Task Force (1949)

115-116 mins | Drama | 24 September 1949

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writer:

Delmer Daves

Producer:

Jerry Wald

Cinematographers:

Wilfrid M. Cline, Robert Burks

Production Designer:

Leo Kuter

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Delmer Daves's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by." The film ends with the following written acknowledgment: "To the United States Navy for its aid and cooperation in making this picture possible our grateful thanks." A press release indicates that Warner Bros. had begun to work on the idea for this film as early as May 1945. According to a news item in 29 Jun 1948 LAT , Robert Montgomery was to star in the film. The item adds that the studio had obtained Technicolor shots of the last six months of the Pacific war.
       A 17 Oct 1948 NYT article reports that director Delmer Daves and producer Jerry Wald found original black and white footage of the Langley , shot in 1923 at the silent speed of 16 frames per second. Similar footage was discovered of the Saratoga , an intermediate stage in the development of the aircraft carrier. By optical processes the old film was adjusted to the sound speed of 24 frames per second. In order to incorporate this footage, Wald decided to shoot the first half of the film in black and white and switch to color with the scenes of the Enterprise at Pearl Harbor. World War II footage includes shots of the Battle of Midway, the Japanese attack on the Yorktown and kamikaze damage to the Franklin . The article also names Patricia Neal as a member of the cast, but she did not appear in the completed ... More Less

Delmer Daves's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by." The film ends with the following written acknowledgment: "To the United States Navy for its aid and cooperation in making this picture possible our grateful thanks." A press release indicates that Warner Bros. had begun to work on the idea for this film as early as May 1945. According to a news item in 29 Jun 1948 LAT , Robert Montgomery was to star in the film. The item adds that the studio had obtained Technicolor shots of the last six months of the Pacific war.
       A 17 Oct 1948 NYT article reports that director Delmer Daves and producer Jerry Wald found original black and white footage of the Langley , shot in 1923 at the silent speed of 16 frames per second. Similar footage was discovered of the Saratoga , an intermediate stage in the development of the aircraft carrier. By optical processes the old film was adjusted to the sound speed of 24 frames per second. In order to incorporate this footage, Wald decided to shoot the first half of the film in black and white and switch to color with the scenes of the Enterprise at Pearl Harbor. World War II footage includes shots of the Battle of Midway, the Japanese attack on the Yorktown and kamikaze damage to the Franklin . The article also names Patricia Neal as a member of the cast, but she did not appear in the completed film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Sep 1949.
---
Daily Variety
30 Aug 49
p. 3, 5
Film Daily
30 Aug 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 48
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 48
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 48
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 49
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jun 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Sep 49
p. 1.
New York Times
17 Oct 1948.
---
New York Times
1 Oct 49
p. 8.
Variety
20 Jul 49
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Mickey McCardell
Frank Jacquet
David Alison
Alan Ray
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Orig mus
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff dir
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Pilot
Unit mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Horizon in Flames
Release Date:
24 September 1949
Production Date:
late October--31 December 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 September 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2557
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black & white with color sequences
b&w/col by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
115-116
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As Jonathan L. Scott faces retirement from the Navy, he recalls twenty-seven years earlier when he was a Navy pilot stationed in San Diego: The first aircraft carrier in 1921 is a converted collier, the Langley . Because the Navy does not have the money to purchase airplanes especially designed to land on carriers, several pilots die as they attempt to land on the sixty-five foot deck. One day, Scott must tell Mary Morgan that her husband Jerry has been killed. In 1923, Scott is transferred to Washington, D.C. to help develop a carrier plane and to convince the admirals to support naval aviation. At a party he encounters Mary, who is there with another officer. Scott becomes involved in an argument with powerful isolationist newspaper publisher Bentley and thus greatly angers Admiral Ames. Scott is then assigned to a desk job at the Panama Canal. Before he leaves, Scott proposes to Mary, who refuses to marry another flyer, but advises him to continue his fight for the carrier planes. When a newly designed carrier, the Saratoga , is launched, Scott is transferred to it. Learning to fly with a new system, Scott loses control of his plane and crashes. While he is recovering, Mary visits the hospital and accepts Scott's second proposal. The couple spends two years in Hawaii and then moves to Annapolis, where Scott, now a Lieutenant Commander, is to teach naval aviation. His outspoken stand in favor of aircraft carriers in combat causes him to lose a promotion, and after Japan invades Manchuria, Scott decides to accept a civilian job selling planes in ... +


As Jonathan L. Scott faces retirement from the Navy, he recalls twenty-seven years earlier when he was a Navy pilot stationed in San Diego: The first aircraft carrier in 1921 is a converted collier, the Langley . Because the Navy does not have the money to purchase airplanes especially designed to land on carriers, several pilots die as they attempt to land on the sixty-five foot deck. One day, Scott must tell Mary Morgan that her husband Jerry has been killed. In 1923, Scott is transferred to Washington, D.C. to help develop a carrier plane and to convince the admirals to support naval aviation. At a party he encounters Mary, who is there with another officer. Scott becomes involved in an argument with powerful isolationist newspaper publisher Bentley and thus greatly angers Admiral Ames. Scott is then assigned to a desk job at the Panama Canal. Before he leaves, Scott proposes to Mary, who refuses to marry another flyer, but advises him to continue his fight for the carrier planes. When a newly designed carrier, the Saratoga , is launched, Scott is transferred to it. Learning to fly with a new system, Scott loses control of his plane and crashes. While he is recovering, Mary visits the hospital and accepts Scott's second proposal. The couple spends two years in Hawaii and then moves to Annapolis, where Scott, now a Lieutenant Commander, is to teach naval aviation. His outspoken stand in favor of aircraft carriers in combat causes him to lose a promotion, and after Japan invades Manchuria, Scott decides to accept a civilian job selling planes in Europe. Mary, however, encourages him to remain in the Navy, and they return to Hawaii, where Scott is made a commander. When Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, Scott's ship, the Enterprise , sets out to prove the worth of the carrier. During the Battle of Midway, the flight deck is badly damaged by Japanese torpedo planes, and they are forced to abandon ship. Afterward, Scott is made a Captain and travels to Washington to plead for more carriers. Eventually a carrier fleet is produced, and Scott is placed in charge of one of the ships. During the Battle of Okinawa, the fleet proves its worth, and four years after the end of the war, Scott retires and joins Mary, who is waiting for him on the dock. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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