“The Memphis Belle” 1944

What became an icon in World War 2 filmography was William Wyler’s classic, “The Memphis Belle”, a documentary viewed by millions and later the source of outtakes used in later movies and other documentaries. You can see the original film here:

Filmed in combat by cinematographers and aircrew over several missions, William Wyler created a documentary that depicted both the horrors and heroics experienced by aircrews in the air war over Europe.

Multiple cameras caught the action that became a movie that President Roosevelt directed be shown throughout the United States. While it centered on one crew and one airplane, the “Memphis Belle”, it represented all of the airmen and ground crews who took the war to the fascist enemy. The emotions that the viewer experiences are timeless and makes this a film for all generations.

Wyler and his team shot nineteen hours of action while approximately forty-four minutes was used in the finished movie. All of that original film eventually was placed in the National Archives and Records Administration. In 2018, Erik Nelson in cooperation with NARA remastered that original film using 4K technology which gave new life to the now faded original film.