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Encyclopedia > Memphis Belle (film)
Memphis Belle
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
Produced by David Puttnam,
Catherine Wyler
Written by Monte Merrick
Starring Matthew Modine
Eric Stoltz
Tate Donovan
D.B. Sweeney
Billy Zane
Sean Astin
Harry Connick Jr.
Reed Diamond
Courtney Gains
Neil Giuntoli
David Strathairn
John Lithgow
Music by George Fenton
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) October 12, 1990
Running time 107 min.
Language English
IMDb profile

Memphis Belle is a 1990 film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and written by Monte Merrick, starring Matthew Modine and Eric Stoltz and introducing Harry Connick Jr. in his screen debut. It is a fictionalization of the 1944 documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress by director William Wyler, about the 25th and last mission of a American B17 bomber, the Memphis Belle, which was based in England during World War II. The 1990 version was produced by Wyler's daughter Catherine and dedicated to her father. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (519x728, 259 KB) Licensing This image is of a DVD cover, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the DVD or the studio which produced the DVD in question. ... Michael Caton-Jones Michael Caton-Jones (Born Badgers Brook, Lothian, UK in 1958) is the Scottish-born director of such films as Scandal, Rob Roy, Memphis Belle and The Jackal. ... David Puttnam receiving his BAFTA Fellowship, 19 February 2006 David Terence Puttnam, Baron Puttnam of Queensgate, CBE is a film producer and politician. ... Matthew Avery Modine (born March 22, 1959 in Loma Linda, California is an American actor. ... Eric Stoltz (born September 30, 1961) is a Golden Globe-nominated American actor. ... Tate Buckley Donovan (born September 25, 1963) is an American film and television actor. ... Daniel Bernard Sweeney (born 14 November 1961 in Shoreham, New York) is an American movie and television actor. ... Billy Zane (born William George Zane, Jr. ... Sean Astin (born Sean Patrick Duke[1] on February 25, 1971 in Santa Monica, California) is a film actor, director, and Oscar-nominated producer best known for his film roles as Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy... Harry Connick, Jr. ... Reed Diamond (born July 20, 1967 in New York City) is an American actor. ... Courtney Gains (born August 22, 1965 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actor who achieved Hollywood success during the late 1980s. ... David Russell Strathairn (born on January 26, 1949) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and television actor. ... John Arthur Lithgow (IPA: [ˈʤɔn ˈlɪθɡaʊ]) (born October 19, 1945) is an American actor perhaps best-known for his starring role as Dick Solomon in the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. ... “WB” redirects here. ... is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... The year 1990 in film involved some significant events. ... Michael Caton-Jones Michael Caton-Jones (Born Badgers Brook, Lothian, UK in 1958) is the Scottish-born director of such films as Scandal, Rob Roy, Memphis Belle and The Jackal. ... Matthew Avery Modine (born March 22, 1959 in Loma Linda, California is an American actor. ... Eric Stoltz (born September 30, 1961) is a Golden Globe-nominated American actor. ... Harry Connick, Jr. ... Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to document reality. ... William Wyler (July 1, 1902 – July 27, 1981) was a prolific, Oscar-winning motion picture director. ... The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is an American four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). ... Boeing B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress Serial 41-24485, The Memphis Belle, 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group Memphis Belle was the nickname of a B-17F Flying Fortress during the Second World War that inspired the making of two motion pictures: a 1944 documentary film: Memphis Belle: A... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Memphis Belle depicts the day leading up to the crew's final mission, as well as a depiction of the mission itself. The B-17 is named "Memphis Belle" after pilot Dennis Dearborn's girlfriend back home in the States, who is not depicted in the film other than in a black and white photograph kept on the pilot's console.

In their 25th mission, the 10-man-crew is to bomb a factory in Bremen. At first, the flight is delayed because of clouds above the target, but finally they become airborne. Several of the crew feel sure that their luck has run out and that they will not survive this mission. The two planes in front of them in formation are shot down on the way to the target and Memphis Belle reaches the target as the head of the bomb group. Several problems on the return flight cause the crew to bond like never before, and even Luke, the hotshot copilot, comes to respect the authority of Dennis, the pilot. During the return flight, the radio-operator, Danny, is shot in the stomach, and the team must decide whether to parachute him out of the plane or not. However, Val, the bombardier, finds the courage to treat Danny despite only having two weeks medical school training. The crew all make it back to base alive and have gained a new respect for each other. The movie was dedicated to all young men who flew and fought in the largest air conflict in history. This article is about the city in Germany. ...

Real to Reel

With the exception of the aircraft names and the basic premise (that of the first plane to survive its tour of duty in the air war over Europe), this film is fiction based on fact. The characters are composites, the names are not those of the real crew of the Memphis Belle and the incidents shown are taken from many missions. The final, 25th mission of the real Belle was to Kiel, Germany, but with a substitute crew, before being flown back to the United States.

The plane which portrayed the Belle was a B-17G, while the Belle is an F Model. The G Model has a chin turret, which was removed for the film and for the subsequent appearances made at airshows around the United States. The plane is owned by David Tallichet, who has repainted the plane to match the real Memphis Belle. (The plane's paint scheme in the film was deliberately inaccurate to avoid any legal problems with duplicating the earlier scheme.)

The American escort fighters depicted were P-51 Mustangs, which were not yet operational at the time of the real Memphis Belle's last mission. The Mustangs were used due to availablility as few remaining P-47 Thunderbolts, the primary escort fighter at the time of the mission, were airworthy at the time the movie was filmed. The escorts' running low on fuel and turning back short of the target area, was a major issue for the P-47, but the ability of the P-51 to escort bombers all the way to the target proved to be the turning point for the survivability of American bombers in the war. The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range single-seat fighter aircraft that entered service with Allied air forces in the middle years of World War II. The P-51 became one of the conflicts most successful and recognizable aircraft. ... The American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as Jug, was the largest single-engined fighter of its day. ...

The film was filmed at the non-operational R.A.F Station Binbrook in North Lincolnshire, England. All the extras for the film were obtained from auditions held in the area, and included serving and former members of the Royal Air Force. In drama, an extra is a performer in a film, television show, or stage production who has no role or purpose other than to appear in the background (for example, in an audience or busy street scene). ...

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