The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

1955

Biography / Drama

2
IMDb Rating 7.0

Synopsis


Downloaded 2380 times
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1.91G
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English
24.000 fps /
100 min
P/S 7 / 0
1.21G
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Normal
English
24.000 fps /
100 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by thomasja5

This movie which is supposed to be about Billy Mitchell, an earlyproponentof air power and of his subsequent court martial for insubordination wasentertaining, but as with most Hollywood productions which are made fromtrue stories, was filled with errors.<br><br>During the first part of the movie, Billy Mitchell allegedly violatedordersby using one-ton bombs that he was told not to use. That is a falsehood.Mitchell had permission to use the heavier bombs. In addition, in themovie, the general overseeing the bombing tests was a General Guthrie.There was no such person.<br><br>The movie showed Mitchell being reduced in rank for violating orderswhichwas another falsehood. He was reduced in rank, but not for this reason.Aspreviously stated, Mitchell had permission to use the heavierbombs.<br><br>The movie also portrayed Mitchell as being a bachelor, when in reality, hewas married. In fact, pictures of Mitchell at his court martial show hiswife sitting next to him!<br><br>The movie also showed Mitchell telling Congressman Reed, that he wouldn'tgoalong with Reed wanting to challenge Army members of the court forprejudice. In reality, Mitchell had one general removed for that reason.After his removal, the general remarked that he and Mitchell were nowenemies.<br><br>Just once, I wish that Hollywood, when making a movie of a true event,wouldmake it like it really happened and stop changing things to suit what theywant the public to see.<br><br>I think the biggest mis-casting was having Gary Cooper playing BillyMitchell. The real Billy Mitchell was a firebrand who wasn't afraid tospeak his mind. Cooper, in the movie, was more laid back and just didn'timpress me as being the right actor to play Mitchell.

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Reviewed by theowinthrop 7/10

In 1925 the U.S. Naval Air Force's major new piece of military hardwarewas a zeppelin that had been built in Germany at the end of the FirstWorld War, which was given to the U.S as a reparation, and renamed theU.S.S. Shenandoah. The craft had a crack team running it, and it had anexcellent head, Commander Zachary Landowne. It was in fair demandaround the country, for most people believed that the future of longdistance air travel would be in airships, not airplanes. So the Navybrass frequently sent the Shenandoah on public relations flights,rather than using it for military purposes or long distance flights.<br><br>It was sent to Ohio where local politicians wanted to use the zeppelinto impress voters. Unfortunately, there was a storm front with heavythundershowers in the path of the zeppelin, and the zeppelin hadrecently had some damage to a fin on it's tale. There had been no timeto repair the damage. So when the zeppelin crossed into the stormfront, the zeppelin was ripped apart by the winds and crashed killingLandsdowne and fourteen men. <br><br>Landsdowne's close friend, Brigadier General Billy Mitchell wasexceptionally critical of the disaster. He blamed the politicians andmilitary brass who ordered the flight. As Mitchell had been long athorn in the side of these two groups, as he tried to push his views onair power and the need for a unified, strong air force, he was chargedwith insubordination and ordered to be court martial-ed.<br><br>Gary Cooper plays Mitchell well, as an honest, honorable man, whorealizes that the future will be only safe for those who have a strongair arm. He is fighting old fashion ideas, mouthed by old fashionedarmy leaders like Fred Clark. He does have allies like his lawyer, aCongressman played by Ralph Bellamy, and like one of the judges(General Douglas MacArthur - who was the only one to vote foracquittal). But the issue goes down to the Mitchell's insubordination.And this leads to the dramatic high point, when Cooper iscross-examined by the malicious and clever Rod Steiger. Steiger is ableto get Cooper to not only reveal his lack of respect for the brass butto reveal his mistrust of the Japanese. That he is correct in the longrun does not save him - he is found guilty and suspended without payfrom the army for five years.<br><br>Mitchell died in 1936, not in time to see his vindication five yearslater. But he is remembered now as the real founder of the modernAmerican Air Force. The film is a pretty good retelling of his story,and reminds us how frequently a prophet is despised and rejected in hisor her time.

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Reviewed by Richard Bennett

In the USAF we were taught about Billy Mitchell as being the &quot;Father ofthe Air Force&quot;, and how he sacrificed his career to bring attention tohis points.<br><br>What a good movie. Rod Steiger did steal the scenes, and I suspect thatJames Cagney would have made a better movie... but I found myselfbecoming drawn in by Gary Cooper's portrayal of Billy Mitchell. Hemight have been a bit long in the tooth, but remember, the real BillyMitchell was 46 years old at the time of his Court Martial, at aboutthe age when he should start thinking about retirement anyhow.<br><br>It plays like a stage play; the story is enough to make a powerfulpunch. <br><br>2 Thumbs Up. See it. Get it on DVD if you can, so you can read thesubtitles and not miss a thing.

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