Netflix Classic: Twelve O’Clock High

Here I am, back for another recommendation for you if you’re stumped about what to watch on Netflix Instant. This time, I wanted to highlight a stellar WWII flick: Twelve O’Clock High. As IMDB puts it, “A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.” This isn’t a movie that’s all about the glory of war or putting a sugar coating on anything: it delves into the psychological effects of combat, and it does it without becoming overly broody.

What’s to love in the movie? The cast is stellar, for one thing. Dean Jagger (the general from White Christmas) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and Gregory Peck was nominated for Best Actor. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture, losing to All the King’s Men. The film itself has been used by various military groups to illustrate styles of leadership. The story is engrossing, and many of the characters in the movie are based on real people.

This isn’t a war movie in your classic “war movie” archetype. It’s not The Dirty Dozen. It was made just a few years after the end of World War II, and you can clearly see the memory of the war is fresh in the minds of the movie’s creators. Watching the transformation Gregory Peck goes through over the course of the story was engrossing and captivating. If you’re looking for a solid film that’s both thought provoking and entertaining, watch this one ASAP.

8/10 for me.

Anyone else out there already seen it? Let me know what you thought!

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