History Film / MemphisBelle

31st Dec '16 7:25:02 AM Doug86
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''Memphis Belle'' is a 1990 WorldWarII movie directed by Michael Caton-Jones, based on the real-life story of the first bomber crew in the US 8th Air Force to complete a full tour of 25 missions over occupied Europe.

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''Memphis Belle'' is a 1990 WorldWarII UsefulNotes/WorldWarII movie directed by Michael Caton-Jones, based on the real-life story of the first bomber crew in the US 8th Air Force to complete a full tour of 25 missions over occupied Europe.



* WorldWarTwo: The movie depicts, with reasonable accuracy, an US Army Air Force strike of the Second World War's Combined Bomber Offensive. It is one of very few films to successfully portray this campaign with real aircraft; other notable examples include ''12 O'clock High'', ''The War Lover'', and ''The Dam Busters''.

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* WorldWarTwo: UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: The movie depicts, with reasonable accuracy, an US Army Air Force strike of the Second World War's Combined Bomber Offensive. It is one of very few films to successfully portray this campaign with real aircraft; other notable examples include ''12 O'clock High'', ''The War Lover'', and ''The Dam Busters''.
9th Dec '16 4:55:58 PM maxwellsilver
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Added DiffLines:

** The Norden bombsight is depicted in the film as a simple vector bombsight, with the ground moving past the sight due to the forward motion of the airplane, and the bombardier manually toggling the bomb release switch when the target moves through the crosshairs. In reality, the Norden bombsight was a tachometric bombsight, which continually tracked and automatically released the bombs when the precomputed bomb release point was reached. The job of the bombardier was to make the adjustments necessary to keep the crosshairs stationary on the target. Any forward motion of the crosshairs relative to the target would indicate an error in the ground speed estimate, which would cause an error in the calculated bomb release point.
4th Dec '16 4:51:55 PM maxwellsilver
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** The Bf-109s seen in the film are Ha-1112s, a Spanish version of the Bf-109. At the time of the filming, no Bf-109s in flying condition even ''existed'', let alone being available for a film crew to use.
** The B-17s in the film are all B-17Gs, mocked up to look like B-17Fs. The film crew did a convincing job of it too, but they still forgot to get rid of the bubble on the nose (in front of the windscreen, which was used for night navigation so the navigator could see the stars), which marks all the bombers as very late model B-17Fs. They also forgot about the ''Memphis Belle's'' two additional machine guns in the bombardier's station.
4th Dec '16 4:43:39 PM maxwellsilver
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* AirstrikeImpossible: Bremen is known to be a murderously well-defended target. And when poor visibility prevents them from being able to make the drop on the first try, they decide to swing around and try again, which in RealLife usually meant an even worse run through prepared defenses, the equivalent of taking a second kick at a hornets' nest.

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* AirstrikeImpossible: Bremen is known to be a murderously well-defended target. And when poor visibility prevents them from being able to make the drop on the first try, they decide to swing around and try again, which in RealLife usually meant an even worse run through prepared defenses, was never done. First, it is very hard to have a formation of 300-plus Forts make a 360 degree turn. Second, such a maneuver would alert all flak batteries as to the equivalent actual target. Third, such a maneuver would keep the force under fighter and flak attack longer than need be. In actuality, bomber crews were briefed on a primary, a secondary, a tertiary and targets of taking a second kick at a hornets' nest.opportunity. If the primary target was unable to be hit, the primary became the IP to set up on the secondary. If the secondary were unable to be hit, it became the IP for the tertiary, and if that were unable to be hit, the force commander (NOT the pilot of the lead aircraft) would issue an order to go after targets of opportunity. Failing that, the mission would be aborted and the crews would dump their ordnance in either the North Sea or the English Channel. The mission would count toward tour completion, as the crews would have been in combat, and were over enemy territory.



-->'''Dennis Dearborn:''' Luke, ''[[ShutUpHannibal shut up!]]''

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-->'''Dennis Dearborn:''' Luke, ''[[ShutUpHannibal shut up!]]''''shut up!''



* BecomingTheBoast / ClosestThingWeGot: Turns out Val only completed two weeks of Medical school--but he's the only one who can save a seriously wounded Danny...



* ChekhovsGun: In addition to the [[MadeOfExplodium crash landing, exploding bomber]] at the beginning, there's the ''C-Cup'' losing a crewman, who falls out of the shattered nose with no parachute. Rascal is ordered to put his safety strap on in the ball turret: that saves his life when the turret is shot off, just like the ''C-Cup'' nose was.

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* ChekhovsGun: In addition to the [[MadeOfExplodium crash landing, exploding bomber]] bomber at the beginning, there's the ''C-Cup'' losing a crewman, who falls out of the shattered nose with no parachute. Rascal is ordered to put his safety strap on in the ball turret: that saves his life when the turret is shot off, just like the ''C-Cup'' nose was.



* ClosestThingWeGot: Turns out Val only completed two weeks of Medical school--but he's the only one who can save a seriously wounded Danny...



** This however isn't entirely the fault of the film crew. At the time of filming, very ''very'' P-47s even existed in any condition let alone flying condition. And those that did were of the later models with the bubble canopy. Very few P-47s survived after the war as many P-51s went to fight on in other air forces that were needing planes quickly (and didn't want left-over BF-109s of Spitfires), or to carry on in air racing. Only recently have enough P-47s been restored that if a remake were to be done, it could be possible to have the right escorts... but there most likely wouldn't be enough B-17s.
*** Issues that I might add, can be rectified with the appropriate application of CGI.

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** This however isn't entirely the fault of the film crew. At the time of filming, very ''very'' P-47s even existed in any condition let alone flying condition. And those that did were of the later models with the bubble canopy. Very few P-47s survived after the war as many P-51s went to fight on in other air forces that were needing planes quickly (and didn't want left-over BF-109s of Spitfires), or to carry on in air racing. Only recently have enough P-47s been restored that if a remake were to be done, it could be possible to have the right escorts... but there most likely wouldn't be enough B-17s.
*** Issues
B-17s, though CGI would likely make this a moot point.
** During the start-up and take-off scene, it is implied
that I might add, can be rectified with the co-pilot of the Memphis Belle is able to start the engines directly by turning on the fuel boost pumps. In reality, the co-pilot would have to turn on the fuel boost pumps and then flip the starter switch to the appropriate application of CGI.engine, wait for a short time and then flip the "mesh" switch to the appropriate position.



* TheMenFirst: Colonel Craig Harriman might be a [[TheStoic stoic commanding officer]]--but after Army PR Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Derringer accuses him of caring only for results and not the crews, he finally [[NotSoStoic loses his temper]], then has Derringer read from a [[TheDeadHaveNames box of letters ... responses to letters that Harriman personally wrote to the family of men who died under his command.]]

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* TheMenFirst: Colonel Craig Harriman might be a [[TheStoic stoic commanding officer]]--but officer -- but after Army PR Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Derringer accuses him of caring only for results and not the crews, he finally [[NotSoStoic loses his temper]], temper, then has Derringer read from a [[TheDeadHaveNames box of letters ... responses to letters that Harriman personally wrote to the family of men who died under his command.]]



* StockFootage: To add to the drama, footage of bombers being shot down is shown while Derringer reads letters from the families of dead crewmen.
** Also the footage of the bombs detonating on the ground uses period footage of bombing raids.

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* StockFootage: To add to the drama, footage of bombers being shot down is shown while Derringer reads letters from the families of dead crewmen.
**
crewmen. Also the footage of the bombs detonating on the ground uses period footage of bombing raids.



* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Originally titled ''Southern Belle'', the script was altered to reflect the real ''Memphis Belle'' after Catherine Wyler signed on as producer. Her father, William Wyler, filmed a documentary for the Army Air Force in 1943 in anticipation of the ''Belle's'' crew being the first in the 8th Air Force to complete their tour-of-duty. The character of Derringer is loosely based on William Wyler. Rather than an accurate portrayal of the real ''Memphis Belle'' - whose final mission ''was'' a milk run - the movie is an amalgamation of actual wartime experiences, all combined into a single mission.
* WarIsHell: While quaint in comparison to war movies such as ''Saving Private Ryan'' - the 1990s being a time where war movies weren't quite so cynical - the sequence where letters are read over actual combat footage is particularly moving.
* WorldWarTwo: The movie depicts, with reasonable accuracy, an US Army Air Force strike of the Second World War's Combined Bomber Offensive. It is one of very few films to successfully portray this campaign with real aircraft; other notable examples include ''12 O'clock High'', ''The War Lover'', and ''The Dam Busters''.

to:

* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Originally titled ''Southern Belle'', the script was altered to reflect the real ''Memphis Belle'' after Catherine Wyler signed on as producer. Her father, William Wyler, filmed a documentary for the Army Air Force in 1943 in anticipation of the ''Belle's'' crew being the first in the 8th Air Force to complete their tour-of-duty. The character of Derringer is loosely based on William Wyler. Rather than an accurate portrayal of the real ''Memphis Belle'' - whose final mission ''was'' a milk run to a sub pen in Lorient, France - the movie is an amalgamation of actual wartime experiences, all combined into a single mission.
* WarIsHell: While quaint in comparison to war movies such as ''Saving Private Ryan'' - Ryan'', the early 1990s being a time where war movies weren't quite so cynical - cynical, the sequence where letters are read over actual combat footage is particularly moving.
* WorldWarTwo: The movie depicts, with reasonable accuracy, an US Army Air Force strike of the Second World War's Combined Bomber Offensive. It is one of very few films to successfully portray this campaign with real aircraft; other notable examples include ''12 O'clock High'', ''The War Lover'', and ''The Dam Busters''.Busters''.
----
4th Jun '16 8:37:16 PM Tank50us
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** ''The entire reason the Mustang assumed escort duties in the first place'' was because they had the range to escort the bombers all the way into Germany and back. A mission to Bremen would have been well within the fighter's combat radius. The fighter escorts having to turn back because of their lack of fuel is much more characteristic of the P-47 Thunderbolt (which ''is'' the aircraft assigned escort duties during the film's time frame0.

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** ''The entire reason the Mustang assumed escort duties in the first place'' was because they had the range to escort the bombers all the way into Germany and back. A mission to Bremen would have been well within the fighter's combat radius. The fighter escorts having to turn back because of their lack of fuel is much more characteristic of the P-47 Thunderbolt (which ''is'' the aircraft assigned escort duties during the film's time frame0.frame).
** This however isn't entirely the fault of the film crew. At the time of filming, very ''very'' P-47s even existed in any condition let alone flying condition. And those that did were of the later models with the bubble canopy. Very few P-47s survived after the war as many P-51s went to fight on in other air forces that were needing planes quickly (and didn't want left-over BF-109s of Spitfires), or to carry on in air racing. Only recently have enough P-47s been restored that if a remake were to be done, it could be possible to have the right escorts... but there most likely wouldn't be enough B-17s.
*** Issues that I might add, can be rectified with the appropriate application of CGI.
19th May '16 3:26:02 PM Mdumas43073
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* Lt Phil Lowenthal: TheNavigator (D.B. Sweeney)--Morbidly convinced he's going to die.

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* Lt Phil Lowenthal: TheNavigator [[TheNavigator Navigator]] (D.B. Sweeney)--Morbidly convinced he's going to die.
19th May '16 3:25:29 PM Mdumas43073
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''Memphis Belle'' is a 1990 war movie based on the real-life story of the first bomber crew in the US 8th Air Force to complete a full tour of 25 missions over occupied Europe.

to:

''Memphis Belle'' is a 1990 war WorldWarII movie directed by Michael Caton-Jones, based on the real-life story of the first bomber crew in the US 8th Air Force to complete a full tour of 25 missions over occupied Europe.



Watching their progress is Army Public Relations man Lt. Colonel Derringer, who plans to take the men on a publicity tour of the USA when they return. The officers have been told, but the pilot--strait-laced Dennis Dearborn (Matthew Modine) opts not to tell the men, to keep their minds on the job.

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Watching their progress is Army Public Relations man Lt. Colonel Derringer, Derringer (Creator/JohnLithgow), who plans to take the men on a publicity tour of the USA when they return. The officers have been told, but the pilot--strait-laced pilot -- strait-laced Dennis Dearborn (Matthew Modine) -- opts not to tell the men, to keep their minds on the job.



* Lt Val Kozlowski: Bombardier (Billy Zane)--Smooth-talker who claims he's been to medical school

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* Lt Val Kozlowski: Bombardier (Billy Zane)--Smooth-talker (Creator/BillyZane)--Smooth-talker who claims he's been to medical school



* Sgt Virgil Hoogesteyer: Top Turret/Flight Engineer (Reed Diamond)--"The Virgin", obsessed with hamburgers.
* Sgt "Rascal" Moore: Ball Turret (Sean Astin)--Obsessed with sex. Teases Virgil.

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* Sgt Virgil Hoogesteyer: Top Turret/Flight Engineer (Reed Diamond)--"The (Creator/ReedDiamond)--"The Virgin", obsessed with hamburgers.
* Sgt "Rascal" Moore: Ball Turret (Sean Astin)--Obsessed (Creator/SeanAstin)--Obsessed with sex. Teases Virgil.



* Sgt Clay Busby: Tail Gunner (Harry Connick, Jr)--Hick farmboy with a hell of a singing voice.

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* Sgt Clay Busby: Tail Gunner (Harry Connick, Jr)--Hick Jr.)--Hick farmboy with a hell of a singing voice.
9th Feb '16 9:20:44 AM Ambaryerno
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* JustPlaneWrong: The fighters shown escorting the B-17s early in the raid are P-51 Mustangs. Mustangs certainly ''did'' escort the bomber raids, but:
** The film is set in May, 1943, and the first Mustang capable of carrying out the high-altitude fighter escort role, the P-51B, weren't delivered until November of that year (the P-51 and P-51A were introduced earlier, but both equipped with Allison engines that lacked high-altitude performance, making them unsuitable for bomber escort duties and they were instead utilized as low/medium-altitude fighters and ground attack platforms).
** The Mustangs used for the film were P-51Ds, which didn't arrive in Europe until 1944.
** ''The entire reason the Mustang assumed escort duties in the first place'' was because they had the range to escort the bombers all the way into Germany and back. A mission to Bremen would have been well within the fighter's combat radius. The fighter escorts having to turn back because of their lack of fuel is much more characteristic of the P-47 Thunderbolt (which ''is'' the aircraft assigned escort duties during the film's time frame0.
23rd Jan '16 9:24:20 AM mavacca
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* ActingForTwo: By the planes. There weren't that many B-17s still flying when this movie was made, so they painted different markings on the left and right sides, so that they could play one plane when filmed from the left, and a different plane when filmed from the right.
** SpecialEffectsFailure: In some scenes, especially the takeoff sequence, both sets of nose art are visible on camera at the same time.
30th Jul '15 9:35:31 AM cra0422
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* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Luke wants to have a go at firing the guns, and succeeds in shooting down a German fighter--which inadvertently crashes into the rookie crew's bomber. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU5TKCxZ0s4 Like this.]]

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* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Luke wants to have a go at firing the guns, and succeeds in shooting down a German fighter--which inadvertently crashes into the rookie crew's bomber. [[http://www.[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU5TKCxZ0s4 com/watch?v=djIvmaYI9LQ Like this.]]
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