Talk:Twelve O'Clock High

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Novel v film[edit]

This has become a bit of a jumble. As with most films made from novels, there are notable differences, mostly in the interests of compacting written material into a form digestable in two hours screen time. This article would benefit greatly by reorganizing / breaking down the story into novel and film elements, in a manner similar to The Enemy Below. This is well on the way to becoming the Cliff's Notes version of 12 O'Clock High, and that is not the function of an encyclopedia.--Buckboard 14:04, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I can see where the article might benefit from distinguishing between the novel and the film -- and perhaps we should immediately separate this article into two articles, one about the film, and one about the novel.Vivaldi (talk) 03:48, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed -- and third article for the television series. They're all the same title, so a disambiguation page is needed (with the primary topic being the novel). Ruodyssey (talk) 02:35, 16 October 2009 (UTC)


I'm removing the "TONE" tag from this article, just as I removed the "NPOV" tag a few days ago. If you want to add these tags to this article then please provide the reason(s) for their inclusion here on the talk page and provide some suggestions and examples on what sorts of changes you are seeking. Slapping a "this article stinks" label at the top of the article isn't useful. Yes this article needs to be improved, but I suspect the reason it needs to be improved aren't because the thing isn't written from a neutral point of view, because I see no POV pushing. I also don't see where this article is written in a non-formal tone, but I'm willing to be open to persuasion.Vivaldi (talk) 03:48, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that there is a problem of tone, but it's not so much the language in the way that the template has it — it's really the general adulatory tone of the piece. There's no criticism of the film, everything is positive (there's even a section with the peculiar and unencyclopædic title "Acclaim"). I've re-added the {{NPOV}} template for that reason. --Mel Etitis (Talk) 10:37, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

The film is dirty propaganda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:06, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Hardly. Of course, one can not help but notice that you didn't have the courage to sign your name to your comment. Jmdeur (talk) 14:14, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Suggest you read Martin Caidin's books, Flying Forts, Black Thursday, and something about Nazi atrocities in WWII, before making such statements. (talk) 17:14, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
If you can find a reliable source that claims that the film is "dirty propaganda", then that comment can be included in the article. I noticed that your IP address is for the THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS, Berlin, Germany. As far as I can recall, the film is not disrespectful to WWII Germany or its armed forces back then, but treats them as an adversary in war for the characters in the film, which it certainly was. (talk) 06:11, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:259025.1020.A.jpg[edit]

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Image:259025.1020.A.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 04:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

location shooting[edit]

I have some serious reservations about the supposed use of RAF Barford St John as the location for the opening-closing scenes. Allen Duffin, whose primary sources on the film are extensive, states that location shooting took six weeks between April and June 1949. The use of Ozark included the "construction of a little bit of fence and road" and "King figured that he could use the field for some B-17 aerial shots but more specifically for the opening and closing scenes of 12 O'Clock High, when Harvey Stovall visited his old English airbase, now overgrown and fallen into disuse. 'Ozark Field was the ideal answer,' said King. 'It was more English than any field I have seen in that country. Weeds had grown as high as a man's shoulders in some places, and the adjacent scenery was perfect as an English countryside.'" Moreover, location shooting was concurrent between Eglin's Duke Field and Ozark, using a chartered DC-4 to shuttle back and forth. The script was in its final stages in March 1949 when the field was selected because its runways were asphalt, not concrete, and thus similar to English wartime runways. A last minute glitch because the base was Army-owned and not Air Force did not delay shooting. Given that the entire location shoot was as described, followed by interiors and process shooting with the B-17 cutaway in Hollywood, the time and expense (not to mention English weather) of traveling to the UK to shoot at an RAF station--but particularly this station, when so many closed US stations dotted the countryside--is extremely lacking in credibility. As apocryphal as it is, I am not going to delete the information, not only because it is sourced but because the location is also mentioned in IMDB (where I first got it). I suspect the two are connected, and I think it needs further documentation in the face of Duffin's research and interviews. It will be left in, but as an alternate explanation. --Buckboard 07:50, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

That sounds reasonable. FWIW, Orriss appears to be the principal source for the later book and entirely validates the information on the U.S. locations, albeit with slight variations as to details (11,000 miles flown versus 16,000 miles, etc.) and I have made suitable changes to reflect the use of both reference sources. Bzuk (talk) 13:09, 3 March 2008 (UTC).
Thanx mucho for the reply. The problem with sources is "we can't quite be sure"--the RAF location makes a good story and I would like it to be true too! Also, Duffin has errors (on one page he states the location filming took 6 weeks, which it did, but on another only 4 weeks, and more seriously, placed Ozark as part of Maxwell AFB) but access not only to scripts, memos, letters, etc., he also interviewed most of the principals (btw, Orriss was one of his secondary sources, so he must have known about the Barford assertion, yet chose not to debunk it in his book--go figure). Anyway, thanx for your help and discussion. I like this article and am trying to bring it up to standards of other film articles.--Buckboard 02:53, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
No, Orriss is the source for the Ozark Army Air Force Base information not the RAF locations. I couldn't find anything about location shooting in the UK other than the IMDb site, which I used reluctantly for a citation source. I am also a bit leery of the claim but until I can find solid evidence to the contrary, I will use it as is. FWIW Bzuk (talk) 03:56, 4 March 2008 (UTC).

Big Week or Schweinfurt-Regensburg?[edit]

The plot summary describes Savage's last missions as representing Big Week. That may have been so in the novel (which I've never been able to get a copy of and read), but if you look at the mission dates painted on the wall in the club, they're only into Summer 1943 and they're going, unescorted, after a ball bearing factory like the one at Schweinfurt during the dual Schweinfurt-Regensburg missions of August 17, 1943. Big Week was 6 months after that in February 1944, by which time the P-51 was operational and had changed the dynamics and landscape of the entire bombing campaign. (talk) 05:38, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

In the novel, the penultimate big raid is on the ball bearing plants at Hambruecken, after which Savage's B-17 is so badly damaged he has to ditch in the English Channel while under fighter attack. Sgt. McIllhenny dies defending the crew against the fighter attack by returning to the ditched B-17 and manning the top turret until the bomber sinks. This raid, with the losses of McIllhenny, Cobb, and his own bombardier (who releases the bombs directly on target after being mortally wounded), shakes an already badly stressed Savage, such that he suffers a nervous breakdown while trying to board his bomber on the next raid: the first daylight bombing of Berlin. Amustard (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:12, 12 October 2009 (UTC).

Historical counterparts of characters[edit]

This section of the article inappropriately goes into details about people instead of the film.

Here's an example from the section about Major General Ira C. Eaker (1896–1987).

"He had been picked by the commander of the Army Air Forces, General of the Air Force Henry Arnold, to build from scratch a strategic bombing force in England. He took Armstrong from a headquarters job in Washington, D.C. to be the senior member of his neophyte staff and eventually made him one of his top combat leaders. Lieutenant General Eaker retired on August 31, 1947. More than 30 years after his retirement, by Act of Congress on April 26, 1985, President Ronald Reagan presented him with his fourth star as a full general. General Ira C. Eaker died, August 6, 1987." (talk) 01:43, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

More examples.

  • From the section about Colonel Charles B. Overacker:
"Overacker's sins, however, were more severe than those attributed to Davenport, sufficiently so that they were not detailed in either book or film but only suggested; and occurred over an eight-week period, not the brief interval depicted. He was relieved after his entire group turned back from a mission for other than mechanical reasons. After moving up to Eaker's staff, Overacker imprudently criticized Eaker in an official analysis and was sent back to the United States, where he spent the remainder of the war as commander of the Proving Ground Command's electronic test center at Eglin Field, Florida."
  • From the section about Sergeant Donald Bevan:
"Bevan, who flew 17 missions, was shot down on April 17, 1943, over Bremen, Germany, and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war in Stalag 17B, a German POW camp in Austria. There, along with fellow POW Edmund Trzcinski, Bevan outlined the script for a hit Broadway play that was later made into a Hollywood film, Stalag 17." (talk) 05:36, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

The pictures of the real-life officers are details that are inappropriate for this article on the film and should be removed. The pictures already appear in Wikipedia articles about these officers and can be easily accessed from the main text of this article on the film by clicking on the wikilinks provided for Colonel Frank A. Armstrong, Maj. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, Lieutenant John C. Morgan, and Major Paul Tibbets. (talk) 15:29, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

The section is organized backwards by having subsections headed by real-life people instead of the film's characters. Since each character tended to be based on more than one real-life person, the section should be organized according to the characters. Also, heading the sections with real-life people has inappropriately encouraged straying off the topic of the article. (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Changes implemented[edit]

The above changes, as of the time stamp of this message, were implemented. (talk) 06:00, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Gen. Pritchard[edit]

From ref 8 "Pritchard (played by Millard Mitchell) was, of course, Eaker. He has no first name in the movie, but in the novel, it is Patrick."

Sergeant McIllhenny may be another character without a first name in the film. (talk) 01:43, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

That's cool. Not trying to make work for anyone. Ckruschke (talk) 14:10, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke


The statement "...this flight was the only time that a B-17 ever took off with only one pilot" may not be accurate. There is a B-17 Bomber that was put on top of a gas station in Oregon (Bomber Gas Station), that was purchased surplus in Altus, Oklahoma from the USAF. The guy payed cash, took off, and crashed it. The USAF felt sorry for him, and gave him another one, but required him to take a second person. This he did, and was successful in getting it to Oregon. I believe it is being restored as the Lacey Lady. My brothers and I played on this bomber throughout the 60's until the stairs were removed. It was highly vandalized throughout it's perch. It was fully equipped, but people stole everything off of it for a souvenir. One guy even stole the plastic nose by telling the owner he could have his old one, and that he needed that one for a flying B-17. Turned out the one he gave him was for a different model B-17, and didn't fit. K5okc (talk) 08:59, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Nice story, but the documentation or verifiable evidence for it may be a bit lacking. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 23:08, 3 February 2012 (UTC).
Here you go Story is more complex then I thought. K5okc (talk) 08:59, 4 February 2012 (UTC)