Memphis Belle Reviews
Great WW2 drama, based on a true story. Loosely based, I might add - the actual story is immortalised in William Wyler's 1944 documentary "The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress". Some license has been taken with the details but it still makes for a gritty drama.
Broad plot is straightforward, with a few Hollywoodisms. However is very engaging, as you get to meet and understand the characters who make up the crew. You see the dangers they face and the high chance of not making it back.
Quite intriguing too, as nothing is certain.
Great aerial and action scenes, and this is where the movie truly shines. Using actual B-17s makes for a wonderful level of authenticity.
Solid performances all round from a decent cast: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, DB Sweeney, Harry Connick Jr, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, David Strathairn and John Lithgow, among others.
With pre-planned routes, cramped confines, the vagaries of weather and programmed bomb runs over heavily defended sites, it's not surprising that very few B-17 crews made it through all 25 missions: this film follows the 25th (and hence final) mission for the first - extremely lucky - crew to do so.
Full of cheese, yes, and unabashedly sentimental but boy oh boy am I glad that I never had to go up in one of those planes!