Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Above and Beyond (1952)

Directors: Melvin Frank & Norman Panama

Starring: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Parker, James Whitmore, Larry Keating

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The love story behind the billion dollar secret!

Plot: The story of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Although unaware of the full potential of this new weapon, he knows that it is capable of doing tremendously more damage than any other weapon used before, and that the death toll resulting from it will be enormous. He is reluctant to be the person who will end so many lives, but if using it may bring an end to the war, then not doing so may result in even more lives being lost in continued ground assaults as the fighting goes on. At the same time, the intense secrecy surrounding this mission leaves him with no one he can express his thoughts and doubts to, not even his wife. As time goes on, the pressure upon him only increases.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

Many years ago I had satellite TV service for about a year. Combine that with a Tivo box with built in DVD burner and you've got yourself a deadly combination. I burned a SHITLOAD of movies from TCM and other channels. I got gobs of Westerns, WWII flicks, and anything that was remotely interesting. That's how I got this one. I didn't realize it until I watched it that it was about the Hiroshima bombing or rather the events leading up to it. That part was interesting, everything else wasn't. ABOVE is so melodramatic that it collapses on its own weight. And at just over two hours, that's a lot.

I can appreciate how difficult it must have been on Tibbets' marriage but the way it's handled is soooooooo dramatic and over the top. I know enough about movies to know that was the style at the time but still. It's just too much, and then to drag it out for so long. The bombing and aftermath lasts only a few minutes. That was interesting. Paul makes it back, kisses his wife, THE END. Boy, does it wrap up quick. It wasn't until after I finished watching it that it hit me Mrs. Tibbet was played by the lovely Eleanor Parker. I had just watched her in the wonderful film, SCARAMOUCHE (1952), which just happened to be the picture she made just before this one. And to think I didn't even recognize her in this one. The blonde hair must've thrown me off. I prefer her dolled-up like she was in 18th century France. Mmmmmmm.

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