Posts Tagged ‘Above and Beyond’

ABOVE AND BEYOND – Hugo Friedhofer

October 18, 2021 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Hollywood screenwriter Beirne Lay Jr., a retired USAF bombardier, gained fame after the war for his screenplay to the 1949 film 12 O’Clock High. In 1951 he conceived a new screenplay for a WWII story he felt needed to be told. To that end he met with Air Force General Curtis LeMay, commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). He suggested a new film that would explore the experiences of Colonel Paul Tibbets, the commander of the historic 509th Composite Group, which was responsible for dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima during WWII. LeMay fully supported this, gave his consent, and Lay provided his outline to screenwriters Melvin Frank and Norman Panama who collaborated with USAF technical advisors Lt. Colonel Charles F.H. Begg, Major Norman W. Ray and Major James B. Bean to write the screenplay. With USAF backing Frank and Panama impressed MGM studio executives with their story, and they were given reins to produce the film with a budget of $1.4 million. Frank and Panama would also take on co-director duties and a fine cast was hired, including Robert Taylor as Tibbets, Eleanor Tibbets as Lucy Tibbets, and James Whitmore as Major Bill Uanna. Read more…