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 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Manufacturer: WarnerBrothers
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Max Gail
  • Eric Stoltz
  • Sean Astin
  • Jr. Harry Connick
  • Reed Edward Diamond

Features

  • ACTION/ADVENTURE
  • Run Time:
  • Release Date: 12/8/2009

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Memphis Belle
Memphis Belle
Sale Price: $2.99
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Memphis Belle (Keepcase)
Memphis Belle (Keepcase)
List Price: $7.99
Sale Price: $5.00
You save: $2.99 (37%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
The Memphis Belle (1944)
The Memphis Belle (1944)
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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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