Fathom Events has teamed with Spencer Proffer’s Meteor 17 to bring acclaimed filmmaker Erik Nelson’s new documentary “The Cold Blue,” chronicling the heroic struggles of the U.S. Eighth Air Force during World War II, to theaters around the country, including Bainbridge Cinemas, for a special one-day-only screening on May 23.
The new film, from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Creative Differences, was constructed using recently discovered and meticulously restored raw color footage from the WWII-era documentary “Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress,” directed by the legendary director William Wyler and filmed aboard B17s during combat air missions.
A meditation on youth, war and trauma, “The Cold Blue” is a tribute to one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, his cameraman Harold Tannenbaum – who perished in combat while filming – and the men of the Eighth Air Force, who took part in a nearly nonstop daylight bombing campaign from May 1942 to July 1945 aimed at loosening the Nazi regime’s hold on Europe.
While they ultimately succeeded, it came at a terrible price: The Eighth Air Force accounted for nearly half of the U.S. Army Air Force’s casualties — roughly 47,480 out of 115,330 — and included more than 26,000 dead.
Wyler was an American director, producer and screenwriter. His most notable works include “Ben-Hur” (1959), “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946), and “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), all of which won Academy Awards for Best Director as well as Best Picture in their respective years, making him the only director of three Best Picture winners to date.
He was one of five prominent Hollywood directors — along with John Ford, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens — who famously volunteered for front-line documentary work during World War II, a story chronicled in the 2014 book “Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War” by journalist Mark Harris and the subsequent Netflix three-part series “Five Came Back.”
Tickets for “The Cold Blue,” $12.50 each, are on sale now at www.farawayentertainment.com.