Problem Pictures

film 3 of 5

Twelve O’Clock High

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jun 16, 2015

The first bomber landing is surprisingly graphic in its rendering of injury and exhaustion, and the aftermath leading to the first leader break down sustains that first considerable power, from there there’s this strange and conflicted investigation of different modes of leadership, seeming to edge toward a fairly dubious (though well defended, and maybe certain circumstances dictate…) browbeatery model, though it seems that with this filmmaker, things are never as simple as they seem; Dean Jagger is the most interesting character, the use of stock footage is effective and interesting: as in Wyler ’46, this is clearly an intelligent and honest attempt to deal maturely and realistically with actual post war challenges, the Peck character’s breakdown, as I said, may mean that he wasn’t right after all, and that whatever the approach, men are going to break down, though in this case the cause is just