Wing and a Prayer (1944)

Passed   |    |  Action, Drama, War

Wing and a Prayer (1944) Poster

In WW2, an American aircraft carrier sails around the Pacific on a decoy mission until it joins the battle of Midway against the Japanese forces.


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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Henry Hathaway


Jerome Cady (story), Jerome Cady (screenplay)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

3 January 2006 | joliettim
| Excellent WW II Navy Movie!
"Wing and a Prayer" really gives those of us not born yet a realistic idea of what life on a carrier was like going up against Japan in World War II. The tough decisions brought on by war were very poignant as were the losses of friends and shipmates in combat. The film was a bit murky at the end as to how the carrier (name?!) fit in with the Battle of Midway and the Japanese ship models were pretty cut-rate, even by 1940's standards. Using U.S. Navy Wildcat planes with white circles painted over their US star to represent Japanese planes was campy, but understandable since the US was in the process of really shooting all of the real zero's out of the sky during the time of the movie. Harry "MASH" Morgan was a 29 year old pilot hotshot that was nice to see him in his prime. Don Ameche did a very good job being a serious-as-death commander who had to be a hard *ss in order to send men into mortal combat. A great film!

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


During the Battle of Midway, all the flyboys of Torpedo Squadron 8 were killed except for Ensign George Gay. This film's original intention was to depict their lives, especially Gay's. The Twentieth Century-Fox studio bought the rights to a 'Life' magazine story by Sidney L. James on the Battle of Midway as well as obtaining permission from both Ensign Gay and the United States Navy to film the story. The 23 September 1942 edition of the 'Hollywood Reporter' stated that "The Navy has relented in its stand against the use of the names of war heroes in film dramatizing their deeds and will not stand in the way provided the permission of the hero is obtained and the story content is satisfactory." However, the studio decided to produce a fictionalized telling of the Battle of Midway. The 'New York Times' of 6 February 1944 reported that the film script about Ensign Gay and Torpedo Squadron 8 was "entirely discarded" after "the protest of a certain high Government official that the proposed picture would carry a defeatist implication."


Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton: Moulton to Squadron. Remember when you think you're in close, go in closer before you drop that fish.


Near the beginning of the film, when the ship's officers are seated around the captain waiting to open their Orders, the clock on the wall depicts 11:00 yet the ship's bell tolls four times. This is a goof as aboard a US Navy ship 11:00 would toll six times signaling the beginning of the forenoon watch.


Anchors Aweigh
Music by
Charles A. Zimmerman
Played often throughout the picture


Plot Summary


Action | Drama | War

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