Watch Wing and a Prayer
- 1 hr 32 min
Wing and a Prayer is a 1944 American war film by 20th Century Fox directed by Henry Hathaway, who had previously directed several films in the war genre, such as The Lives of a Bengal Lancer and Sundown. The movie is based on the true story of the Battle of Midway, which took place from June 4-7, 1942, during World War II. The movie stars Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, and William Eythe, who play a trio of naval officers who are involved in the battle.
The movie begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which prompts the United States to enter the war. The film then shifts to San Francisco, where a group of naval officers, including Commander Bingo Harper (Don Ameche), Captain Matt Ridgeway (Dana Andrews), and Ensign Jerry Banning (William Eythe), are stationed. They are all eager to get into the fight, but they are held back by their superiors, who are waiting for the right moment to strike back against the enemy.
Eventually, the officers are given their chance to participate in the war effort when they are assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which is part of a task force sent to intercept the Japanese fleet. The Enterprise and its sister ship, the USS Yorktown, are the only carriers available to the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater, and their mission is to prevent the Japanese from capturing the island of Midway, which would give them a strategic advantage in the war.
The movie does an excellent job of building up the tension and suspense as the task force makes its way towards Midway. The officers are constantly on edge, knowing that a single mistake could result in their deaths or the loss of the entire fleet. They are also aware of the fact that the odds are against them, as the Japanese have superior numbers and firepower.
Once the battle begins, the movie moves into high gear, following the Enterprise as it launches its planes to engage the Japanese aircraft carriers. The scenes of the battleship firing its guns and planes taking off and landing on its deck are impressive, especially considering that the movie was made before the advent of computer-generated effects.
The movie also does an excellent job of portraying the human side of the war, showing the officers and crew members dealing with the stress and fear of battle. There are several emotional scenes, such as when Commander Harper has to break the news to a pilot's wife that her husband was killed in action, and when Ensign Banning becomes overwhelmed with guilt after accidentally bombing a friendly ship.
Overall, Wing and a Prayer is a well-made, exciting war film that does a good job of capturing the spirit of the men who fought in the Battle of Midway. The performances by the main actors are solid, and the film's focus on the human side of the war makes it stand out from other war movies of its era.