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Wing and a Prayer (1944)

Approved | | Action, Drama, War | 11 January 1945 (Argentina)
In WW2, an American aircraft carrier sails around the Pacific on a decoy mission until it joins the battle of Midway against the Japanese forces.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Jerome Cady (story), Jerome Cady (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Ameche ... Flight Cmdr. Bingo Harper
Dana Andrews ... Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton
William Eythe ... Ens. Hallam 'Oscar' Scott
Charles Bickford ... Capt. Waddell
Cedric Hardwicke ... Admiral (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Kevin O'Shea Kevin O'Shea ... Ens. Charles 'Cookie' Cunningham
Richard Jaeckel ... Beezy Bessemer
Harry Morgan ... Ens. Malcolm Brainard (as Henry Morgan)
Richard Crane ... Ens. Gus Chisholm
Glenn Langan ... Executive Officer
Renny McEvoy ... Ens. Cliff Hale
Robert Bailey ... Ens. Paducah Holloway
Reed Hadley ... Cmdr. O'Donnell
George Mathews ... Dooley
B.S. Pully B.S. Pully ... Flat Top
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Storyline

An aircraft carrier is sent on a decoy mission around the Pacific, with orders to avoid combat, thus lulling Japanese alertness before the battle of Midway. All the men have their individual worries and concerns, but become increasingly frustrated at their avoidance of combat, for reasons unknown to them. But in the end, all get their chance to fight. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MIGHTY DRAMA OF AIRCRAFT CARRIER X (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1945 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Wing and a Prayer: The Story of Carrier X See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,250,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

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

According to the DVD sleeve notes, this film about the Battle of Midway utilized actual combat footage. Years later another film also about "The Battle of Midway, Midway (1976), would also utilize real combat footage, but in color. See more »

Goofs

The wall-map of the world in the opening scene is wildly inaccurate. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton: Didn't you see the wave off?
Ens. Hallam 'Oscar' Scott: Yes sir, I did.
Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton: What did you think the flag man was doing? Waving bye bye?
See more »

Connections

Features The Battle of Midway (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik of Araby
(uncredited)
Music by Ted Snyder
Lyrics by Harry B. Smith and Francis Wheeler
Played during the showing of and taken from the film Tin Pan Alley (1940)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Cinematography
15 March 2000 | by dexter-10See all my reviews

The best characteristic of this film is the fine quality of the film in terms of cinematic depth-of-field and clarity. There is excellent camera work, especially in the complicated action scenes. Each scene is balanced and seemingly well-edited. The theme of the movie is somewhat weak relative to the fight/no fight stance of the U.S. Navy, and it is overpowered by the many action scenes which resemble a "Victory at Sea" format. The facts of the battle at Midway Island as presented in this movie are somewhat questionable. The superior forces of the Japanese Imperial Navy could best any navy in early June of 1942. That good fortune played a role in the American fleet's victory is not in question, that poor planning and accident forced the Japanese Imperial Navy's tactics is also accepted. Beyond these general facts it is difficult to accept the overstatement that the position of the U.S. Navy was that "This is the battle we've been praying for." There is also some question in the film as to the accuracy of the reports concerning the U.S. torpedo planes' success. In essence, the Battle of Midway was decisive, and very lucky for the Americans. To present the battle and victory as well planned and well coordinated is misleading. A word on acting: Don Ameche as Commander Bingo Harper is outstanding. His performance is solid in terms of the classic dramatic hero. As commander, he never wavers from his responsibility, he does what must be done, and he understands both how much victory means and what price must be paid.


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