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To trace the history of naval aviation and the development of the aircraft carrier, writer/director Delmer Daves expertly weaves drama with documentary. The resulting film superbly captures both the human story and the real, harrowing experience of war. Told in flashback, Task Force stars Gary Cooper in a wide-ranging performance taking him from brash young aviator to command of an aircraft carrier. Also on deck are Walter Brennan as a veteran navy sea dog and Jane Wyatt as Cooper's valiant, uncomplaining wife. The movie's other star attraction is actual World War II combat footage putting you in the middle of the chaos of a carrier deck strewn with flaming wrecks or the nail-biting tension of a ship's radar room. In all cases, the effect is gut-wrenching, the images unforgettable.

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WAA16979 Task Force DVD (1949/Gary Cooper) $19.95