Warner Bros. tribute to World War II, “Dive Bomber,” was shown Friday at the Harold B. Lee Library as part of a double feature.
The viewing was open to the public and many students attended the film. Travis Hatch, a recent BYU graduate was one of many in attendance.
“I’m glad I came out tonight and saw “Dive Bomber;” the cinematography alone was worth it,” Hatch said.
The film stars Errol Flynn, who starred in the original 1938 “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” Fred MacMurray, the original “Absent-minded Professor” and Ralph Bellamy, who played James Morse in the 1990 film “Pretty Woman”. And U.S. Navy Lt. Edward “Butch” O’Hare was featured as a pilot in the film. O’Hare was considered a hero in World War II and was killed in action off the Gilbert Islands in November 1943. O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is named for him.
“Dive Bomber” is the story of a Harvard-educated flight surgeon (Flynn) and a skeptical veteran pilot (MacMurray). Together, they work to solve the problem of altitude sickness, which causes blackouts at high altitudes.
Jared Christensen, a pre-communications major, also attended Friday’s screening.
“Compared to the movies we’ll be seeing this summer, this movie is old but the action sequences were really good and exciting to watch,” Christensen said.
Generating a profit in excess of $1 million, “Dive Bomber” was one of Warner Bros. biggest hits in 1941.
The film was initially released just months before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Navy realized the potential of the film to be a showcase of U.S. naval aviation and lent the new Douglas dive bomber to be displayed in conjunction with film screenings at principal cities.
“The planes and boats in “Dive Bomber” were lent to the production by the Navy and later were sent to war,” Cici Nye, the public relations assistant at the HBLL said.
Also shown Friday night was the final chapter of the 1940 Republic Pictures serial, “Mysterious Doctor Satan.”