THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH Honors Airmen Who Fought for Freedom: ‘Look What They Overcame’

Photo from Apple TV Press

THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH Honors Airmen Who Fought for Freedom: ‘Look What They Overcame’

By Movieguide® Staff

Apple TV’s documentary THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH chronicles the bravery of the men who served in the 100th Bomb Group as they fought against Nazi Germany during World War Two. 

The 100th Bomb Group, nicknamed “The Bloody Hundredth,” suffered high casualties. The documentary draws on stories from the airmen who experienced camaraderie, loss, and eventually victory as they fought for freedom with courage. 

“That’s very much what we wanted to convey,” THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH’s director Mark Herzog told Movieguide®. “But it wasn’t very hard on our part because the men conveyed [it] themselves.”

“They talked about the bond they had with not only the members of their particular B-17 teams—the crew within them—but the men that they spent time with at Thorpe Abbotts, the men that they got to know and love and sometimes lose. I mean, they all lost friends,” Herzog continued.

The documentary highlights the real-life stories portrayed in Apple’s new series, MASTERS OF THE AIR. Herzog noted that Don Miller, whose book inspired the series, said, “There can be no war without love.”

“What he means by that is the love—the bond—that these men have together, sometimes it’s what gets you through,” the director explained. “[What gets you through] a very harrowing mission is the love you have for the guy next to you—that you want him to live just as much as you want to live, and you want to fight to try to get through, and that love is what compels men to do what they do and more.”

Movieguide® praised THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH’s “Very strong Pro-American, patriotic, moral worldview about American airmen and women risking and sacrificing their lives.” 

For Herzog, telling this story is important to remind Americans of “what we as a country went through, what we as a group of allies went through in battling the Nazis.”

“I don’t think those stories ever go out of favor,” he told Movieguide®. “I think those stories always have a lesson to be learned….it’s more of look what these very young men went through and look what they overcame and look what they accomplished.” 

“What it means to tell the story is that hopefully people understand that one experience. Hopefully people understand how hard it was for these men to get in those planes and fly them day in day out,” Herzog said.

He explained that airmen of the Bloody Hundredth had to fly at least 25 missions before they could go home, and any one of them could be their last.

“I really got a better understanding of how harrowing their missions were,” Herzog said of his experience making the documentary. “And the real possibility that on any given mission, they could be injured, captured or killed. And that was an eye opener for me. I hope it’s an eye opener for the audience as well.”

“I hope [viewers] take away an understanding of the experience of what the men of the 100s went through, what it really took to fly a B-17, what it really meant to go on a mission,” he continued. 

“I…truly believe that just by telling this one small story—their point of view—you will get a better understanding of what these men went through in World War Two and maybe get an interest in learning more about World War Two.”

As Movieguide® previously reported, “The hour-long documentary features ‘rarely seen archival footage and exclusive interviews with the 100th Bomb Group airmen.’” 

It’s directed by Herzog and Laurent Bouzereau. Tom Hanks narrates, and it is executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

Because of its pro-American, patriotic and moral worldview, THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH earned a +1 content rating from Movieguide®. 

Part of the review reads:

THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH includes interviews with some of the men in the bombing group, including Rosenthal and the bombing group’s lead navigator, Major Harry Crosby. Rosenthal and Crosby are two of the four leading characters in MASTERS OF THE AIR, the other two being Cleven and Egan. Egan died unexpectedly in 1961, and Cleven died in 2006. Other airmen interviewed in the movie include Owen “Cowboy” Roane, Frank Murphy, Alexander Jefferson, Richard Macon, John “Lucky” Luckadoo, Tom Jeffrey, John A. Clark, Bill Couch, and Robert Wolf. Tom Hanks narrates the movie.

THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH presents a captivating overview of the bombing group and its brave fighting force. It has a strong Pro-American, patriotic, moral worldview with a strong sense of sacrifice, a commitment to freedom, and an opposition to the tyranny and mass murder that Hitler’s National Socialist forces represented. As Navigator Frank Murphy says at the end of THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH, “The freedoms we enjoy did not come about by accident. They were bought and paid for by my generation and the generations that preceded us.”

Quality: - Content: +4
Watch DUMBO (2019)
Quality: - Content: +2