The Cold Blue

Watch The Cold Blue

"They flew. They fought. They died. They won."
  • TV-PG
  • 2019
  • 1 hr 13 min
  • 7.7  (988)

The Cold Blue is a 2018 documentary film that was directed by Erik Nelson. The film vividly depicts the life of the World War II bomber pilots in the United States Army Air Forces. The Cold Blue features never-before-seen footage of the Eighth Air Force, which was responsible for the bombardment of Nazi Germany. The documentary includes interviews with some of the last surviving veterans of the conflict, narrating personal experiences of combat and loss.

The movie was produced in coordination with the National Archive’s Film Preservation Lab, where the reels of the actual footage were digitized and restored to their original glory. The end product was a stunning 72-minute documentary, in which every frame seems meticulously thought out.

The journey through The Cold Blue takes the audience from the training of pilots in the United States to the skies over the European Theater of Operations. The film emphasizes the bravery and sacrifices of the young men who volunteered to defend the Allies during the dark hours of the Second World War. The film gives the viewer a glimpse of the beauty and horror of aerial combat.

The story behind the making of The Cold Blue is as compelling as the subject matter. The director discovered these reels hidden in the archives while he was working on a different project. The unreleased footage was filmed by William Wyler, a Hollywood filmmaker, who volunteered to document the war on his own. He filmed high above the skies in B-17s, putting his life in danger with every shot. Wyler’s film was never used because he had not followed the protocols set by the military authorities. It was only in 2006 that the archival team at the National Archives discovered the footage and digitized it.

The Cold Blue features interviews with surviving crew members of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber aircraft. They share their memories of the war, which were both poignant and inspiring. They talk about their struggles to fit into a new world, their interactions with locals in new settings and how they cope with the loss of friends. Their stories bring a human dimension to the inhumane act of war.

The documentary features re-enacted sequences of these heroic missions, where the fictionalized scenes are shown by inter-cutting archival footage with voice-over narration by the veteran airmen. The sequences of real footage were perhaps the most harrowing for viewers, as they showed the devastating consequences of war. It was impossible not to feel the pain the airmen underwent, as they lost their comrades to the hazards of air combat.

The film takes the audience on a journey, from the drudgery of life on the airfield to the stress-filled missions over enemy territory. The highs and lows, the camaraderie and fear, paint a vivid picture of life during wartime.

One of the key factors that made The Cold Blue stand out as a documentary is the stunning cinematography. The aerial footage of the skies is breathtaking; the black-and-white images showcase the beauty and the immensity of the skies. Coupled with an evocative musical score, the documentary captured the essence of life in the 8th Air Force.

The documentary does not shy away from the tragedy of war. The loss of life is portrayed without glorification, and the impact on those left behind is shown in a heartbreaking way. The stark reality painted in the final minutes of the movie is hard to watch, but it is also a reminder of the devastating toll that war exacts on everyone involved.

All in all, The Cold Blue is a compelling and moving documentary that takes the viewer on a journey through a crucial era in human history. It presented a new perspective on the war and highlighted the human side of the conflict. It was a revelation to even the most ardent war enthusiasts and history buffs. The documentary reminded us that a war fought far away in a different time, is still relevant in the modern world. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in history, cinematography or storytelling.

The Cold Blue is a 2019 war movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 13 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.

The Cold Blue
Where to Watch The Cold Blue
The Cold Blue is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime and Max. Some platforms allow you to rent The Cold Blue for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (988)