The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

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Movie Info

U.S. Col. Billy Mitchell (Gary Cooper) is a decorated World War I veteran airman frustrated by the military's mistreatment of the flying program. With military brass and many in the government still favoring battleships, Mitchell sees funding cut to aviation, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of pilots. When Mitchell publicly accuses his superiors of ineptitude, he is court-martialed. At the trial, Congressman Frank Reid (Ralph Bellamy) advises Mitchell, who faces Maj. Guillion (Rod Steiger).

Cast

Gary Cooper
as Col. Billy Mitchell
Charles Bickford
as Gen. Jimmy Guthrie
Rod Steiger
as Maj. Allan Guillion
Ralph Bellamy
as Congressman Frank R. Reid
Jack Lord
as Lt. Cmdr. Zachary 'Zack' Lansdowne
Elizabeth Montgomery
as Margaret Lansdowne
Fred Clark
as Col. Moreland
James Daly
as Col. Herbert White
Peter Graves
as Capt. Elliott
Darren McGavin
as Russ Peters
Robert F. Simon
as Adm. Gage
Charles Dingle
as Sen. Fullerton
Dayton Lummis
as Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Tom McKee
as Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker
Steve Roberts
as Maj. Carl Spaatz
Herbert Heyes
as Gen. John J. Pershing
Robert Brubaker
as Maj. H.H. Arnold
Ian Wolfe
as President Calvin Coolidge
Phil Arnold
as Fiorella La Guardia
Will Wright
as Adm. William S. Sims
Steve Holland
as Stu Stewart
Adam Kennedy
as Yip Ryan
Manning Ross
as Ted Adams
Carleton Young
as Gen. Pershing's Aide
Griff Barnett
as Civilian Steno
Edward Keane
as Court Judge
Robert Simon
as Adm. Adam Gage
John Maxwell
as Court Judge
Ewing Mitchell
as Court Judge
Max Wagner
as Sergeant Major
Jack Perrin
as Court Reporter
Gregory Walcott
as Reporter Millikan
William Fox
as Reporter
Robert B. Williams
as Reporter Tuttle
Edna Holland
as Woman Secretary
William Forrest
as Commandant FSH
Frank Wilcox
as Officer Tom
Peter Adams
as Officer
Joel N. Smith
as Reporter
Fred Perce
as Reporter
Al Page
as Reporter
George Mayon
as Reporter
Michael Lally
as Reporter
Cy Malis
as Reporter
View All

News & Interviews for The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

Critic Reviews for The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (7)

  • With Cooper as the crusading officer, one is never in any doubt as to the correctness and sincerity of his views (Mitchell was posthumously rehabilitated in 1947), while Steiger puts in one of his inimitably flashy performances as the prosecuting attorney

    February 5, 2018 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The picture is a real kick in the shins for the cult of blind military obedience and the lesson which is laid on the line relates to Pearl Harbor.

    October 23, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Though not one of Preminger's stronger films, it's still worth seeing this fact-based courtroom drama starring Gary Cooper.

    August 24, 2012 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • The only certainty that remains is the need to ask questions

    September 5, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Away from the courtroom, the film is less riveting, though Cooper is consistently impressive.

    October 23, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Low-key and earnest but slow like molasses.

    October 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

  • Nov 12, 2009
    Solid if a bit slow drama of a man putting his career on the line for his what he believes rightly is the good of his country. The cast is full of great actors including an amazingly beautiful and impossibly young Elizabeth Montgomery in her first film role. She isn't totally at ease yet but delivers in her big scene.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2007
    featuring elizabeth montgomery before she made a whole career out of twitching... but no amount of nose-twitching could save billy mitchell. gary cooper was 7 outta 10ish in his acting but his performance was a tad laid back. i saw the prosecution lawyer (bald headed bloke) in another film recently but i can't think what it was. he was good in both. i've seen otto premingers work before with the river of no return which was just as viewable as this. his movies dont seem to be masterpieces but they're all very watchable, and even re-watchable. bewitching entertainment
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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