1990s

Published on September 24th, 2010 | by Chris

1

Memphis Belle (1990)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On September 24, 2010
Last modified:October 5, 2012

Summary:

the real action is in the skies. Despite some iffy special effects, even for 1990, you'll be pleased.


The Memphis Belle was the first B-17, along with her crew, to complete all 25 of her missions and bring everyone back alive. The 1990 movie Memphis Belle is an homage to the plane, and more importantly the crew.

An admirable goal to be sure, but be warned: The first half of this movie is a bit, well, dull and uninteresting, I hate to say it. Focusing on the crew in "hurry up and wait" mode as they contemplate their navels and write poetry, all the while dodging the bad-luck-bringing antics of the press officer Derringer (John Lithgow)....

That's not to say none of it is worthwhile, though. It's character development, and without it I don't think you'd feel as much for the rest of the crew, led by Dearborn (Matthew Modine) as they get the snot pounded out of them by the Luftwaffe....

....and speaking of actors, Memphis Belle is a veritable who's-who of late 80's (Astin, Modine, Gains, Stolz, Sweeney, Donovan) and up-and-coming 90's (Zane, Connick, Diamond, Browder) stars. Many of which were no-names at the time, at least to film. And each one of them pulls off a great performance, even if a bit cliched, with just the right amount of "aviator swagger" and just-beneath-the-surface fear.... and the musical bit by Connick (to be expected at the time) actually isn't half bad, or out of place... (I can't believe I said that...)

But, as is usually the case with "airplane movies" the real action is in the skies. Despite some iffy special effects, even for 1990, you'll be pleased. Nothing overly graphic, at least on film, but a bit descriptive in narrative.... I would consider letting the older kids watch this one, if they're interested, and can handle a fair amount of the obligatory war movie profanity and locker-room talk.

Unfortunately the DVD I received from Netflix was an ancient one, 16:9 letterboxed to fit a 4:3 screen, which meant I was watching in a small-ish box on my kit (what do you mean I can't zoom in over HDMI?!?! GRRR!!).... so I would love to see (and hear) this on Blu Ray one of these days.

I'd only ever seen Memphis Belle once that I can remember, not long after it was released, but I didn't remember much from it. I'm glad I revisited it, though.

Of note is the fact that the Memphis Belle herself is currently undergoing extensive restoration, and will hopefully be airworthy and making the rounds of the air-show circuits before too long....

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100133/
Amazon: Memphis Belle (1990)

A bit of the air combat:

And a bit about the old girl herself.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis Belle (aircraft)

Memphis Belle (Keepcase) Memphis Belle (Keepcase)
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Description

Memphis Belle (DVD)During World War II, the young crew of the Memphis Belle, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, successfully executes 24 extremely dangerous bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Europe. These courageous flyers, most of them scarcely out of their teens, have taken to the air in defense of their country--and know that the odds are one in three of them will not return home...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: WarnerBrothers
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Max Gail
  • Eric Stoltz
  • Sean Astin
  • Jr. Harry Connick
  • Reed Edward Diamond

Features

  • Factory sealed DVD

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film About Heroism, Humanity, and Victory, July 4, 2016
By 
Scotsmanbully (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Memphis Belle (Keepcase) (DVD)
A little bit overdone in places, but an excellent film about the comradeship and courage of American servicemen and what they did to achieve victory in World War II. In this case, the setting is in a B-17 bomber on a mission into Germany. The humanity of airmen and their heroism are displayed in an exciting, fact-based movie. My father had several friends who were in B-17s during the war. One had a hardware store with his brother. One was a jeweler. One took over his dad's five-and-dime. And, one was a lawyer who's misfortune was being shot down on his first mission flying over the Netherlands. They were all regular guys, just like the ones who flew on Memphis Belle. They took the war to our enemies in a battle of goodness over evil and against incredible odds. Like servicemen and women to this day, they acted with nobility, imperfections, and the greatness of the American character that built this country and longed for peace protecting our liberty. This is a good movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie but keep it in perspective ..., April 3, 2017
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Memphis Belle (Amazon Video)
This is an excellent movie, with good acting and portrayals of composite characters from B17 aircraft during WWII.

It IS NOT a historical depiction of actual events of the final flight, mission, or flight crew of the Memphis Belle. The actual crew of the Belle are greater than life is many respects and not represented by this movie. Again, this movie is a fictional history centered on an actual aircraft but the flight crew, mission and etc are composite sketches of what many B17 crews endured during the war.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but the Blu Ray was a dissappointment., May 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this movie and was really looking forward to the Blu Ray however the quality is not a significant improvement over the DVD. Some times they really put a lot effort to maximizing the visuals when they release Blu Rays and I don't think that is the case here. Not really surprising either since this isn't a hugely popular movie.

Bottom line: If you have the DVD I wouldn't worry about buying it on Blu Ray.

As far as people who don't like this movie because it is very historically inaccurate you need to just come off it. I have the documentary and it's great. If you want history watch that. If you want entertaining drama and action then this is great. I know this is about as far from reality as it gets, but it's still enjoyable and it's def. the best quality depiction of B-17 bombing on film. Irrelevant side point: My grandfather was pilot on a B17G in the 8th.
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Memphis Belle
Memphis Belle
Sale Price: $2.99
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Memphis Belle (Keepcase)
Memphis Belle (Keepcase)
List Price: $12.97
Sale Price: $7.08
You save: $5.89 (45%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
The Memphis Belle (1944)
The Memphis Belle (1944)
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Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days


Memphis Belle (1990) Chris

Summary: the real action is in the skies. Despite some iffy special effects, even for 1990, you'll be pleased.

3.5


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Memphis Belle (1990)

  1. See my comparative review of it and “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” at warmoviebuff.blogspot.com If you want to see every WWII bomber combat cliche packed into one movie, watch “Memphis Belle”. An entertaining movie for the layman, but laughable to history buffs. It is the rare non R-rated recent war movie, so let the kids enjoy then tell them the true story of the “Memphis Belle” as a warning to beware of the phrase “based on a true story”.

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