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Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 5,798

My Rating

Movie Info

How much can a man give? When the U.S. 8th Army Air Force 918th Bombardment group is ordered on their fourth harrowing mission in four hard days, Brigadier General Frank Savage (Gregory Peck) demands "maximum effort." The bombers are forced to fly lower, to fly farther, and to test themselves -- overspent and fatigued -- right up until death's door. When their dedicated colonel speaks out in their defense, Savage mercilessly takes over command -- an officer should not sympathize with his men.

Unrated,

Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics

Sy Bartlett, Beirne Lay

Nov 6, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

Sincere, square, and interminable.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a drama, High deals soundly and interestingly with its situations.

October 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of Peck's best performances.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wisely, the writers and director, Mr. King, have husbanded the potential of an illustrated mission for one big concentrated punch, and they have got into this major sequence great excitement and reality.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Peck is superb as the man out of his depth, while King's solid direction and some fine camerawork make Twelve O'Clock High one of the most compelling examples of the genre.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A truly remarkable film, that manages to excite and enthrall as well as offer deep, rounded characters.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's a rather uncharacteristic role for Gregory Peck, in that there's not a trace of cuddliness or Atticus Finch-esque nobility to Frank Savage. He's a man with a job that needs to get done, and everything in his existence is subservient to that goal.

February 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Henry King's WWII drama is one of Hollywood's first and most honestly probing chronicles of the psychological anxieties and emotional pressures caused by high-command positions.

March 14, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Solid WWII drama.

January 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

... one of the first and arguably the greatest of the Hollywood films to examine the pressures of command and psychological toll of making life and death decision...

June 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

One of the best post-WWII films; Peck is great.

January 2, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

Some stellar performances make this a minor war classic.

October 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

In addition to the fine acting, Twelve O'Clock High features some gorgeous camerawork by Leon Shamroy and one of the most horrifying aerial attack sequences ever put on film.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Exciting, large-scale, and patriotic.

March 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Brilliant war film that creates tension through words, not bullets.

August 21, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Twelve O'Clock High

Overall, I liked this film. It was slow and stagy and speechy and borderline joyless, but Gregory Peck's charisma is enough to keep you watching, and the speeches are quite good. A fine tale of what it takes to be a leader, and maybe one of the earliest war movies told in the flashback mode we now associate with Saving Private Ryan.
October 16, 2010
danperry17

Super Reviewer

One of the all-time great war films. High marks for drama, technical accuracy and, best of all, Gregory freakin-Peck!
May 13, 2009
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

A film that no doubt produced "nostalgia" about the concluded war effort. There is nothing wrong with Peck's portrayal which is quite good. It just reeks of film propaganda that was prevalent during the war period already past.
May 15, 2014
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A strong performance by Gregory Peck and the supporting cast, the film is a Classic look at life during wartime and the individual and an in depth look at what each person can take when pushed to their brink. The character Peck plays is harsh, unemotional, and downright a hardass but as the film goes on and the General played by Peck grows with his new company of men and experiences battle firsthand and the loss of others, there is a huge change in his character. We see him being pushed to the breaking point and the devastating effects and in a word; transcedence.
December 20, 2013
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

    1. Gen. Frank Savage: Really shows what happens to a man's mind in war time.
    – Submitted by Royal G (2 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Twelve O'Clock High (DE)
  • Twelve O'Clock High (1949) (UK)
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