Bomber's Moon (1943)

69-70 mins | Drama | 6 August 1943

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HISTORY

Although a 16 Sep 1942 HR news item stated that Twentieth Century-Fox had acquired the "forthcoming magazine serial" Bomber's Moon by Leonard Lee, contemporary sources indicated that Lee's original story was unpublished. According to HR news items, Robert Florey was originally scheduled to direct the picture but instead shot second unit footage. A modern source notes that Florey was responsible for the aerial combat sequences. The name of the credited director, "Charles Fuhr," was a composite pseudonym for Edward Ludwig and Harold Schuster. According to HR news items, filming began under Ludwig's direction, with John Brahm filling in for two days while Ludwig was away. When Ludwig sprained his ankle in mid-Feb 1943, Schuster took over the production, and also directed retakes and additional scenes shot in Apr 1943. As noted in the HR review, Ludwig and Schuster each directed "an approximate half of the picture," and after completion, both felt "that the other rated first mention [so] a compromise was effected" by adopting the credited pseudonym. Although dialogue director Robert Lewis substituted for an ill actor who was scheduled to play a priest, his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed.
       Feb 1943 studio press releases list Kenneth Brown in the role of "Karl" and Gretl Dupont as "Elsa," but those roles were performed in the released picture by Leon Tyler and Edith Evanson, respectively. Another studio publicity statement reported that radio actor Bob Bailey would be making his screen debut in the picture as "Lt. Danny Dakin," but that part was played by Richard Graham. William Edmunds and ... More Less

Although a 16 Sep 1942 HR news item stated that Twentieth Century-Fox had acquired the "forthcoming magazine serial" Bomber's Moon by Leonard Lee, contemporary sources indicated that Lee's original story was unpublished. According to HR news items, Robert Florey was originally scheduled to direct the picture but instead shot second unit footage. A modern source notes that Florey was responsible for the aerial combat sequences. The name of the credited director, "Charles Fuhr," was a composite pseudonym for Edward Ludwig and Harold Schuster. According to HR news items, filming began under Ludwig's direction, with John Brahm filling in for two days while Ludwig was away. When Ludwig sprained his ankle in mid-Feb 1943, Schuster took over the production, and also directed retakes and additional scenes shot in Apr 1943. As noted in the HR review, Ludwig and Schuster each directed "an approximate half of the picture," and after completion, both felt "that the other rated first mention [so] a compromise was effected" by adopting the credited pseudonym. Although dialogue director Robert Lewis substituted for an ill actor who was scheduled to play a priest, his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed.
       Feb 1943 studio press releases list Kenneth Brown in the role of "Karl" and Gretl Dupont as "Elsa," but those roles were performed in the released picture by Leon Tyler and Edith Evanson, respectively. Another studio publicity statement reported that radio actor Bob Bailey would be making his screen debut in the picture as "Lt. Danny Dakin," but that part was played by Richard Graham. William Edmunds and Henry Guttman are included in the cast by a press release and a HR news item, but their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. Although a 14 Jan 1943 HR news item stated that Ludwig had selected two location sites in the San Fernando Valley, CA, it has not been confirmed that the sites were used. George Montgomery, who entered the Army after completing Bomber's Moon , did not appear in another film until the 1946 Twentieth Century-Fox production Three Little Girls in Blue . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17-Jul-43
---
Daily Variety
8 Jul 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Jul 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Mar 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 43
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
10-Jul-43
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 May 43
p. 1305.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Jul 43
p. 1413.
New York Times
31 Jul 43
p. 8.
Variety
14 Jul 43
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fill-In dir
2d unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 August 1943
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 30 July 1943
Production Date:
25 January--late March 1943
retakes and addl scenes began 19 April 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
6 August 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12347
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69-70
Length(in feet):
6,330
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9135
SYNOPSIS

Capt. Jeff Dakin, an American bomber pilot stationed in England, embarks on a mission over Germany and gives a pep talk to his younger brother, Lt. Danny Dakin, who is his bombsighter. Jeff's plane reaches its target but is severely damaged, and on the return journey, Jeff orders Danny and his gunner, Curly, to bail out. As Danny's parachute opens, however, the defenseless young lieutenant is shot and killed by Maj. von Streicher, a German flying ace. Von Streicher also shoots Curly, but Jeff survives when he crash lands the plane in Belgium. Jeff is captured, and, after spending four weeks in a hospital prison, is incarcerated in an ancient German castle that has been turned into an escape-proof prison. There, Jeff meets a Czech prisoner, Capt. Paul Husnik, and Alec, a Russian army doctor who is forced to tend to the other captives. Unknown to Jeff, Alec, who wears a man's uniform, is really Lt. Alexandra Zoreisch, and Husnik is a Gestapo spy. Hoping to trap a ring of underground rebels, Gestapo colonel von Grunow arranges for Husnik to escape with Jeff and Alec. Once they have eluded their pursuers, Jeff discovers that Alec is a woman and is impressed by her unrelenting courage. The trio travel to the Frankfurt home of Professor Friederich Mueller, a well-known economist who is a member of the Nazi party. Mueller, who is actually the head of the resistance group sought by von Grunow, had been working with Alec's late father to topple the Nazi regime. Mueller organizes an escape route for Jeff, Alec and Husnik, but before they can ... +


Capt. Jeff Dakin, an American bomber pilot stationed in England, embarks on a mission over Germany and gives a pep talk to his younger brother, Lt. Danny Dakin, who is his bombsighter. Jeff's plane reaches its target but is severely damaged, and on the return journey, Jeff orders Danny and his gunner, Curly, to bail out. As Danny's parachute opens, however, the defenseless young lieutenant is shot and killed by Maj. von Streicher, a German flying ace. Von Streicher also shoots Curly, but Jeff survives when he crash lands the plane in Belgium. Jeff is captured, and, after spending four weeks in a hospital prison, is incarcerated in an ancient German castle that has been turned into an escape-proof prison. There, Jeff meets a Czech prisoner, Capt. Paul Husnik, and Alec, a Russian army doctor who is forced to tend to the other captives. Unknown to Jeff, Alec, who wears a man's uniform, is really Lt. Alexandra Zoreisch, and Husnik is a Gestapo spy. Hoping to trap a ring of underground rebels, Gestapo colonel von Grunow arranges for Husnik to escape with Jeff and Alec. Once they have eluded their pursuers, Jeff discovers that Alec is a woman and is impressed by her unrelenting courage. The trio travel to the Frankfurt home of Professor Friederich Mueller, a well-known economist who is a member of the Nazi party. Mueller, who is actually the head of the resistance group sought by von Grunow, had been working with Alec's late father to topple the Nazi regime. Mueller organizes an escape route for Jeff, Alec and Husnik, but before they can leave, Husnik reveals his true identity as Gestapo agent Capt. Paul von Block when Jeff catches him telephoning von Grunow. Alec shoots Husnik as he struggles with Jeff, then tends to Mueller, who was mortally wounded by Husnik. Mueller gives Alec important papers to take to Col. Sir Charles Sanford in England, and Alec and Jeff then continue their journey. Despite several harrowing incidents, the couple make their way to Rotterdam, where a fisherman agrees to take them in his boat to a pre-arranged spot to be picked up by a British sea plane. Upon learning that von Streicher is at a nearby air base, Jeff instead sends Alec on alone, telling her that he will meet her at his favorite pub in London. While Alec is making her way to England, Jeff goes to the air base. There he learns that von Streicher intends to fly a British plane to England, where he will bomb a train carrying Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Jeff is captured again, but after killing von Grunow, who had come to consult von Streicher, he follows the German ace into the air. After a desperate dogfight, Jeff succeeds in avenging his brother by killing von Streicher, then flies to England. Jeff, who is in a German plane, is at first targeted by the British air force, but Alec, who has arrived safely, helps to persuade Sanford that the plane's pilot is indeed Jeff. With the British attack called off, Jeff lands and looks forward to his reunion with Alec. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.