritchard leaves him in command. Ordered to return to the same target after a particularly brutal raid on a ball bearing factory, Savage finds himself physically unable to haul himself up into his B-17. The redeemed Ben Gately takes his place as lead pilot and strike commander for the mission. While waiting for the group’s return, Savage becomes catatonic. Only as they return to Archbury does he regain his composure and fall asleep.

The story then returns to 1949, as Stovall pedals away from Archbury.

Cast

Twelve O'clock High
From left to right: Gary Merrill, Gregory Peck and Dean Jagger

As appearing in screen credits (main roles identified):[4]

Historical counterparts of characters

Brigadier General Frank Savage was created as a composite of several group commanders but the primary inspiration was Colonel Frank A. Armstrong, who commanded the 306th Bomb Group on which the 918th was modeled.[5] The name 'Savage' was inspired by Armstrong's Cherokee heritage. While his work with the 306th, which lasted only six weeks, consisted primarily of rebuilding the chain of command within the group, Armstrong had earlier performed a similar task with the 97th Bomb Group. Many of the training and disciplinary scenes in Twelve O'Clock High derive from that experience.

Towards the end of the film, the near-catatonic battle fatigue that General Savage suffered and the harrowing missions that led up to it were inspired by the experiences of Brigadier General Newton Longfellow. However, the symptoms of the breakdown were not based on any real-life event but were intended to portray the effects of intense stress experienced by many airmen.[5]

Major General Pritchard was modeled on that of the VIII Bomber Command's first commander, Major General Ira C. Eaker.[6]

Colonel Keith Davenport was based on the first commander of the 306th Bomb Group, Colonel Charles B. Overacker, nicknamed 'Chip'.[6] Of all the personalities portrayed in Twelve O'Clock High, that of Colonel Davenport most closely parallels his true-life counterpart. The early scene in which Davenport confronts Savage about a mission order was a close recreation of an actual event, as was his relief.

Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Harvey Stovall, who is a former World War I U.S. Army Air Service pilot who has returned to active duty as a non-flying adjutant, was modeled on William Howard Stovall, a World War I flying ace who returned to active duty as a Major in the U.S. Army Air Forces the week following Pearl Harbor and served as the non-flying Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel for the 8th Air Force in England for his World War I comrades, Brigadier General Frank O'Driscoll Hunter and General Carl Spaatz.

2nd Lieutenant Jesse Bishop, who belly lands in the B-17 next to the runway at the beginning of the film and was nominated for the Medal of Honor, had his true life counterpart in Second Lieutenant John C. Morgan.[6] The description of Bishop's fight to control the bomber after his pilot was hit in the head by fragments of a 20 mm cannon shell is taken almost verbatim from Morgan's Medal of Honor citation. Details may be found in The 12 O'Clock High Logbook. Robert Patten had been a USAAF Navigator in World War II, the only member of the cast with aircrew experience.

Sergeant McIllhenny was drawn from a member of the 306th Bomb Group, Sgt Donald Bevan,[6] a qualified gunner who was assigned ground jobs including part-time driver for the commander of his squadron. Bevan had received publicity as a 'stowaway gunner' (similar to McIllhenny in the film), even though in reality he had been invited to fly missions. Like McIllhenny, he proved to be a 'born gunner'.

The 'tough guy' character Major Joe Cobb was inspired by Colonel Paul Tibbets who had flown B-17s with Colonel Armstrong.[6][Note 1] Tibbetts was initially approved as the film’s technical advisor in February 1949 but was replaced shortly after by Colonel John H. deRussy, a former operations officer for the 305th Bomb Group.[7]

Production

Twelve O'Clock High crash landing
Paul Mantz deliberately crash-lands B-17G AAF Ser. No. 44-83592 at Ozark AAF, Alabama, in June 1949 for the filming of Twelve O'Clock High.[8]

According to their files, Twentieth-Century Fox paid $100,000 outright for the [rights to the] book plus up to $100,000 more in escalator and book club clauses. Darryl Zanuck was apparently convinced to pay this high price when he heard that William Wyler was interested in purchasing it for Paramount. Even then, Zanuck only went through with the deal in October 1947 when he was certain that the United States Air Force would support the production.[9] The film made use of actual combat footage during the battle scenes, including some shot by the Luftwaffe.[9] A good deal of the production was filmed on Eglin Air Force Base and its associated auxiliary fields near Fort Walton, Florida.[10]

Source material

Screenwriters Bartlett and Lay drew on their own wartime experiences with Eighth Air Force bomber units. At the Eighth Air Force headquarters, Bartlett had worked closely with Colonel Armstrong, who was the primary model for the character General Savage. The film's 918th Bomber Group was modeled primarily on the 306th because that group remained a significant part of the Eighth Air Force throughout the war in Europe.[Note 2]

Casting

Clark Gable was interested in the lead role of General Frank Savage. Gable, who had served in the USAAF during World War II, played a similar role in the 1948 film Command Decision. John Wayne was offered the leading role as well, but turned it down. Burt Lancaster, James Cagney, Dana Andrews, Van Heflin, Edmond O'Brien, Ralph Bellamy, Robert Preston, Robert Young and Robert Montgomery were also considered for the role. Eventually, the role went to Gregory Peck, who initially turned it down because the script was similar to Command Decision. The reason Peck changed his mind was because he was impressed with director Henry King, finding his empathy with the material and the cast and crew appealing. The two would make five more films together: The Gunfighter (1950), David and Bathsheba (1952), The Bravados (1958) and Beloved Infidel (1959). [11]

Filming

Veterans of the heavy bomber campaign frequently cite Twelve O'Clock High as the only Hollywood film that accurately captured their combat experiences.[12] Along with the 1948 film Command Decision, it marked a turning away from the optimistic, morale-boosting style of wartime films and toward a grittier realism that deals more directly with the human costs of war. Both films deal with the realities of daylight precision bombing without fighter escort, the basic Army Air Forces doctrine at the start of World War II (prior to the arrival of long range Allied fighter aircraft like the P-51 Mustang). As producers, writers Lay and Bartlett re-used major plot elements of Twelve O'Clock High in later films featuring the U.S. Air Force, the 1950s-era Toward the Unknown and the early 1960s Cold War-era A Gathering of Eagles, respectively.

Paul Mantz, Hollywood's leading stunt pilot, was paid the then-unprecedented sum of $4,500 to crash-land a B-17 bomber for one early scene in the film.[13] Frank Tallman, Mantz' partner in Tallmantz Aviation, wrote in his autobiography that, while many B-17s had been landed by one pilot, as far as he knew this flight was the first time that a B-17 ever took off with only one pilot and no other crew; nobody was sure that it could be done.“[Note 3] The footage was used again in the 1962 film The War Lover.[16]

Locations for creating the bomber airfield at RAF Archbury were scouted by director Henry King, flying his own private aircraft some 16,000 miles in February and March 1949. King visited Eglin AFB on March 8, 1949 and found an ideal location for principal photography several miles north of the main base at its Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field No. 3, better known as Duke Field, where the mock installation with 15 buildings (including a World War II control tower) were constructed to simulate RAF Archbury.[6][17] The film's technical advisor, Colonel John deRussy, was stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama at the time, and suggested Ozark Army Air Field near Daleville, Alabama (now known as Cairns Army Airfield, adjacent to Fort Rucker).[17] King chose Cairns as the location for filming B-17 takeoffs and landings, including the B-17 belly landing sequence, since the light-colored runways at Eglin did not match wartime runways in England which had been black to make them less visible to enemy aircraft. When the crew arrived at Cairns, it was also considered as an "ideal for shots of Harvey Stovall reminiscing about his World War II service" since the field was somewhat overgrown.[6][18]

Additional background photography was shot at RAF Barford St John, a satellite station of RAF Croughton in Oxfordshire, England. Officially the airfield is still under Ministry of Defence ownership following its closure in the late 1990s as a Communications Station linked to the since closed RAF Upper Heyford. Other locations around Eglin AFB and Fort Walton also served as secondary locations for filming.[19] The crew used 12 B-17s for filming which were pulled from QB-17 drones used at Eglin and other B-17s from depot locations in Alabama and New Mexico. Since some of the aircraft had been used in the 1946 Bikini atomic experiments and absorbed high levels of radioactivity, they could only be used for shooting for limited periods.[6]

Twelve O'Clock High was in production from late April to early July 1949.[20] Although originally planned to be shot in Technicolor, it was instead shot in black and white, allowing the inclusion of actual combat footage by Allied and Luftwaffe cameras.[9]

Reception

Twelve O'Clock High premiered in Los Angeles on December 21, 1949, and opened in New York on January 26, 1950.[21] It went into general release in February 1950.[22] An influential review by Bosley Crowther of The New York Times was indicative of many contemporary reviews. He noted that the film focused more on the human element than the aircraft or machinery of war.[23] The Times picked Twelve O'Clock High as one of the 10 Best Films of 1949 and, in later years, it rated the film as one of the "Best 1000" of all time.[24]

After attending the premiere, the Commander of the Strategic Air Command, General Curtis LeMay, told the authors that he "couldn't find anything wrong with it." It was required viewing at all the U.S. service academies, college/university Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps detachments, Air Force Officer Training School, the U.S. Navy's former Aviation Officer Candidate School, and the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, where it was used as a teaching example for the Situational leadership theory, although not currently used by the USAF. The film is also widely used in both the military and civilian worlds to teach the principles of leadership.[25]

In its initial release, the film took in $3,225,000 in rentals in the U.S. alone.[26]

Awards

Twelve O'Clock High won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Dean Jagger and Best Sound Recording. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Gregory Peck and Best Picture.[3] In addition, Peck received the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, and the film was nominated for Best Picture by the National Board of Review.[24]

In 1998, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[27][28]

Meaning of the title

The term "twelve o'clock high" refers to the practice of calling out the positions of attacking enemy aircraft by reference to an imaginary clock face, with the bomber at the center. The terms "high" (above the bomber), "level" (at the same altitude as the bomber) and "low" (below the bomber) further refine the location of the enemy. Thus "twelve o'clock high" meant the attacker was approaching from directly ahead and above. This location was preferred by German fighter pilots because, until the introduction of the Bendix chin turret in the B-17G model, the nose of the B-17 was the most lightly armed and vulnerable part of the bomber. Enemy fighter aircraft diving from above were also more difficult targets for the B-17 gunners due to their high closing speeds.

Bartlett’s wife, actress Ellen Drew, named the story after hearing Bartlett and Lay discuss German fighter tactics, which usually involved head-on attacks from "twelve o’clock high".[6]

Radio and television

Gregory Peck repeated his role as General Savage on a Screen Guild Players radio broadcast on September 7, 1950.[9]

Twelve O'Clock High later became a television series, also called Twelve O'Clock High, that premiered on the ABC network in 1964 and ran for three seasons. Robert Lansing played General Savage. At the end of the first season, Lansing was replaced by Paul Burke, who played Colonel Joseph Anson "Joe" Gallagher, a character loosely based on Ben Gately from the novel.[29] Much of the combat footage seen in the film was reused in the television series.

Many of the television show's ground scenes were filmed at the Chino, California, airport, which had been used for training Army pilots during the war, and where a replica of a control tower, typical of the type seen at an 8th Air Force airfield in England, was built. The airfield itself was used in the immediate postwar period as a dump for soon-to-be-scrapped fighters and bombers and was used for the penultimate scene in The Best Years of Our Lives when Dana Andrews relives his wartime experiences and goes on to rebuild his life.[30]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Tibbetts was also the pilot of the B-29 'Enola Gay' which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima at the end of the war.
  2. ^ Note that 918 is 3 times 306.
  3. ^ This allegation is at odds with both 20th Century-Fox press releases made during production and with research done by Duffin and Matheis for The 12 O'Clock High Logbook. Martin Caidin describes a 1961 solo flight by Gregory Board of a B-17 in his chapter, "The Amazing Mr. Board", in Everything But the Flak.[14] Art Lacey also flew a B-17 solo in 1947, although this was not well known due to its being written off officially as weather damage when he crashed it.[15]

Citations

  1. ^ "The Top Box Office Hits of 1950." Variety, January 3, 1951.
  2. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 223
  3. ^ a b "The 22nd Academy Awards (1950) Nominees and Winners." oscars.org. Retrieved: August 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "Twelve O'Clock High Full credits." IMDb. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Bowman, Martin. '12 O'Clock High.' Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine Osprey Publishing, 1999.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Correll, John T. 'The Real Twelve O’Clock High.' The Air Force Association via airforcemag.com, Volume 94, Issue 1, January 2011.
  7. ^ Duffin and Matheis 2005, p. 61.
  8. ^ '12 O'Clock High.' Aero Vintage, January 6, 2008. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d 'Notes: Twelve O'Clock High.' Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  10. ^ 'Filming locations: Twelve O'Clock High.' IMDb. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  11. ^ Matheis, Paul (2005). "The 12 O'Clock High Logbook: The Unofficial History of the Novel, Motion Picture, and TV Series". McFarland. ISBN 978-1593930332. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  12. ^ Duffin and Matheis 2005, p. 87.
  13. ^ "Trivia: Twelve O'Clock High." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  14. ^ "Gregory Board." IMDb. Retrieved: May 9, 2013.
  15. ^ Cheesman. Shannon. "Boast + adult beverages = a B-17 on the roof." KVAL.com, June 16, 2010. Retrieved: February 5, 2012.
  16. ^ "The War Lover (1962)." aerovintage.com, October 28, 2007. Retrieved: December 15, 2012.
  17. ^ a b Orriss 1984, p. 149.
  18. ^ Duffin and Matheis 2005, pp. 65–67.
  19. ^ "Locations: Twelve O'Clock High (1949)." IMDb. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  20. ^ "Overview: Twelve O'Clock High." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  21. ^ "Release dates: Twelve O'Clock High (1949)." IMDb. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  22. ^ "Misc. notes: Twelve O'Clock High." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  23. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "Twelve O'Clock High (1949)." The New York Times, January 28, 1950. Retrieved: March 1, 2011.
  24. ^ a b "Awards." Allmovie. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  25. ^ Correll, John T. "The Real Twelve O’Clock High." Air Force Magazine, Vol. 94, No. 1, January 2011. Retrieved: February 7, 2014.
  26. ^ "Business data: Twelve O'Clock High (1949)." IMDb. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  27. ^ "Awards: Twelve O'Clock High (1949)." IMDb. Retrieved: October 21, 2009.
  28. ^ "Hooray for Hollywood - Librarian Names 25 More Films to National Registry." Library of Congress, 1998.
  29. ^ Duffin and Matheis
  30. ^ Orriss 1984, p. 122.

Bibliography

  • Army Air Forces Aid Society. The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1944.
  • Caidin, Martin. Black Thursday. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1960. ISBN 0-553-26729-9.
  • Caidin, Martin. Everything But the Flak. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1964.
  • Caidin, Martin. Flying Forts: The B-17 in World War II. New York: Meredith Press, 1968.
  • Dolan, Edward F. Jr. Hollywood Goes to War. London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN 0-86124-229-7.
  • Duffin, Allan T. and Paul Matheis. The 12 O'Clock High Logbook. Albany, Georgia: Bearmanor Media, 2005. ISBN 1-59393-033-X.
  • Hardwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. "A Viewer's Guide to Aviation Movies." The Making of the Great Aviation Films. General Aviation Series, Volume 2, 1989.
  • Kerrigan, Evans E. American War Medals and Decorations. New York: Viking Press, 1964. ISBN 0-670-12101-0.
  • Lay, Beirne Jr. and Sy Bartlett. 12 O'Clock High. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948 (Reprint 1989). ISBN 0-942397-16-9.
  • "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (M-S)." United States Army Center of Military History.
  • Murphy, Edward F. Heroes of WWII. Novato, California: Presidio Press, 1990. ISBN 0-345-37545-9.
  • Orriss, Bruce. When Hollywood Ruled the Skies: The Aviation Film Classics of World War II. Hawthorn, California: Aero Associates Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-9613088-0-X.
  • Rubin, Steven Jay. "Chapter 3, Twelve O'clock High." Combat Films: American Realism, 1945–2010. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7864-5892-9.

External links

22nd Academy Awards

The 22nd Academy Awards was held on March 23, 1950, at the RKO Pantages Theatre and awarded Oscars for the best in films in 1949. This was the final year in which all five Best Picture nominees were in black and white, and the first year in which every film nominated for Best Picture won multiple Oscars.

306th Flying Training Group

The 306th Flying Training Group (306 FTG) is a unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The group is stationed at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The 306 FTG is the airmanship training unit of the USAFA. The group replaced the 34th Operations Group in 2004. The designation "306th" was deliberately selected by the historian of AETC to connect the training mission of the current group with its relationship to the book and movie Twelve O'Clock High.During World War II, the group, as the 306th Bombardment Group, was the first operational bombardment group in the VIII Bomber Command. It was stationed at RAF Thurleigh, England from 6 September 1942 until 25 December 1945, the longest tenure at one station for any one Eighth Air Force group.Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith of the 423d Bomb Squadron was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that helped save the lives of six of his wounded comrades on 1 May 1943.

The 306th was the first Eighth Air Force heavy bombardment group to complete 300 missions over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany and also was the first United States Army Air Forces heavy bombardment group to attack a strategic target located in Nazi Germany when the group, led by Colonel Frank A. Armstrong, attacked Wilhelmshaven on 27 January 1943. Colonel Armstrong's experiences with the 97th and 306th groups became the basis of Sy Bartlett and Beirne Lay Jr.'s novel and film Twelve O'Clock High.

The group was reactivated as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) group during the Cold War at MacDill AFB, Florida in 1947. The group was initially equipped with Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, and was upgrading to Boeing B-47 Stratojets when it was inactivated in 1952 when SAC transferred its operational squadrons to its parent 306th Bombardment Wing. Although the group remained inactive until 2004, from 1954 to 1992 its history and honors were temporarily bestowed on the 306th Bombardment Wing (Medium) at MacDill AFB, Florida; the 306th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) at McCoy AFB, Florida; and the 306th Strategic Wing at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom.

Barbara McLean

Barbara "Bobby" McLean (November 16, 1903 – March 28, 1996) was an American film editor with 62 film credits.

In the period Darryl F. Zanuck was dominant at the 20th Century Fox Studio, from the 1930s through the 1960s, McLean was the studio's most prominent editor and ultimately the head of its editing department. She won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for the film Wilson (1944). She was nominated for the same award another six occasions, including All About Eve (1950). Her total of seven nominations for Best Editing Oscar was not surpassed until 2012 by Michael Kahn.She had an extensive collaboration with the director Henry King over 29 films, including Twelve O'Clock High (1949). Her impact was summarized by Adrian Dannatt in 1996: McLean was "a revered editor who perhaps single-handedly established women as vital creative figures in an otherwise patriarchal industry."

Beirne Lay Jr.

Beirne Lay Jr., (September 1, 1909 – May 26, 1982) was an American author, aviation writer, Hollywood screenwriter, and combat veteran of World War II with the U.S. Army Air Forces. He is best known for his collaboration with Sy Bartlett in authoring the novel Twelve O'Clock High and adapting it into a major film.

Charles Larson (producer)

Charles Larson (23 October 1922 – 21 September 2006) was a writer and producer of television programs. He was born in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Beginning his Hollywood career as a messenger for MGM, Larson ultimately became a screenwriter for short films and later for television. His TV writing credits during the 1950s include Studio One, The Lone Ranger, and Climax!. During the 1960s, he wrote episodes for The Virginian and Rawhide. In 1964, he became an associate producer on Twelve O'Clock High for which he also wrote five episodes. He then became a producer for The F.B.I., for which he earned an Emmy Award nomination in 1969. He also wrote and directed several episodes of that series.

Larson also produced and wrote for the TV shows The Interns and Cade's County. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he wrote for Hawaii Five-O, Trapper John, M.D., and parts 5, 7, 9, and 11 of the epic mini-series Centennial. He was the executive producer of the short-lived 1974 ABC police drama Nakia, and he also wrote for the show.

Larson died in Portland, Oregon on 21 September 2006.

Coles Trapnell

Coles Trapnell (1910–1999) was an American television producer, writer, and director most famous for a stint following Roy Huggins as the producer of the Warner Bros. Western series Maverick starring James Garner, Jack Kelly, and Roger Moore, beginning with the show's third season. Trapnell also wrote scripts for Yancy Derringer, Lawman, and Twelve O'Clock High, and authored the book Teleplay; an introduction to television writing (original edition, 1966; revised edition, 1974).

Dean Jagger

Dean Jeffries Jagger (November 7, 1903 – February 5, 1991) was an American film, stage and television actor who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Henry King's Twelve O'Clock High (1949).

George T. Clemens

George T. Clemens (July 26, 1902 – October 29, 1992) was a cinematographer who worked on such television shows as The Twilight Zone and Twelve O'Clock High. He won an Emmy Award in 1961 for his work on the former.

Gregory Peck

Eldred Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 – June 12, 2003) was an American actor. He was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s. Peck received five Academy Award for Best Actor nominations, and won once – for his performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 drama film To Kill a Mockingbird.

Peck also received Oscar nominations for his roles in The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949). Other notable films in which he appeared include Spellbound (1945), The Gunfighter (1950), Roman Holiday (1953), Moby Dick (1956, and its 1998 mini-series), The Big Country (1958), The Guns of Navarone (1961), Cape Fear (1962, and its 1991 remake), How the West Was Won (1962), The Omen (1976), and The Boys from Brazil (1978).

U.S. President Lyndon Johnson honored Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his lifetime humanitarian efforts. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood cinema, ranking him at No. 12.

Jack Zilly

John Lynus Zilly (November 11, 1921 – December 18, 2009) was a professional American football player who played end for six seasons for the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles.Zilly played right end for Notre Dame on their national championship team in 1943. During World War II, he served two years in the Navy, fighting in the Pacific. After the war, he returned to Notre Dame to help guide that team to another national championship in 1946. While Zilly was a sixth round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers of the All-America Football Conference, he did not play for that team. Instead as a fourth round draft pick for the then-Cleveland Rams in 1945, he would then go on to play six seasons in the NFL for the L. A. Rams and the 1952 Eagles. While in California, Zilly also appeared in five movies, the best-known being Twelve O'Clock High.

When his playing career ended, Zilly coached at Montana State, Rhode Island, Notre Dame, for the Eagles, and in the Canadian Football League. On January 8, 1978, Zilly coached the American team to a 22–7 victory over Canada in the first-ever Can-Am Bowl, at Tampa Stadium. His 1978 team consisted of future University of South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt and future Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins general manager, Bruce Allen.After leaving football, Zilly owned and ran a successful real-estate company until his retirement.

Zilly died on December 18, 2009 in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Janine Gray

Janine Gray (born January 1942 in Bombay, British India) is a film and TV actress of British descent. She has guest-starred in numerous 1960s television programmes.

She was born in Bombay where her father was stationed as an oil engineer, but returned to Britain with her family when she was five years old. She married Herman Goffberg, an American automobile executive and former Olympic 10,000-meter runner; he was some twenty years her senior. The couple divorced after a few years and he died in 2001.Gray's film credits include Panic (1963), The Pumpkin Eater (1964), Quick, Before It Melts (1964), The Americanization of Emily (1964) and The Third Day (1965). She appeared in numerous television shows of the 1960s, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as the femme fatale Angelique. She also appeared in episodes of Danger Man, The Saint, The Avengers, The Rat Patrol, Get Smart, Bewitched (as Abigail Beecham, Samantha's father's glamorous private secretary), Twelve O'Clock High, The Loner, Wild, Wild West, and Hogan's Heroes.

Millard Mitchell

Millard Mitchell (August 14, 1903 – October 13, 1953) was an American character actor whose credits include roughly 30 feature films and two television appearances.

Born in Havana, Cuba, he appeared as a bit player in eight films between 1931 and 1936. Mitchell returned to film work in 1942 after a six-year absence. Between 1942 and 1953, he was a successful supporting actor.

For his performance in the film My Six Convicts (1952), Mitchell won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture. He is also known for his role as Col. Rufus Plummer in Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair (1948), as Gregory Peck's commanding officer in the war drama Twelve O'Clock High (1949), and as the fictional movie mogul R.F. Simpson in the musical comedy Singin' in the Rain (1952).

Mitchell also appeared frequently on Broadway, often playing a fast-talking Broadway character. He played the starring role in The Great Campaign (1947).Mitchell died at the age of 50 from lung cancer at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California,

and was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Oscar Millard

Oscar Millard (March 1, 1908 – December 7, 1990) was an English writer who found success in Hollywood when he collaborated on the screenplay for Come to the Stable, a comedy about nuns. He fared better the following year when he picked up an Academy Award nomination for the gritty war movie The Frogmen (1951).Millard's output after that was less successful though interesting: the James Stewart thriller No Highway in the Sky (1951) and Otto Preminger's full-guns-blazing femme fatale movie Angel Face (1952).

Millard's reputation was considerably tarnished (as indeed was everyone involved in the project) with the deliriously bad John Wayne-Susan Hayward barbarian epic The Conqueror (1956), a film probably more famous now for filming in a nuclear bomb testing site and most of the cast and crew succumbing to early, cancer-related deaths.

After that, Millard found consistent work on television, writing scripts for such shows as Wagon Train, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour for which his was awarded in 2013 by the Writers Guild of America (101 Best written TV Series) and Twelve O'Clock High.

Paul Burke (actor)

Paul Raymond Burke (July 21, 1926 – September 13, 2009) was an American actor best known for his lead roles in two 1960s ABC television series, Naked City and Twelve O'Clock High. He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of New York Police Department detective Adam Flint in Naked City.

RAF Thurleigh

Royal Air Force Thurleigh or more simply RAF Thurleigh is a former Royal Air Force station located 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. Thurleigh was transferred to the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force on 9 December 1942 and designated Station 111, and used for heavy bomber operations against Nazi Germany.

Richard L. Newhafer

Richard L. Newhafer (March 6, 1921—October 12, 1974) was an American novelist, teleplay writer and television director whose experience as a highly decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean War played a key role in his books and in his contribution to ABC's 1960s series Combat! and Twelve O'Clock High.

A native of Chicago, Richard Newhafer was a student at Loyola Academy, the University of Notre Dame, and DePaul University. In his early twenties at the start of World War II, he became a Naval Aviator, took part in extensive military operations and was credited with downing three Japanese planes and participated in sinking the battleship Ise. During the Korean War, he again served in the navy and, in 1954-55, he was public affairs officer of the Blue Angels, the Navy's prestigious flight demonstration team. When television producer Samuel Gallu requested a technical advisor for The Blue Angels, his 1960 syndicated series portraying the team's fictional exploits, The Pentagon assigned Richard Newhafer.

Having earned over thirty medals, decorations and citations, Newhafer resigned from the Navy and remained in Hollywood, becoming a writer of war novels and teleplays and subsequently directing a number of episodes for the 1964-67 World War II series Twelve O'Clock High. Among his books were The Last Tallyho (1964, G. P. Putnam's Sons), No More Bugles in the Sky (1966, New American Library), The Violators (1967, New American Library), The Golden Jungle (1968), On the Wings of the Storm (1969, William Morrow and Company) and Seven Days to Glory (1973). He also authored stories which were published in men's action magazines such as Flying and Air Navy and, in his final years, expanded into the detective genre, writing episodes for the early seasons of CBS' Cannon, a 1971-76 series which, following Twelve O'Clock High, continued his association with Quinn Martin Productions.

Toward the Unknown

Toward the Unknown (also titled Brink of Hell in its UK release) is a 1956 film about the dawn of supersonic flight filmed on location at Edwards Air Force Base. Starring William Holden, Lloyd Nolan and Virginia Leith, the film features the screen debut of James Garner.

Toward the Unknown was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and written by Beirne Lay, Jr. who had also penned the novel and screenplay for Twelve O'Clock High (1949), and later screenplays for Above and Beyond (1952) and Strategic Air Command (1955). The film's title is derived from the motto of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Ad Inexplorata.

Twelve O'Clock High (TV series)

12 O'Clock High (also known as Twelve O'Clock High) is an American drama series set in World War II. This TV series was originally broadcast on ABC-TV for two-and-one-half TV seasons from September 18, 1964, through January 13, 1967; it was based on the motion picture Twelve O'Clock High (1949). The series was a co-production of 20th Century Fox Television (Fox had also produced the movie) and QM Productions (one of their few non-law enforcement series). This show is one of the two QM shows not to display a copyright notice at the beginning, but rather at the end (the other was A Man Called Sloane) and the only one not to display the standard "A QM Production" closing card on the closing credits.

William Graham (director)

William A. Graham (May 15, 1926 – September 12, 2013) was an American television and film director.Graham directed episodes of many TV series including The Fugitive, Twelve O'Clock High, The Big Valley, Batman and Ironside. He also produced and directed the romance adventure sequel Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991).

Graham was the director of Elvis Presley's final acting role in a motion picture, Change of Habit, in 1969. He also directed Waterhole No. 3 and Submarine X-1.

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