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"Twelve O'Clock High" will be Memorial Day tribute at BYU May 26

As a tribute to veterans on Memorial Day, the Special Collections Motion Picture Archives Film Series at Brigham Young University is showing "Twelve O'Clock High" Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited so early arrival is encouraged. No food or drink is permitted in the auditorium, and children age eight and older are welcome.

The 1949 drama of the pressures of command in the American 8th Air Force in England during World War II stars Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill and Dean Jagger.

Jagger's portrayal as the wise Maj. Stovall won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. BYU's L. Tom Perry special collection contains the Dean Jagger papers, donated by the actor in the 1970s.

"Twelve O'Clock High" was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Gregory Peck). It was also the first post-war feature film to include recently captured aerial combat footage from German sources.

Written by veteran air force pilots Beirne Lay Jr. and Sy Bartlett, this feature maintains a realism that New York Times critic Bosley Crowther noted had "thorough integrity all the way down the line."

"The film's appeal," says BYU film archivist and film series director James D'Arc, "lies not only in the tremendous action sequences that utilize German and American combat footage, but in the incredible drama of Peck as Gen. Frank Savage trying to minimize his involvement with the very men he is asking to risk their lives on bombing missions, knowing that he may never see them again."

"Twelve O'Clock High" deals with issues of leadership in such an effective way that it is still used by major corporations in group management and employee training.

The Special Collections Motion Picture Archives Film Series is co-sponsored by the friends of the Lee Library and Dennis and Linda Gibson. Films shown in the series are taken from the permanent collection housed in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Lee Library.

A complete schedule of showings may be accessed online at:

For more information contact James D'Arc at (801)422-6371.

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