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Twelve O'Clock High Details


How much can a man give? When the U.S. 8th Army Air Force 918th Bombardment group is ordered on their fourth harrowing mission in four hard days, Brigadier General Frank Savage (Gregory Peck) demands "maximum effort." The bombers are forced to fly lower, to fly farther, and to test themselves -- overspent and fatigued -- right up until death's door. When their dedicated colonel speaks out in their defense, Savage mercilessly takes over command -- an officer should not sympathize with his men. The Brigadier General will compel the 918th to stop pitying itself and to hone its morale in the face of danger. Yet, as the men grow colder due to Savage's orders and the missions bring them closer to their crucial German targets, the officer learns the practical impossibility of raising the confidence of young men while also sending them to their deaths. He begins to understand that it is the burden of command that makes even the toughest leader sympathetic. Eventually caring for his men above all else, it is Savage who is forced to carry the hardships of "maximum effort" -- asking himself, how much can a man take? ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio, Rovi

  • Release date:December 21, 1949


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dean Jagger Best Supporting Actor 1949 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gregory Peck Best Actor 1949 Nominee
New York Film Critics Circle Gregory Peck Best Actor 1950 Winner


Gregory Peck
as Gen. Frank Savage
Hugh Marlowe
as Lt. Col. Ben Gately
Gary Merrill
as Col. Keith Davenport
Millard Mitchell
as General Pritchard
Dean Jagger
as Major Harvey Stovall
Paul Stewart
as Major "Doc" Kaiser
John Kellogg
as Major Cobb
Joyce MacKenzie
as Nurse
Lee MacGregor
as Lieutenant Zimmerman
John Zilly
as Sergeant Ernie
Richard Anderson
as Lieutenant McKessen
Lawrence Dobkin
as Captain Twombley
Kenneth Tobey
as Sentry
Campbell Copelin
as Mr. Britton
Peter Ortiz
as Weather Observer
Steve Clark
as Clerk in Antique Shop
Patrick Whyte
as Clerk
Russ Conway
as Operations Officer
Don Hicks
as Lieutenant Wilson
Russ Conway
as Operations Officer


Henry King
Darryl F. Zanuck
Sy Bartlett
Book Author
Sy Bartlett
Leon Shamroy
Alfred Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Lyle Wheeler
Art Director
Maurice Ransford
Art Director
Roger Heman
Sound/Sound Designer