Twelve O'Clock High (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Twelve O'Clock High is a film about the World War II Air Force Squadron, starring Gregory Peck as the commander assigned to straighten up a down-on-their luck squadron, and send them into battle. The film includes footage of real-life World War II aerial fights.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Gregory Peck
as Gen. Frank Savage
Hugh Marlowe
as Lt. Col. Ben R. Gately
Dean Jagger
as Major Harvey Stovall
Gary Merrill
as Col. Keith Davenport
Millard Mitchell
as Lt. Gen Pritchard
Robert Arthur
as Sgt. McIllhenny
Paul Stewart
as Major Kaiser
John Kellogg
as Major Joe Cobb
Robert Patten
as Lt. Jesse Bishop
Lee MacGregor
as Lt. Zimmerman
Sam Edwards
as Birdwell
Roger Anderson
as Interrogation Officer
John Zilly
as Sgt. Ernie
William Short
as Lt. Pettinghill
Richard Anderson
as Lt. McKessen
Lawrence Dobkin
as Capt. Twombley
Kenneth Tobey
as Sentry
John McKee
as Operations Officer
Campbell Copelin
as Mr. Britton
Don Guadagno
as Dwight
Peter Ortiz
as Weather Observer
Steve Clark
as Clerk in Antique Shop
Don Hicks
as Lt. Wilson
Ray Hyke
as Bartender
Harry Lauter
as Radio Officer
Leslie Denison
as RAF Officer
John R. McKee
as Operations Officer
Russ Conway
as Operations Officer
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Critic Reviews for Twelve O'Clock High

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (4)

Sincere, square, and interminable.

Full Review… | February 10, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 9, 2008
Top Critic

One of Peck's best performances.

February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

... one of the first and arguably the greatest of the Hollywood films to examine the pressures of command and the psychological toll of making life and death decisions for men they come know and care for ...

Full Review… | February 24, 2016

Gripping psychological war drama has more talk than action.

Full Review… | February 11, 2015
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Twelve O'Clock High


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.

John Ballantine
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.

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer


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.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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