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Command Decision

Command Decision(1949)

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The film's producing credits read: "Produced by Sidney Franklin in Association with Gottfried Reinhardt." According to an April 1948 Hollywood Reporter news item, Clark Gable urged M-G-M to buy William Wister Haines's novel Command Decision (Boston, 1947) as a starring vehicle for himself in the role of "General Casey Dennis." A May 1947 New York Times news item notes that according to the terms of Haines's deal with M-G-M, the author would receive $100,000 as a down payment for his novel. If the novel was produced as a play by October 1947, however, Haines would be awarded fifteen percent of the weekly stage gross, thus raising his payment to $300,000. The play opened on Broadway on October 1, 1947. According to an April 1947 Los Angeles Times news item, Robert Taylor was originally slated to star with Gable. An April 1948 M-G-M News item notes that Tom Drake was to play the role of "Captain Tom Jenks," the young pilot who defies Casey's orders. By May 1948, an M-G-M News press release stated that Michael Steele was to play the pilot, who was now named "Lucius Jenks." According to a February 17, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item, the Washington, D.C., premiere of the film was attended by Vice President Barkley, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, the Air Force Chief of Staff and several other dignitaries. An August 1949 Los Angeles Times news item reported that a British reviewer for the Reynolds News Service called the film an "insult to British audiences" and complained that it gave the impression that Americans won the war by precision bombing. On March 3, 1949, Gable recorded a radio version of the story for broadcast over the NBC network. This was the first pre-recorded commercial show to be broadcast over the network from Hollywood, acccording to a February 1949 Daily Variety news item.