Command Decision

Released in 1948, Directed by Samuel Wood

Command Decision is a stagebound but consummately acted adaptation of William Wister Haines’ Broadway play. Clark Gable, plays Air Force Brigadier General “Casey” Dennis, who sends waves of bomber squadrons into Germany to knock out the enemy’s jet plane factories. Though Dennis seems utterly unconcerned about the fate of his pilots (even his superior officer Walter Pidgeon is appalled by the heavy losses), the audience knows that his duty is exacting a severe emotional toll on him. Thanks to pressure from a misguided US senator, “Butcher” Dennis is replaced by the supposedly more humane Brian Donlevy. But Donlevy realizes that Gable’s decisions were the correct ones, and he vows to continue his predecessor’s “suicide missions”.

Samuel Wood

About The Director

Samuel Wood began his career as an actor, moved behind the camera as assistant to Cecil B. DeMille in 1915 and made his directorial debut in 1920 with “Double Speed”. Wood displayed a certain flair for complementing the talents of whatever stars he was handed, turning out a number of Gloria Swanson vehicles at Paramount in the early 1920s, and hitting his modest stride at MGM in the 1930s.