Memphis Belle

Memphis Belle

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 47 Minutes

The 1990 film Memphis Belle loosely about the B-17 bomber of the same name gets the Blu-ray treatment, but not a very exciting one.

In 1943, the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces made a morale boosting inspirational documentary for the Home Front showing the everyday courage of the men who manned the bombers. It was called Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, and while it purported to be of the titular plane and crew flying it's 25th mission, ending its tour and the boys getting to come home, in reality it was filmed on a series of flights of both the Belle and of the Jersey Bounce, another B-17. All of the combat footage was real, and filmed without sound using cameras mounted on the planes.

The 1990 film, Memphis Belle, is about a film crew being sent to document and celebrate the 25th flight of the titular plane and its men, a feat not yet completed by any plane. The movie is woefully historically inaccurate, having only the plane names being correct. The crew are composites of many servicemen, there was no party or celebration of the 25th flight, and the mission was made to be representative of all missions and not depicting an actual flight.

Even so, the unabashedly sentimental film is still a good watch. Filled with dramatic moments, giving each character their moment in the spotlight, it is a solid heroic journey.

The Blu-ray treatment is rather sparse. The only extras it gets is the original theatrical trailer and the original documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress. No commentary tracks by cast or crew. No behind the scenes. Nothing. However, a good movie with a lackluster home video release is still a good movie.

Review by Jason Pace
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