Monday, August 15, 2016

Bombardier (1943)

Director: Richard Wallace

Writers: John Twist, Martin Rackin

Composer: Roy Webb

Starring: Pat O'Brien, Randolph Scott, Anne Shirley, Eddie Albert, Robert Ryan, Barton MacLane, Leonard Strong, Richard Martin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: See the bombing of Tokyo before your very eyes!

Plot:  Training of bombardiers in semi-documentary style, with personal stories and a battle climax.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

I imagine that war propaganda pictures play a lot better during wartime (especially during the current war that's depicted on the screen).  This is one of those 'fire the boys up to take on the Japs and Jerrys' pictures that doesn't hide its patriotism.  I'm all about a gung-ho flick when it's good but they're usually too over the top for my taste.  Despite the thick and cheesy morale boosting, this one goes places I didn't expect.  Tom (played by Eddie Albert) goes through quite the character arc that has a shocking ending (REALLY cool and horrifying).  The ending is actually pretty damn awesome and heroic.  That was neat, too.  The love interests do serve a valuable purpose (for a change) in the film with one of them paying off in spades in the final moment of the picture.   Am I the only one who thinks Pat O'Brien's acting is rather wooden?  He certainly isn't an actor that moves much but he does better in roles like the priest in ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (1938).  In everything else I've seen him in he's just kind of there, adequate but with low energy and low charisma.  This flick is no different.  He does OK but he's not exactly knocking it out of the park.  A lot of this movie is by the numbers and it does hit the beats needed to get the flags waving and while it's got some neat diversions, it's not going to make you yearn to be a bombardier. 

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