View Full Version : WWII - Lost Films

16th Apr 2010, 08:27
I've just watched the History Channel's World War II - Lost Films episode featuring the 8th Air Force -- only to see chunks of Wyler's Memphis Belle trotted out for the umpteenth time. Excellent and poignant as that film is, it is hardly 'lost'. On the contrary, bits of it seem to appear every week on some Sky documentary or other.

Shame the programme didn't show a little more of the other, far rarer footage it briefly dipped into -- such as the colour film of the 92nd Bomb Group (albeit not shot mid-mission; and not lost, but watchable on YouTube).

19th Apr 2010, 14:42
On the same tac the film 'Twelve O'clock High" will be of interest to
WW2 film buffs - Starring Gregory Peck. The filming is sufficiently realistic to assume it was shot on location on a UK wartime airfield
- named Archbury (infact filmed in the US) - The scenes of aerial combat are genuine - Well worth seeing when next time if may come around.

19th Apr 2010, 15:51
"12 O'Clock High" was used as a leadership training aid by The Industrial Society and at Cranwell amongs other august seats of learning, but has now generally been supplanted by the TV (BBC?) Series on Shackleton (Sir Ernest, not "4 turning and 2 burning"). Nevertheless it is an enjoyable film so long as one is not watching it in bits and trying to draw out teaching points.

22nd Apr 2010, 09:57

Various feature films have been used on Leadership Training courses, although if course delegates can overlook the military nature of 12 O'Clock..., I still think it's one the best leadership films. But don't do as I did many years ago - after the course, I let delegates watch the rest of the film!!

However, I believe the Industrial Society also used 'The Bofors Gun' (from the play 'Events whilst Guarding the Bofors Gun').

Also, if judicial use is made of editing (i.e. only show very specific parts), the Tom Cruise film 'A Few Good Men' is sometimes used.

And finally, there is a very good snippet on 'Management Negotiation' practiced by the Sioux Indians :) in the Burt Lancaster film 'The Hallelujah Trail'

Atcham Tower
22nd Apr 2010, 10:29
Just for the record, the opening sequences of Twelve O'Clock High were filmed at the derelict Ozark Army Airfield, a wartime flying training base near Dothan, Alabama. The airfield was chosen carefully to resemble an English Midland location, which it most certainly does.

22nd Apr 2010, 10:41
However, Atcham, certain scenes were filmed at Chelveston Air Base near Bedford, for example, the opening scene where Harvey Stovall scrapes the oil off the runway with his shoe and the Headquarters building (which is near Northampton). How do I know this....................my father was an electrician on the UK location shooting, when the production was known to the studio as 'Project 145'.

Atcham Tower
23rd Apr 2010, 08:18
Thanks for that info. It's very interesting because a detailed article in the American Aviation Historical Society Journal for Winter 1974 makes no mention of any UK shooting. They even built a wartime style control tower in Alabama. And I thought it was an accurate account, oh well! Must have a look at the opening sequences again.

23rd Apr 2010, 09:20

Some time ago, I had a quite heated exchange with a US based guy on (I think) 'BritMovie' website.

He also said the same as you, so whether he had seen the same website as you, I don't know. However, eventually my brother found a very old and battered photo of my father, Dean Jagger (Harvey Stovall) and various other members of the film crew standing on the runway. Unfortunately, my father has long passed away, so I can't ask him, but to my almost certain knowledge, my father never visited the U.S.

23rd Apr 2010, 10:38
I seem to recall the credits of 12 O'clock High included a mention of Chelveston.

23rd Apr 2010, 13:34

I can't say that I've ever noticed the Chelveston reference myself, but that certainly doesn't mean that it's not there. There might be some confusion, because Chelveston was the real base for the actual squadron the story was about.

However, on checking, I found this reference in Wikipedia to location sites "Additional background photography was shot at RAF Barford St John, a satellite station of RAF Chelveston[citation needed] in (Oxfordshire, England, UK). The runways and perimeter tracks at Barford St Johns are still in existence. Officially the base is in Ministry of Defense ownership following its closure in the late 1990s as a Communications Station linked to RAF Upper Heyford".

Mods - am I allowed to quote from Wikipedia. If not please remove the reference.

Wind Sock
26th Apr 2010, 08:58
You can find (some) of the filming locations on the Internet Movie Data Base site:

Twelve O'Clock High (1949) - Filming locations (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041996/locations)

In the films opening credits it just states that the Air Technical Adviser was the Group Operations Officer of the 305th Bomb Group, Chelveston, England. 1942

You can watch the film on Youtube. Here is the opening section:

YouTube - Twelve O'Clock High (Opening) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi2NwU38NzA)