Directed by Henry King
Screenplay by Sy Bartlett and Beirne Lay Jr., based upon their novel
Starring Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell and Dean Jagger
There’s no point in beating around this bush – Twelve O’Clock High rating a Best Picture nom seems to have more to do with the era of the film than the film itself, i.e. the nomination is more a product of its time, than a product of the film. By that I mean that while the film is good, it’s the confluence of the subject of the film (war) coming so close in time to some other event (war) that somehow makes it more than what it is. Make the film in the middle 1950s or middle 1960s and it comes and goes without much fuss – it becomes another John Wayne war film shunned by the Academy. Make the film just four years after the end of WWII, and suddenly you got a Best Picture nomination on your hands.
Needless to say, it’s appropriate it didn’t win Best Picture.