Jack wrote this in September, 2006:
Morning to you.
Jeanne loaned me some old movies a while back. I don’t have a television, but I do have a thing with a VCR attached to it so’s I’m able to look at movies when I have them and don’t want to read or do something else.
Watched 12 Oclock High last night.
Not a bad movie as old post-WWII movies go. Gregory Peck Generalling a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber command during the early stages of precision daylight bombing.
The air-combat scenes were all actual wing-camera footage from German wing-cameras and US bomber gun-cameras taken in actual combat, so while it had reality it lacked the drama found in staged footage. Those combat footages can never compete with special effects and pilots/gunners who aren’t wetting their pants and wondering if they’ll be alive in five minutes.
I don’t recall ever being impressed before by how young all those guys were.
Seventeen, eighteen-year-old baby faced youngsters swiveling around in gun-turrets behind .50 caliber machine guns at 20,000 feet trying to kill twenty-year-old Germans who are trying to kill them.
Reminded me a bit of Joseph Hellerman’s paranoid B-17 pilot in Catch 22.
“They’re trying to kill me!” Yosarian declared to the psychiatrist. “They hate me.”
“What makes you think they hate you?”
“Every time I go up to drop bombs on them they try to shoot me down,” Yosarian lamented.
Sounds strangely contemporary.