Bomber's Moon


1h 7m 1943

Brief Synopsis

American bomber pilot Captain Jeff Dakin (George Montgomery) is shot down on a bombing raid over German-held territory. As his crew bails out, Jeff sees his bombadier brother, Lt. Danny Dakin (Richard Graham), machine-gunned to death as he is drifting to earth. After being taken prisoner Jeff learns the name of the man who murdered his brother---Nazi ace Major Von Streicher (Martin Kosleck). In the concentration camp he begins a plan of escape with two other prisoners; Czech prisoner Captain Paul Husnik (Kent Taylor) and a young Russian doctor, Alexandra "Alec" Zoreisch (Annabella). The three escape during an air raid. Jeff begins to take a dislike to Paul over several incidents that arouse his suspicions. Actually Paul is Gestapo officer Paul van Brock who has engineered the escape in the hope that the Alec will lead him to the leaders of the underground movement. They manage to reach the home of a friend of Alec's father, where Paul reveals his true colors by killing the underground leader and calling the Gestapo. Jeff overpowers Paul and he and Alec escape and elude the Nazi agents. Reaching Holland, where plans have been set for their escape, Jeff learns that the plane in which he was shot down has been re-built by the Nazis for a mysterious flight to England. He refuses to take the boat with Alec and, disguised as a German soldier, learns the details of the flight plan and that the man who murdered his brother, Von Streicher, is to pilot the plane. Jeff steals a Nazi plane and heads for the English Channel to intercept Von Streicher.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 6, 1943
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 30 Jul 1943
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,330ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Capt. Jeff Dakin, an American bomber pilot stationed in England, embarks on a mission over Germany and gives a pep talk to his younger brother, Lt. Danny Dakin, who is his bombsighter. Jeff's plane reaches its target but is severely damaged, and on the return journey, Jeff orders Danny and his gunner, Curly, to bail out. As Danny's parachute opens, however, the defenseless young lieutenant is shot and killed by Maj. von Streicher, a German flying ace. Von Streicher also shoots Curly, but Jeff survives when he crash lands the plane in Belgium. Jeff is captured, and, after spending four weeks in a hospital prison, is incarcerated in an ancient German castle that has been turned into an escape-proof prison. There, Jeff meets a Czech prisoner, Capt. Paul Husnik, and Alec, a Russian army doctor who is forced to tend to the other captives. Unknown to Jeff, Alec, who wears a man's uniform, is really Lt. Alexandra Zoreisch, and Husnik is a Gestapo spy. Hoping to trap a ring of underground rebels, Gestapo colonel von Grunow arranges for Husnik to escape with Jeff and Alec. Once they have eluded their pursuers, Jeff discovers that Alec is a woman and is impressed by her unrelenting courage. The trio travel to the Frankfurt home of Professor Friederich Mueller, a well-known economist who is a member of the Nazi party. Mueller, who is actually the head of the resistance group sought by von Grunow, had been working with Alec's late father to topple the Nazi regime. Mueller organizes an escape route for Jeff, Alec and Husnik, but before they can leave, Husnik reveals his true identity as Gestapo agent Capt. Paul von Block when Jeff catches him telephoning von Grunow. Alec shoots Husnik as he struggles with Jeff, then tends to Mueller, who was mortally wounded by Husnik. Mueller gives Alec important papers to take to Col. Sir Charles Sanford in England, and Alec and Jeff then continue their journey. Despite several harrowing incidents, the couple make their way to Rotterdam, where a fisherman agrees to take them in his boat to a pre-arranged spot to be picked up by a British sea plane. Upon learning that von Streicher is at a nearby air base, Jeff instead sends Alec on alone, telling her that he will meet her at his favorite pub in London. While Alec is making her way to England, Jeff goes to the air base. There he learns that von Streicher intends to fly a British plane to England, where he will bomb a train carrying Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Jeff is captured again, but after killing von Grunow, who had come to consult von Streicher, he follows the German ace into the air. After a desperate dogfight, Jeff succeeds in avenging his brother by killing von Streicher, then flies to England. Jeff, who is in a German plane, is at first targeted by the British air force, but Alec, who has arrived safely, helps to persuade Sanford that the plane's pilot is indeed Jeff. With the British attack called off, Jeff lands and looks forward to his reunion with Alec.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 6, 1943
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 30 Jul 1943
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,330ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although a September 16, 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Twentieth Century-Fox had acquired the "forthcoming magazine serial" Bomber's Moon by Leonard Lee, contemporary sources indicated that Lee's original story was unpublished. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Robert Florey was originally scheduled to direct the picture but instead shot second unit footage. A modern source notes that Florey was responsible for the aerial combat sequences. The name of the credited director, "Charles Fuhr," was a composite pseudonym for Edward Ludwig and Harold Schuster. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, filming began under Ludwig's direction, with John Brahm filling in for two days while Ludwig was away. When Ludwig sprained his ankle in mid-February 1943, Schuster took over the production, and also directed retakes and additional scenes shot in April 1943. As noted in the Hollywood Reporter review, Ludwig and Schuster each directed "an approximate half of the picture," and after completion, both felt "that the other rated first mention [so] a compromise was effected" by adopting the credited pseudonym. Although dialogue director Robert Lewis substituted for an ill actor who was scheduled to play a priest, his appearance in the finished film has not been confirmed.
       February 1943 studio press releases list Kenneth Brown in the role of "Karl" and Gretl Dupont as "Elsa," but those roles were performed in the released picture by Leon Tyler and Edith Evanson, respectively. Another studio publicity statement reported that radio actor Bob Bailey would be making his screen debut in the picture as "Lt. Danny Dakin," but that part was played by Richard Graham. William Edmunds and Henry Guttman are included in the cast by a press release and a Hollywood Reporter news item, but their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. Although a January 14, 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Ludwig had selected two location sites in the San Fernando Valley, CA, it has not been confirmed that the sites were used. George Montgomery, who entered the Army after completing Bomber's Moon, did not appear in another film until the 1946 Twentieth Century-Fox production Three Little Girls in Blue.