The Cold Blue

| May 17, 2019

B-17 Contrails at 25,000 feet (HT to TOW)

The Cold Blue

Directed by Erik Nelson (Dreams with Sharp TeethA Gray State), The Cold Blue takes an inside look at the daily life of men of the Eighth Air Force, who flew mission after deadly mission in World War II. The film features newly restored 4K footage and outtakes, shot by director William Wyler (Oscar winner for The Best Years of Our LivesBen-Hur and Mrs. Miniver) for his 1944 documentary The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress.

In 1943, William Wyler, one of Hollywood’s most renowned and versatile directors, went to Europe to document the air war in progress. Wyler and his crew flew actual combat missions on B-17s, during which one of his cinematographers was killed. Incredibly, all of the raw color footage Wyler shot for The Memphis Belle was recently discovered in the vaults of the National Archives. After a frame-by-frame restoration, Nelson has constructed a compelling new film out of the material. – article

The rest of the article is here at HBO’s connection:

This link is to Military Times’ article alerting people to this upcoming event:

“The Cold Blue” will premiere in theaters via Fathom Events for one day only — Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m., before debuting June 6, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, on HBO. Tickets can be purchased through Fathom.


Category: Historical, Real Soldiers, War Stories

Comments (40)

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    Eeeeekkkkk!!!! Look at all those Chemtrails being layed down!
    The government was even changing our weather way back then.
    Stop Chemtrails at all cost!
    ( I can’t believe some people are really that batshit)

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Ok, whos got cable HBO and gonna invite me and the refreshments over to watch this? I’ve got beer…and cookies…and popcorn…plenty of popcorn.

    Somebody? Anybody? Nobody?

  3. Mason says:

    This should be great! Can’t wait.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    If you don’t have HBO or a TV, can you pay for a one-shot viewing online?

  5. MustangCryppie says:

    Looking forward to this one.

    Anyone who had the balls to fly 25 missions over Germany (or any other hostile country) deserves my undying respect.

    I can’t imagine the fear those guys felt, particularly the closer you got to the end. I would have to hope the training kicked in and I just did the job.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      Just got a ticket. Can’t wait.

    • Roger in Republic says:

      There is a book that to me is the last word on the air war in Europe. It’s the Mighty Eighth. Using interviews with the participants and official records it tells the story of the whole European champaign from 1942 until the end in 1945. I swear, the tale of spinning down to certain death only to be thrown or blown out of the plane will curl your hair.

      Early on, the mission requirement was 25, later it went to 30, and then 35. In the first couple of years only about five percent completed their required missions. With the demise of the Luftwaffe many more were able to go all the way. But even at the end many were still being killed by flak and fighters. In fact, the eighth air force suffered the highest casualty rate of any American service branch. Of the 260,000 men who served, some 80,00 were KIA or WIA. Amazing.

      • MustangCryppie says:

        I’ve read some of it. Excellent book.

        I’ll have to dig it out again and finish it.

  6. HMC Ret says:

    I didn’t know it was possible to be that stupid. I was wrong. Please, lady, stay on the pill + demand your partner use condoms. Better yet, become a lesbian.

    • Eden says:

      But lesbians (as well as straights) can adopt and infect their adopted children with their stupidity.

  7. The Other Whitey says:

    I’m looking forward to this one. I’d also really like to see a movie get made about Operation Tidal Wave. Michael Bay could go nuts with shit blowing up, and for once it would be completely true to life.

    There’s also a low-budget independent movie from a few years back called “Fortress” that’s pretty good. It’s about a fictional B-17 crew in the 99th BG (12th Air Force, North Africa) during operations against Sicily and mainland Italy. In a nice touch, they actually depict the pilots making correct control inputs (as opposed to simply flipping random switches like they did in “Memphis Belle”), and the CGI Bf-109s all wear markings for JG-27, which operated in that area at the time. There’s also a pretty badass scene where they are separated from the formation, get attacked by several Messerschmitts, and get rescued by a pair of P-40s from the 325th FG (Checkertail Sharks). The P-40s make a diving attack on the 109s, which are in a low-energy state turning around the B-17, one of the P-40s lures a 109 into following him into a zoom climb (the 109 is a better climber, but is already low-energy while the P-40 is high-energy and riding it), the 109 stalls, and the P-40 smokes his ass with a hammerhead turn. It’s available on Amazon Prime, and worthwhile.

  8. Thunderstixx says:

    As I mentioned on the WOT thread, the book, “Jimmy Stewart, Bomber Pilot” is a perfect adjunct to this movie.
    Colonel, and later, Brigadier General, USAR James Stewart flew 20 deep penetration missions over Germany with the Eighth Air Force and was lauded as one of the finest pilots of the entire Second World War.
    He taught pilots how to fly the B-17 & B-24’s before they finally gave him a combat assignment.
    Quite the man and definitely worth reading and passing on to your Grandkids, like I am doing…

  9. 3/10/MED/b says:

    I mention to my family General James Stewart (not that they are in any way misiformed), and their eyes pop out. Only God knows many hollywood stars, professional athletes, and regular JOES dropped rocks and went to serve in desperate time.
    Not to mention the Women who held the homes together, and went to work.
    “Rosie the Riveter” was not a comic.
    To those bastards who…oh, wait, I have an instagrammer..


    • The Other Whitey says:

      Rosie the Riveter (or as I call her, Grandma) was immeasurably valuable. In one of those strange “small world” coincidences, my Grandma spent the war building components of the fire control systems my Grandpa operated as a Gunner’s Mate. He used to tell us that he liked to think Grandma had built the ones for his ship, because is she did, it meant that she saved his life before they ever met.

      • 3/10/MED/b says:

        Thanks, OTW, (if I am allowed to address you as such.)
        One of the the aspects of this site is the knowledge of respect, and the sense to stand up for your thoughts .
        No mittens here. Let it fly.
        (As a filthy leg, always awaiting incoming…)

        • The Other Whitey says:

          You may address as you see fit. I long since gave up trying to get my firefighters to not call me “cap,” though I still tell them not to call me “sir.” Even my wife hardly ever uses my actual name; she just alternates between “Whitey” in English and “Whitey” in Khmer.

  10. 3/10/MED/b says:

    *how many*

  11. 26Limabeans says:

    Watch the movie then book a flight on the real thing:

    Bring ear protection!

    • MustangCryppie says:

      I got to fly on a B-17 a few years back.


    • The Other Whitey says:

      Haven’t flown in one, but will start soon on one in 1/48 scale with a pinup of my wife on the nose.

    • Mason says:

      Closest to here is Omaha. Tempting to make it a day trip to fly down there.

      It’d be hard to pick which plane to fly on though. B-24, B-25, B-17, or P-51? It’s a real Sophie’s Choice here.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        Couple a times I flew on the B-17 while ferrying from one city to the next.
        Bedford MA to Springfield VT and then Bangor ME to Portland ME.
        One of the crew graduated from Hebron Acadamy in ME so we veered off course and “tightly” circled the school a few times. I was scared shitless we were gonna stall. The football team was on the field for practice and they all just stood there looking up in disbelief.

      • Eden says:

        One of my kids got to fly a P-51 once, compliments of the EAA Young Pilots (????) program. Gotta find that photo. . .

        • 26Limabeans says:

          Lucky kid!

          Collings has a dual control P-51 that you can fly a half hour for a few thousand. Wish they would bring it to northern Maine.
          Sadly they roam less and less north each year due to costs. Fuel is always the issue and they need to attract large crowds to break even.

  12. martinjmpr says:

    I think I’ve told this story before but back around 2007 or so, I was doing some yardwork at my house in Englewood, CO (A Denver suburb.) I heard an aircraft overhead, which was not unusual since we were frequently in the flight path for the local Centennial airport.

    But this was a very strange sound – it was the droning “warble” of a multi-engined radial, a kind of plane you almost never hear and very distinctive. I thought to myself “dang, that sounds just like the bombers in those old WWII movies!”

    Then I stepped out from under the trees and looked up, to see a silver B-17 flying slow and low over the house! Turned out it was “Aluminum Overcast”, a restored B-17 that tours around the country, and it was at a local air show. Absolutely amazing. It flew over several other times that weekend and I remember thinking that it must have been truly amazing to see and hear (and FEEL!) the rumble of HUNDREDS of bombers like that flying in formation.